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Saturday, 13 December 2008

Chat and VoIP: eBuddy, Talkonaut, Palringo, and seven more

eBuddy mobile messenger, Talkonaut with chat and VoIP, Palringo

Mobile Java instant messenger eBuddy speaks many languages: 37 of them since the last update.

But eBuddy has another "feature" that doesn't look that good: advertisements, which now occupy a notable piece of screen estate on the right side of your contact list.

However, even with the advert eBuddy is a pretty good free instant messenger if you have something against programs like Slick or fring. And you don't even need Symbian for eBuddy. All you need is Java.

eBuddy wants you to do an on the fly install from your phone browser, but fortunately there's a way around that. Just go to, select your phone brand and model from the dropdown boxes, and download the jad file that the site offers to your web browser. When you've got the jad file, you can open it with a text editor to read the location of the corresponding jar file, but you can make things even easier by clicking the "downloading does not work" link, because that will also send the right jar file to your computer.



Mobile instant messenger and VoIP client Talkonaut now comes with less bugs, less battery consumption, and less bytes. The size reduction is because of more efficient compression of Talkonaut's own audio files.

Talkonaut is not the best chat program: it's no match for Slick. It's not the best VoIP client either, because unlike Nimbuz and fring, Talkonaut doesn't talk to Skype. But if fring and Nimbuzz don't work for you, Talkonaut is worth trying.



Multiprotocol chat client Palringo has a remodeled interface, which makes the program look better and easier to use. The program is now Symbian Signed, so you can install it on your phone straight out of the box without having to mess with Open Signed Online, certificates, or Symbian hacks.

Another novelty in Palringo is that it can guess your location from cell tower signals, and more accurate if your phone has GPS. Doesn't do much interesting with your location yet, but maybe that will change in future versions of the program.

Palringo main site
Palringo for Symbian download page

There's more out there than eBuddy, Talkonaut, and Palringo. My ultra short takes on ten different chat and VoIP clients, copy/pasted from

eBuddy IM on GoogleTalk, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, myspace. For java. Plus web interface for your (phone) browser. Adware.

fring Call on GoogleTalk, Skype, SIP. IM on GoogleTalk, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, Skype, Twitter. Good interface. Adware.
Update: fring is no longer a multi-network messenger. They kicked 'em all out, fring now only works on it's own fring network. My advice: don't use fring.

IM+ IM on GoogleTalk, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, Jabber. Well designed interface. Eats lots of memory. Costs too much.

IM+ for Skype Call on Skype. Clean interface. Expensive, so check out the free alternatives.

Morange IM on GoogleTalk, MSN, Yahoo, AIM. plus email, RSS, and more things. None of them done right.

Nimbuzz Call on GoogleTalk, Skype, SIP. IM on GoogleTalk, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, Skype. Good for calls, less useful for IM.

Nokia Chat IM on Nokia's chat network, GoogleTalk, and other Jabber-based IM networks.

Palringo IM on GoogleTalk, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, Gadu-Gadu. Functionality OK, interface has improved a lot recently.

Slick IM on GoogleTalk, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, Jabber. Well designed interface. Free beta test version.

Talkonaut Call and chat on GoogleTalk, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, SIP. Stores multiple SIP accounts. No Skype though.

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