Chat App FAQ - AIM/Palringo/Mobilechat

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by trunksu, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. trunksu macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    Ok so almost every other page on the MobileChat thread has the question, "what's the difference between this and AIM????" so i figure we should just start a FAQ to end this. please add info for each program and i'll tag them here. If there are any mistakes let me know too!

    update 8/13 10pm: thanks for all the responses, updating whenever i have time. i added a table to help breakdown features
    update 8/13 1am: updated the table and added PUSH info.

    Question: Why should i use Palringo or MobileChat vs AIM?
    Answer: Probably the #1 question i see on the threads from AIM users. There are lots of different features that Palringo and MobileChat offer (listed below) but most people are primarily interested in Palringo and Mobilechat are because they have the ability to chat with other networks (such as MSN, Yahoo, etc).

    Question: Do any of these programs use up my SMS?
    Answer: they shouldn't. it's all through the data network. there are alot of conspiracy threads that IMing is costing SMS text but that shouldn't be the case. Do a search to see what others are saying. i'll post links later.

    Question: What's so special about PUSH?
    Answer: Because of the way the iPhone OS was developed, No background apps will be allowed. This presents a problem for chat clients since you typically want your online friends to know that you can be messaged at anytime. But since the apps aren't allowed to run in the background, you're signed off from chat portals (ie AIM/MSN etc).

    To solve this Apple will be releasing PUSH in firmware 2.1 (released sometime in September). Chat portals that do have the ability to keep you online, can now notify you you have a message waiting on your phone. All this without you having the app open.

    There have been temporary workarounds till PUSH does come out. such as AIM will keep you logged in for 15min after you exit the app. that way you can catch any messages you might have missed when you get back.

    The biggest reason why you're seeing PUSH mentioned for Mobilechat, is the fact they have gone further by having a server-side connection management. Because of this they'll keep your connection live and even offer to send messages to via SMS or via e-mail to inform you that you have messages.

    Question: Ok so what are the differences between each app?
    Answer: Here's a short breakdown of what features each program has


    Note: NV = Not Verified.

    Below is a bit more details on their features:

    What all of them have the ability to do:

    - Send SMS - this feature allows you to chat with someone on their cellphone via the RECIPIENT's SMS. You will be going through the DATA so you won't be charged SMS messages. But your recipient will be charged SMS messages if they don't have Unlimited Text Messaging Plan.
    - All 3 apps should allow the ability to continue to run if the phone is in SLEEP function (verified for AIM and Palringo. Thanks LtRammstein). But once you hit the home key it will exit the APP and will NOT continue to run.

    AIM - Created by AOL
    Cost - Free

    - Chat ONLY for AIM network (AOL, AIM, ICQ, MobileMe, .MAC)
    - View Expressions
    - Being able to take a picture from your phone and set it as your buddy icon.
    - AIM/SMS Blast (send a message to multiple people)
    - When you exit the app on the iPhone (literally, AIM will leave you logged into the server for 15min. There's an option to log off as soon as you exit the app too. (thanks to brinycbri)

    Palringo Instant Messenger - Created by Palringo Limited
    Cost - Free

    - Requires an account with Palringo (free sign up)
    - Chat with all major IM networks (AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, Gadu Gadu, ICQ, Jabber, and Windows Live Messenger). you must have an account with the respected programs
    - Ability to send/recieve photos via your Camera or photo library.
    - Ability to send/listen to vocal IMs. This feature is new and it allows you to send a quick recording. great for not being able to type.
    - Update Status message for all networks.
    - Chat bubble style messaging (semi-mimic of the SMS on the iPhone)
    - Supports URLs.
    - Has it's own group chat identification with other iPod Touch and iPhone users. (thanks LtRammstein)
    - Supports Multiple accounts
    - Once you exit the app, you be signed off your chat. Although i think MSN/Yahoo and other misc chat portals may still keep your offline messages and send them over when you sign back on (need to verification).

    MobileChat - by twenty08
    Cost - $2.99

    - Supports AIM/ICQ/.Mac/MobileME, Windows Live/MSN, Yahoo, Gtalk and Jabber
    - Server-side connection management. All connections will be managed by their servers. which leads to,
    - MobileChat offers an alternate PUSH right now. They will send you an email or SMS messge (your choice) with the IM you get. (thanks to ViVidboarder, jaseone, and Dranakin). This is a big plus for a lot of people
    - Supports Multiple accounts (ie can be signed onto 3 AIM accounts)
    - Buddy icon Support
    - Change/Set Buddy icon via Camera/Photo Library (thanks dranakin)
    - It's ALREADY PUSH compatible but still have to wait for Apple's 2.1 firmware/update.
    - IM to SMS
    - send/receive pictures

    review by a fellow macrumor poster here. (thanks R-Fly)

    Question: ok i've seen all the features but i still don't know which one i should go with.

    - If you only have AIM network friends and you're completely happy with AIM, then it doesn't hurt to stay with it. Will AIM have the features that the other apps have? possible and probable (but don't count on it ever being able to communicate with other chat portals)

    If you have friends in the other networks, it's really boils down to Palringo and MobileChat. I recommend trying both. Palringo is free so doesn't hurt to try it first. don't like it then take the plunge ($3) and get MC. there are lots of complaints of MC right now, but don't judge it too quickly. it JUST came out and their servers are taking a beating. Consider waiting a few days to a week for things to stabilize.
  2. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    Very nice. One thing MobileChat offers PUSH right now. They send you an email or SMS messge (you chose) with the IM you get.

    When Apple releases push, they will drop that and use Apple's cloud.
  3. trunksu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
  4. yehudah72 macrumors regular


    May 4, 2008
    i've checked my daughter's AT&T usage and it shows that she send (or receives) over 2500 SMS every month... she's 13 yrs. old and can chat for ever, LOL!!!

    so, i would say that using AIM may very possably use up your SMS in your plan... so, she has the UNLIMITED plan, LOL!!! (much safer that way, it's only $20 extra and no headaches for disputing bills with AT&T)
  5. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    AIM on the iPhone does not. AIM on most other non smartphones does use SMS.
  6. junkmailbonzai macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    Looks great! I will have to check it out. Is there a reason apple hasn't released the push for IM yet?
  7. brinycbri macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2007
    for the AIM being logged in for 15 min. That is kinda wrong. In the settings, you can turn on "log off when application closed" option. Also there is now a log off button as well.
  8. yehudah72 macrumors regular


    May 4, 2008
    she can win a texting competition, LOL!!!

    okay... just saying what i've seen on my bill, but she texts ALL day... SMS, AIM, facebook, my space (on her iPhone and MacBook... who knows what she talks about, but she can keep it going on ALL day [and night], LOL!!!) :confused:
  9. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    Haha, yea. So many people have been using SMS lately. Aparently communications in an airplane went down recently and they landed the plane by talking to the tower with SMS. :)
  10. yehudah72 macrumors regular


    May 4, 2008
    Palringo: i used Palringo twice and after pressing the HOME screen and then pressing the Palringo icon, i had to Log In again to the Palringo "network"... maybe someone else had different experience.

    AIM: also has logged me out, but when i touch the AIM icon, it says "connecting"

    who knows why... by the way, my iPhone is Pwned (with t-mobile), but i know it shouldn't make a difference.

    side note: and now that i updated to 2.0.1 (and also the 2.0), my iPhone looses Signal and reconnects to t-mobile very often (which is very annoying)... it didn't do that when i was Pwned with 1.0.2 (i know that's ancient firmware, LOL).
  11. trunksu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    sorry i should have clarified. i believe if you have the APP open and you lock your phone, the app WILL continue to run. if at anytime you hit the home key, the program exits and you will have to relog back into the system. i know for sure Palringo works this way, but not sure of AIM or MobileChat.
  12. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    "Server-side connection management. All connections will be managed by their servers (this will be dropped once Apple releases PUSH). Because of this next bullet..."

    I don't think the part in brackets is correct, the servers will still be used but instead of them sending the updates via email they will send it through Apple's Push service. Apple's Push Service isn't going to allow you to magically stay logged in to various IM services, there will still be intermediary servers required.
  13. trunksu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    i would think once PUSH gets out, AIM will enable their feature that you're ALWAYS logged on. they have it now if you want to go through SMS route. it just shows a cell phone icon next to your screenname. same with MSN/Live. not sure about Yahoo and others. i'll update the thread :)
  14. dranakin macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2005
    You're right. I quote from Sweep:

  15. LtRammstein macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I want to mention a few other thing for Palringo.

    It has it's own group chat identification with other iPod Touch and iPhone users. Also, it supports multiple chat accounts to be logged in. Also, the AIM blast group is overall, that means Palringo can use it too.

    Lastly, I ran both AIM and Palringo and had the iPod Touch go to sleep, and they still work. Every once and a while (depending on strength of connection) you might get a timeout.
  16. trunksu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    thanks for the clarification ^^ i'll update the post
  17. trunksu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    added a table and updated a few things. thanks for all the feedback
  18. dranakin macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2005
    You can set your buddy icon by saved photo/camera in MC. I just did it.

    And I think LtRammstein may be incorrect when saying Palringo supports multiple chat accounts - you can be simultaneously logged in with MSN, AIM, etc. accounts, but not multiple within each service (i.e. 3 AIM accounts at once).
  19. slapppy macrumors 65816

    Mar 20, 2008
    Nice idea, too bad the application hasn't worked for me since day one.
  20. macnews macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2003
    Can anyone verify if MC still stays logged in if you go to another app?

    I'm using Palringo and like it but hate how I get logged out if I have to check a text message or email.
  21. trunksu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    thanks! updated the thread. ^^
  22. tawny macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    HOW!? i've been trying to figure out for EVER how to do it.. hmph. i think i'm just an technological idiot. LOL

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