Nimbuzz: Free Multi-Service Messaging/VoIP Client for the iPhone

24 Comments

I have to admit, I paid 15 bucks for Beejive Messenger for the iPhone and haven’t looked back since. That said, I realize that not everyone has the budget or inclination to spend that much money on a mobile messaging app, nor should you have to. Free clients are also available, and the newest addition to the list is Nimbuzz! That’s not me getting really excited, there’s an exclamation mark in the product name. Not that I’m unfazed by Nimbuzz! either. The app supports all major messaging (text and voice) clients, and VoIP protocols as well, including Skype, so that’s promising.

At first, I mistakenly inferred from the app description that it supports only Wi-Fi connections. Not so. For voice chat and VoIP functions, you must have a Wi-Fi connection, probably to comply with carrier-imposed limitations, but for text chat, 3G and EDGE are fine. Like Palringo, Nimbuzz! requires you to sign up for a master account, but the process is relatively painless. You can do it from within the application, and the only information required is your desired username, password, and a valid email address. Nimbuzz! uses the account to store your saved services, so you can sign in to the PC and web versions with a single login and access all your IM networks.

The interface is clean and fresh, with different icons for your contacts depending on which service they are from. You can add services from the “Communities” tab at the bottom of the screen, and also switch from your contacts list, to chats in progress, to your message inbox/sent and your settings. The “Messages” tab shows you your Nimbuzz! emails, which can be sent to and from Nimbuzz! contacts, and which stand in for offline messaging, as far as I can tell.

Touching a contact name brings up a screen from which you can call, initiate a chat with, or email that person depending upon what is supported by the service to which they belong. This screen also displays their email, nickname and status.

Chats and VoIP worked fine in Nimbuzz!, on par with Palringo and Fring in terms of speed and quality. Nimbuzz! is not a newcomer to the space, so I expected no less from them. Unfortunately, a deal-breaker for me is the lack of persistent connectivity. You are signed out of your services the moment you exit the app. It doesn’t even have the short delay Palringo offers, let alone Beejive’s 8-hour login duration. It is nice to see the polish and usability of Palringo with the VoIP features of Fring, but if you depend on IM for business and are away from a computer for much of the day, it can’t replace Beejive.

For casual users and as a VoIP/voice chat supplement to an always-on client, Nimbuzz! is a great choice. Overall, the interfaces are clean, responsive, and well-designed and the app in general has a slick, professional feel. Kudos to Nimbuzz! for not rushing out of the gates and sparing us another bug-riddled IM client for the iPhone. Try it yourself here for free.

24 Comments

Junior

Hi i’m using nimbuzz on ipod touch and uses msn but the promblem is why my nimbuzz signout when i exit the app and i let it sign out after 1 hour

Duda

i everyone, i just love nimbuzz on my iphone, i was really excited with the idea off push notifications on iphone 3.0, i know that just pass 2 days since the release, im trying figuring out if ninmbuzz will add this feature, but i cant find nothing about it. do someone knows if this going to happen?

This will make this app just perfect.

thanks and all the best.

best voip service

The way we make phone calls is changing. In fact in many circumstances things have already changed. Take long distance calls for instance, many service providers are already using a technology called Voice Over IP or VOIP for short. If you have never heard of VOIP before, then the following article will change the way you think about how long distance phone calls are being made now, and about how all phone calls will be made in the future. Voice Over IP (VOIP) is a method for turning analogue audio signals into digital data that can be transferred over the internet.

David Lim, +6421422443, Auckland, New Zealand, http://TheKiwi.ws/

Hi Guys! I just purchased a Nokia E71 and using it with Nimbuzz. So far, this is the only VOIP software that works on my E71. Skype do not have software support for this Nokia E71 yet. I do not bother to try Fring.

Any way, I made and received Skype call (yes, after launching Nimuzz on my Nokia E71). It work flawlessly with my home WiFi. This is something to shout about to the World! Great job, Nimbuzz!

Cheers!

David Lim
Auckland, New Zealand
http://auckland.wordpress.com/
http://davidinauckland.blogspot.com

David Lim, +6421422443, Auckland, New Zealand

Hi Guys! I just purchased a Nokia E71 and using it with Nimbuzz. So far, this is the only VOIP software that works on my E71. Skype do not have software support for this Nokia E71 yet. I do not bother to try Fring.

Any way, I made and received Skype call (yes, after launching Nimuzz on my Nokia E71). It work flawlessly with my home WiFi. This is something to shout about to the World! Great job, Nimbuzz! (My Skype and Nimbuzz username is david1im)

Cheers!

David Lim
Auckland, New Zealand
http://davidinauckland.blogspot.com

John H

Nice article. I think it points to the promise of mobile VoIP, while illustrating the challenges that stand in the way of mass adoption. I linked to this post in a blog for Global IP Solutions (GIPS) http://gipscorp.com/blog/. Nimbuzz is a GIPS customer and I think they have a pretty compelling product for a market that could end up becoming very large.

John

Exactly. Or for as long as you have set it to stay online, which is from 10 minutes to 24 hours.

Adium (or rather AOL/AIM) will give you a system message saying you are signed on in two locations and to type “1” if you wish to sign off in the other (ie Beejive). But it does allow multiple logins so it does work.

MSN/Live will unfortunately NOT allow multiple logins and will sign you off in Beejive when you run Adium and vice versa.

It really is a cool application, very slick and easy to use. If you want to use IM to replace SMS and you really do use IM frequently, then it pays for itself quickly.

Sherkaner

Hm. And I can just fire up BeeJive whenever I want and it’s as if I had been online the whole time?

What happens if BeeJive and Adium/iChat are logged in at the same time?

John

BeeJive’s server keeps you logged in, and uses push email (if you have it) to send you an email when you get a new message, which has a link in it which when clicked will launch BeeJive into that chat.

It sounds clunky but in practise works quite well while we wait for Apple to sort themselves out.

And the developers say that the code for Apple’s own push notifications is ALREADY in the app ready to go.

Sherkaner

Can anybody explain how the persistent connection in BeeJive works in practice? Does their server log into my AIM account and it’s just pushing the messages to me whenever my phone is on? Can it keep track of a conversation even when I run Adium on my desktop machine from time to time? There’s a lot of confusing information about it emailing you conversations when you’re away and such and I can’t seem to figure out how it really works. $15 is a bit much for me to find out…

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