TalkRoom: iPhone Written App Review
Tired of flipping between apps to keep in touch? Yeah, we are too. Apparently so were the folks at Light Room, because their recently updated app, TalkRoom, makes conversing with friends on seven different services a snap. Reading our iPhone app review of TalkRoom is the first step to joining the communication revolution that could very well change the way you chat forever.
Whether you talk on Jabber, Facebook, Google Talk, AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger or ICQ, TalkRoom has you covered. A single sign in links accounts to the app (although Facebook requires app approval, but the process is automated and easy). Once an account is tied to your TalkRoom app you can update your status and set accounts as away, online or offline for the ultimate customized chatting experience.
Contacts can be displayed two different ways: either grouped by account or by online/offline status. Starting a conversation is as simple as tapping a name and starting to type. Conversations are organized neatly and easy to remove from your queue. There’s also an option to save your convo history anywhere from one day to 30 days, so it’s always easy to pick up where you left off.
One of our favorite features is the notifications. While the app runs in the background, you can enjoy your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and receive notification bar alerts whenever there’s an incoming message. Now that’s living, and communicating, in style. The in-app Web browser also ears top marks, and the ability to copy and paste anything you are sent is super convenient.
Layout & Design:
Organizing multiple chat services in one handy location is not a new concept, but what TalkRoom lacks in ingenuity it makes up for with style. No, the app is not flashy, and there aren’t a ton of skins to choose from (although that would be a nice touch). We love the app’s ability to automatically link avatars, even from the fickle Facebook chat. By limiting the app to three classic tabs (accounts, contacts and chat) it makes accessing exactly what you want quite easy.
The app especially shines on the iPad, where the right side of the screen is an ever present tabbed conversation box that can be expanded to full screen with a single touch.
It looks like TalkRoom has some kinks to work out. Not only does the app freeze quite frequently when you request changes (such as reorganizing contacts), it also had issues with contact status displays. About half the time the app claims that every single one of our Yahoo! contacts is online, while the other accounts’ contacts were displaying correctly. The same thing eventually happened to all our AIM contacts, making it really frustrating to try to use the app to communicate effectively. Also, the Google Talk account we synced received frequent socket errors and disconnected entirely.
While the idea of centralized chat in a sleek app is lovely, TalkRoom has some work to do to make their app truly shine, especially when other apps out there already provide this service.
At $4.99 TalkRoom is not going to break the bank, and it does add quite a bit of convenience to chatting on your favorite iOS device. Although the app has a few quirks to work out, it’s a masterful offer from a thoughtful developer with a solid vision. We can’t wait to see what’s next for this app!
TalkRoom iPhone app requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone App Review’s rating: