Nimbuzz, a little-known mobile VoIP company out of the Netherlands, has released a mobile client that not only allows users to conduct VoIP calls, but to engage in IM conversations and share media such as photos, music and video. Nimbuzz, which claims to have received an undisclosed amount of funding from Skype’s original investors, Mangrove Capital Partners, seeks to utilize cellular data networks and provide users with an inclusive application for mobile IM and SMS communication.
With this service, Nimbuzz enters a market already dominated by established mobile VoIP clients Fring and TruPhone. Fring, like Nimbuzz, incorporates IM capability with multiple IM networks and VoIP calls. TruPhone allows you to make VoIP calls to TruPhone users and traditional phones, without the IM features of Fring and Nimbuzz. Back in January of 2007, we covered Nimbuzz and criticized the service for offering cumbersome (although cheap) VoIP-on-mobile minutes. With the addition of the desktop clients, social widgets and IM, however, Nimbuzz is a much more features-packed option.
To load Nimbuzz, download their client from their mobile web site, create an account and sign in. Signing in to additional networks such as Google or Yahoo is as easy as entering your username and password for those respective services.
Nimbuzz is very responsive and easy to use, featuring a great native Symbian user interface. A VoIP call originating from my Facebook page to Nimbuzz over a Wi-Fi connection sounded good — just as good as any call over the GSM network. And the laundry list of IM networks supported by Nimbuzz includes Skype, Google Talk, AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo, MySpace, Facebook and Jabber.
Nimbuzz has a Java version of their mobile client to accompany the newly released Symbian version as well, and an iPhone version is in the works. Outside of their mobile offerings, the company has a Windows desktop application for conferring with your Nimbuzz contacts and social widgets that can be embedded onto your Facebook, Orkut and MySpace pages. By clicking on your Numbuzz widget, friends can call/chat you for free, leave you a voice message, send you a text message, and share photos, music, and videos with you. One word of caution, however: If you do elect to use Nimbuzz, you’ll want to have an unlimited data plan on your mobile device.