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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Fring got last.fm, Nimbuzz got more options and eats less battery

VoIP Skype instant messaging Nimbuzz fring Nokia Symbian S60
fring

Instant messenger, GMail notifier, VoIP application, Skype client, and Facebook tool fring is updated. It's the most versatile of all the Symbian chat and VoIP programs

It connects with Skype and standard SIP VoIP, GoogleTalk, MSN (Windows Live), ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, Twitter, chat of social networking sites Facebook and orkut, and more.

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.

And now it has a built-in last.fm player too.

It's a rather limited last.fm player, and the user interface is far from ready. For example, you can play and view lots of stuff directly through the buttons on the screen, but you have to go to the Options menu to play your own last.fm library. The last.fm feature itself shows rather counterintuitively as a contact in your contacts list, and if you hit the "close" button last.fm keeps playing instead of closing. The fring last.fm player doesn't have an equaliser, and it won't scrobble tracks from Symbian's own music player like Mobbler does.

Mobbler is still the best Symbian last.fm application currently available. It would be nice if fring would improve its VoIP and chat funtions before spending time on other things, because VoIP (and especially Skype) works a lot better on Nimbuzz now.

But fring does instant messaging quite well. And when you're on Wi-Fi, fring manages to connect through firewalls where Nimbuzz can't, probably because fring doesn't need to accept unsollicited incoming connections (i.e. act like a server) to work.

A few version numbers ago fring added advertisements to its program to keep it free. That sucks. But the good news is that fring's advertising doesn't seem to work as planned. I've never seen an ad in fring yet. Maybe you'll be just as lucky as me.

fring site with all info and download details
straight to the fring download page (tip: you don't need to enter a real email address in the "get fring via PC" box)


Nimbuzz

Nimbuzz sticks to its core business: instant messaging and VoIP. It does Skype, standard SIP VoIP, GoogleTalk, Jabber, MSN (Windows Live), Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Twitter, Gadu-Gadu, and chat of social networking sites Facebook, MySpace, orkut, and Hyves.

It's Skype and other VoIP connectivity and sound quality is very good.

New in the latest version of Nimbuzz: set your avatar from within Nimbuzz. You can tell it to make a new display picture straight with your phone camera. And you can hide by appearing offline on all networks if you want.

But the new stuff is not just eye candy. The new Nimbuzz also consumes less battery power. I didn't compare its battery consumption to fring, so I don't know who wins on this very important issue.

Nimbuzz


Tip: imvocal for fring and Nimbuzz users

If you sign up with imvocal, you get a phone number that leads straight to the voice chat feature of your instant messenger accounts. The service is free, but incoming calls are limited to ten minutes a piece.

imvocal


if you don't like fring or Nimbuzz, there's Talkonaut for VoIP and IM, but Talkonaut doesn't do Skype


2 comments:

Lizquek said...

i've tried both nimbuzz and fring on my Nokia E71. somehow, VoIP stopped working for me in nimbuzz suddenly. tried reinstalling bt still wont work again. but fring works fine still.. :)

Richard said...

In answer to Lizquek: Your experience may be because Fring and Nimbuzz use different versions of VoIPAudioSvr, Fring uses version 2 whereas Nimbuzz uses version 1.

I have managed to have both apps installed and running by installing Fring first and then Nimbuzz. The Nimbuzz install overwrites VoIPAudioSvr Ver 2 with its own Ver 1. Fring appears to be backward compatible and works with Ver 1 whereas Nimbuzz won't work with Ver 2. Fring appears to work eaqually well with either version of the VoIP server.

Aside from that my experience is that Nimbuzz uses less power although the Fring interface is prettier. As of now I'm staying with Nimbuzz.