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Review: IM+ Talk for BlackBerry

By Ryan Blundell on 25 Apr 2011 02:19 pm EDT
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IM+ Talk

Skype is one of the best ways to reach out to people for free or cheap. From your desktop or laptop you can enjoy free VoIP or Videos calls between Skype members. You can even get into group video calling. But what if you find yourself without a computer? Armed with your BlackBerry, you can still keep in contact by using the IM+ Talk application. Through IM+ talk, you unlock some of the features that make Skype so useful. Free and Cheap VoIP calls, instant messaging and file sharing between members; you are never too far away from those important to you (whether you can admit they are or not).  Let’s check out what IM+ Talk has to offer.

About IM+ Talk

IM+ Talk was developed by SHAPE Services, the same brains behind the fully loaded IM+ Pro all in one messenger, as well as Photo Translator (translate text captured in images), GPSed Pro (gps tracking and image pinning) and RDM+ (remotely access your computer from your BlackBerry). IM+ talk can be used with BlackBerry smartphones running OS 4.3 or higher. At the time of this review, the most recent version of IM+ Talk is 4.4.

Im+ Talk main

The IM+ Talk UI is identical to the one used by IM+ Pro. Both display the time, battery level and connectivity status (Wi-Fi and Carrier) at the top. One tab will list your contacts and the other tab keeps track of your recent conversations. From the menu, users will be able to add contacts, so long as they are using Skype, SkypeOut or MySpace (are there any MySpace users anymore?). This can be a bit of a hassle if you typically use email addresses to add contacts through Skype directly. Now while you cannot make any necessary changes, such as grouping contacts or renaming them, you can see (very) basic information about a contact, including their ID status and which group you have assigned them to. From the main menu, you can see their avatar and status. In fact, their status is also captured by icon for a quick reference-great if you’re too lazy to read Online or Call Forwarding. You can set your own status as well, whether you use one of the standard, preloaded ones or one of your own. Any changes you make on Skype takes about 15 minutes to see through IM+ Talk, so don’t expect to be instantaneously viewing any edits you make.

im+ chatIM+ Talk phone

Now keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to connect via Wi-Fi in order to connect with people on Skype- IM+ Talk does allow you to connect over EDGE/3G. So long as you have a fairly decent data plan, you should be okay. In Idle mode, IM+ Talk does use 5kb per hour. The way calls work through the app, is called half-duplex mode. This means that you need to be mindful, similar to a walkie-talkie, of switching between talk and listen modes. Additionally, IM+ makes use of the callback feature – meaning that you, as well as your contact receive an incoming call from Skype. You can also send out Skype SMS. This starts getting into Skype rates, which can be found here. IM+ Talk supports conference calls with up to 9 participants-perfect for conference calls on the go. A more frugal approach is the free instant messaging option you can use to reach out to your Skype contacts. This works just like any other instant messaging application, including file sharing.

Conclusion

While not all the options are easily accessible, the functions that work, work well. The app would cause my Torch to freeze at times (like when asking for my permission to record media). Other times, it would become unresponsive. This definitely holds it back from becoming an effective alternate way of using Skype. This only happens when trying to test call capabilities or make calls. Another cause of concern is the price tag attached to the application – this rings up as $29.95. While Skype to Skype calls are free, you still have to follow Skype rates for other calls/sms. A price drop may help make this more attractive to users trying to decide whether it’s for them.

More information/Download IM+ Talk from the CrackBerry App Store

15 comments

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Review: IM+ Talk for BlackBerry

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I bought this app, it is really.. not the way you think Skype should be.

In the review above,

"The way calls work through the app, is called half-duplex mode. This means that you need to be mindful, similar to a walkie-talkie, of switching between talk and listen modes"

Yes, when you call your contact via data connection, it is half-duplex. So it means you either listen, or you talk. When you transmit your voice (and you got to press a button, like walkie-talkie), the other side is silent, so you can transmit. This makes it really hard to have a conversation because... you can't. If you try to talk and press the transmit button and your opponent said something, you would not have heard it, and they don't know you didn't hear it.

The other way to call is "callback". You contact someone in your contact list, and a central server calls you back on a landline, and calls your contact on another land-line and connects the two together. It doesn't use data, but then it costs :P still less, but when I used it back then, I get quite a lot of dropped calls.

I'd just get a long distance card and call your contacts instead of this app. Not worth your $30.

Why drop the price? Skype is free on the iphone yet u have to pay for an app to let you use skype on blackberry? That doesn't make sense. I have family and friends from places all over. If the new bold will have the mobile hotspot I'd rather use that and skype from my itouch. Assuming that there's no fees or anything for the mobile hotspot because thatd be another can of worms. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has thought any of these things.

Sorry, meant in canada. That's even more ridiculous because its available to certain carriers in certain places. It should just be free.

Just another reason to leave money grubbing AT&T. How is Skype on Blackberry with Verizon? If Verizon gets the Bold 9900 I think I'm going to switch from AT&T the bridge issue was crazy. Of course I got it OTA anyway and works perfectly but AT&T??? What the hell is up there???? You look like a bunch of pricks at the same time you suck Steve Job's c$%k.

Mhmm, I won this app over Christmas (thanks again Ryan!) and have used it on several occasions now. I use it to communicate with my girlfriend in Canada whilst I study in Europe and I'm on the go. Thing is, if I'm not having connection issues (which sometimes can take up to about 5/7 minutes or timing out altogether) the actual calling itself is ... well, terrible to say the least. I mean, I really don't want to sound ungrateful but eventually i just resorted to getting an iPod Touch and do WiFi + Facetime.

First of, there's a MASSIVE delay between me sending and her receiving + answering. We're talking 20-30 seconds here. I don't know is this can be blamed on networks or reception or what not, it's pretty much the same on both WiFi and cellular. Second, and this might solely be due to my own incompetence, as far as I can tell you HAVE to use a push-to-talk key, which can ONLY be a convenience key. I use left for QuickLaunch and right for camera so that gets kinda hairy. Lastly, call quality is downright primitive. I don't know how this app is set up, but they're definitely not using a direct feed from Skype.

All that combined kind of leads me to the conclusion that the (let's be fair) exorbitantly expensive price for a BB app is definitely not worth it. I know a monopoly position has its benefits but guys, seriously. $30 bucks for an app? That's just taking it way too far from a consumer perspective.

I have tested this app and my impression is the only option you have is to be charged 30 usd. In reality no way to make skype calls with it.

On a side note, I wonder why not available clients for skype chat on BB. IM+ lite and pro, my opinion, are really poorly designed, not to mention the price, and the fact that with the Lite version you have adds and on the top of that getting disconnected every 30 min.

Have used IM+ on iPhone and iPad and gave up on it as well. Waiting for the day to see skype clients like IMO.IM on BlackBerry, which really do well on iOS and Android - lite, convenient, no ads and "fancy" stuff to slowdown the system and connection.

Because they want us to leave BlackBerry. If skype won't be out till 2012 my next phone probably won't be a blackberry, sorry RIM, but You can't provide proper apps, even old Nokias had free Skype application..

I bought it because I had a rebate and paid 24 bucks and I needed it since a long time so I got tired to wait for a free or cheaper application.
This is the only skype application working for BB and it works very well, I even call a cel phone and land line in another country with no issue.
The difficult part is the push button to talk but you get use to it; I think skype for iphone has the same system.
Chat works perfect and there is no other that do the trick for now.
So I as say to CS form IM price istotaly insane.....but if you need it, this is the way to go.
BTW : the answer from CS on price difference between the android version and BB version was "normaly BB application are more expensive" !!!!!!!

$25 for an app??? That's BEYOND ridiculous! No way!!! If skype is free for the iphone, why am I going to pay $25 for a third party app? No way in hell...