BlackBerry Instant Messaging Clients (Head-to-Head Review)

39 Comments

Mundu for BlackBerry

Mundu

I hadn’t heard of Mundu before, but was pleasantly surprised by it. First off, it has a search bar right at the top, which is a feature I’ve been hankering for Viigo for the longest time. Just start typing in a contact name, and it will pop up. If you have a mile-long friends list, this could come in especially handy. On the downside, it’s lacking in interface changes, which many of the other clients have. No biggie, it’s a pretty shiny app as is. Mundu also does a great job of letting you know when a message is in – not only with an on-screen pop-up, but a loud, distinctive beep, and a green LED blink.

This is by no means an exhaustive list – there are plenty of clients out there with some seriously die-hard fans. All of the above have their specialties and weaknesses, so be aware of how you communicate and what you need before hitting that OTA download link. If you’ve used a client not listed here, please drop a comment and let us know your impressions! Even if you’ve spent some quality time with any of the above, feel free to drop a line.

  • http://www.gavincampbellonline.com Gavin

    Nice article. I use BBMessenger and WLM myself. Thats all i really need.
    With BB Messenger you can add somebody by PIN without them being in your address book. It took me a while to figure it out but when I did it was fine. In BBM go to add a contact. Scroll to the top to the [Use Once] and press the menu key. You will see the Request by PIN option.

  • http://www.gavincampbellonline.com/ Gavin

    Nice article. I use BBMessenger and WLM myself. Thats all i really need.
    With BB Messenger you can add somebody by PIN without them being in your address book. It took me a while to figure it out but when I did it was fine. In BBM go to add a contact. Scroll to the top to the [Use Once] and press the menu key. You will see the Request by PIN option.

  • jacob

    you don’t have to have someone in your address book to add them in BBM………I’m ashamed that I have to tell this to someone who writes full time for a blog about blackberry’s but whatever…

    when you do Add a contact, scroll up to the top and highlight the “Use Once…” option……Click the blackberry button (left side of trackball) and click “Request By PIN” ….easy as that

  • jacob

    you don’t have to have someone in your address book to add them in BBM………I’m ashamed that I have to tell this to someone who writes full time for a blog about blackberry’s but whatever…

    when you do Add a contact, scroll up to the top and highlight the “Use Once…” option……Click the blackberry button (left side of trackball) and click “Request By PIN” ….easy as that

  • alex

    simon, bro. go in bb messenger, add a contact and go to the top… you can do an “add by pin” or “add by email” on the use once contact at the top.

  • alex

    simon, bro. go in bb messenger, add a contact and go to the top… you can do an “add by pin” or “add by email” on the use once contact at the top.

  • JFranchetti

    Maybe it is too “Enterprise” focused, though you left off “Lotus Sametime for Blackberry”.

    http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/server/domino/sametime.jsp

  • JFranchetti

    Maybe it is too “Enterprise” focused, though you left off “Lotus Sametime for Blackberry”.

    http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/server/domino/sametime.jsp

  • http://kevinbaggs.com/ Kevin Baggs

    The other advantage of BB Messenger is that it doesn’t count as text messages on your carrier’s plan as the messages are sent on RIM’s servers. (confirmed with Rogers)

  • http://kevinbaggs.com Kevin Baggs

    The other advantage of BB Messenger is that it doesn’t count as text messages on your carrier’s plan as the messages are sent on RIM’s servers. (confirmed with Rogers)

  • http://www.JoshLloyd.com/ Josh Lloyd

    Great article! I have been curious for some time on the difference between all these different IM clients.

    I’ve played around with Palringo a bit, when they launched beta. It was ok. The audio recording didn’t work yet, which I was really looking forward to.
    You didn’t mention how it lets you create groups, like little chat rooms. I think that’s pretty handy. I did end up going back to Jivetalk, though, which I’ve used for a year and a half. It’s a very reliable app, and I love the interface. Very much like iChat. Plus I actually had to pay for it, so I felt like I was wasting it to go to a free beta app.

  • http://www.JoshLloyd.com Josh Lloyd

    Great article! I have been curious for some time on the difference between all these different IM clients.

    I’ve played around with Palringo a bit, when they launched beta. It was ok. The audio recording didn’t work yet, which I was really looking forward to.
    You didn’t mention how it lets you create groups, like little chat rooms. I think that’s pretty handy. I did end up going back to Jivetalk, though, which I’ve used for a year and a half. It’s a very reliable app, and I love the interface. Very much like iChat. Plus I actually had to pay for it, so I felt like I was wasting it to go to a free beta app.

  • Tareq

    Thanks for the article Simon.

    One thing that grabbed my attention though, as you pointing out that you would like the BB Messanger to be able to add contacts using their PIN if they are not in your address book. As a matter of fact, you can. I don’t know why RIM would make it so hard to find on my 8800 but I found a way at last. Pretty easy when it comes down to it. Open the application, go to “Add a Contact”, hoghlight the “Use Once” field, then pres menu. It will give you an option to add by PIN for someone who is not in your address book.
    Just wanted to point that out.

  • Tareq

    Thanks for the article Simon.

    One thing that grabbed my attention though, as you pointing out that you would like the BB Messanger to be able to add contacts using their PIN if they are not in your address book. As a matter of fact, you can. I don’t know why RIM would make it so hard to find on my 8800 but I found a way at last. Pretty easy when it comes down to it. Open the application, go to “Add a Contact”, hoghlight the “Use Once” field, then pres menu. It will give you an option to add by PIN for someone who is not in your address book.
    Just wanted to point that out.

  • MarvinK

    I think you can add by PIN in BB Msgr…

    Jivetalk is definitely the best IM client. The only thing it is really missing is notification at the top of the screen and/or in the inbox–like BlackBerry Messenger and other RIM-sponsored programs. I’ve emailed Jivetalk about those features–and they say RIM hasn’t allowed that type of code in the SDK, so they can’t add it.

    Seems lame on RIM’s part, if that truly is the case.

  • MarvinK

    I think you can add by PIN in BB Msgr…

    Jivetalk is definitely the best IM client. The only thing it is really missing is notification at the top of the screen and/or in the inbox–like BlackBerry Messenger and other RIM-sponsored programs. I’ve emailed Jivetalk about those features–and they say RIM hasn’t allowed that type of code in the SDK, so they can’t add it.

    Seems lame on RIM’s part, if that truly is the case.

  • http://www.techcentre.co.im/ Chris Naylor
  • http://www.techcentre.co.im Chris Naylor
  • Jorge

    I was waiting from a veridict from you. And the winner is???

    - Blackberry messenger is cleary not a winner, since you cannot chat with people not having a blackberry, which is…. many people. Besides, not a fun application.
    - I use IM+, GoogleTalk and Yahoo. Probably like features of Yahoo MS, but IM+ I use most since I can chat with any user, it is complete application. What I miss is not having multimedia features having in MSN, Yahoo, etc… I hope new blackberries (Bold, etc…) will add these things that make fun chatting: Cool avatars, animations (MSN and Yahoo), etc…

    Have a good chatting

  • Jorge

    I was waiting from a veridict from you. And the winner is???

    - Blackberry messenger is cleary not a winner, since you cannot chat with people not having a blackberry, which is…. many people. Besides, not a fun application.
    - I use IM+, GoogleTalk and Yahoo. Probably like features of Yahoo MS, but IM+ I use most since I can chat with any user, it is complete application. What I miss is not having multimedia features having in MSN, Yahoo, etc… I hope new blackberries (Bold, etc…) will add these things that make fun chatting: Cool avatars, animations (MSN and Yahoo), etc…

    Have a good chatting

  • Zavantas

    It is possible to add contacts to BlackBerry Messenger by pin:
    Add a contact
    [use once] -> push on the menu button
    Request by PIN

  • Zavantas

    It is possible to add contacts to BlackBerry Messenger by pin:
    Add a contact
    [use once] -> push on the menu button
    Request by PIN

  • Zavantas

    It is possible to add contacts to BlackBerry Messenger by pin:
    Add a contact
    [use once] -> push on the menu button
    Request by PIN

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Simon Sage

    Thanks for jumping on the PIN thing, y’all – it’s surprisingly easy to miss simple things like that. :)

    As for the winner, Jorge, when it comes to looking at this many products, it’s much trickier to pin down one as top dog. If I were to go with one, it would either be JiveTalk or Mundu, but really, all of these are trying to do slightly different things while sticking to the same core function… It really just depends on your particular needs.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com Simon Sage

    Thanks for jumping on the PIN thing, y’all – it’s surprisingly easy to miss simple things like that. :)

    As for the winner, Jorge, when it comes to looking at this many products, it’s much trickier to pin down one as top dog. If I were to go with one, it would either be JiveTalk or Mundu, but really, all of these are trying to do slightly different things while sticking to the same core function… It really just depends on your particular needs.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool Douglas

    Here’s an interesting question: how many im clients are you willing to use on your BlackBerry? For myself, it’s two: gtalk and BB Messenger. Anything after that seems like bloatware.

    How about you guys?

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool Douglas

    Here’s an interesting question: how many im clients are you willing to use on your BlackBerry? For myself, it’s two: gtalk and BB Messenger. Anything after that seems like bloatware.

    How about you guys?

  • http://samuelfebres.com/blog portorikan

    I use BB Messenger, gtalk and AIM, although I hardly sign onto aim much, but it’s still on there.

  • http://samuelfebres.com/blog portorikan

    I use BB Messenger, gtalk and AIM, although I hardly sign onto aim much, but it’s still on there.

  • http://samuelfebres.com/blog portorikan

    I use BB Messenger, gtalk and AIM, although I hardly sign onto aim much, but it’s still on there.

  • http://www.salesby5.com/ nan

    I currently am running BB Messenger, which is hugely used in our company. Next would be Google Talk, thanks Douglas. Third is WLM since I FINALLY was able to get it yesterday for my Sprint 8830. It works really well and has just as good of integration as Google Talk. BTW, a new version of Google Talk was just released. Great write up Simon!

  • http://www.salesby5.com nan

    I currently am running BB Messenger, which is hugely used in our company. Next would be Google Talk, thanks Douglas. Third is WLM since I FINALLY was able to get it yesterday for my Sprint 8830. It works really well and has just as good of integration as Google Talk. BTW, a new version of Google Talk was just released. Great write up Simon!

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool

    Thanks for the reminder, nan! Here are the links for the updates:

    WLM for BlackBerry 8830
    http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/showpost.php?p=802571&postcount=13

    Google Talk Update
    http://www.blackberry.com/googletalk

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool

    Thanks for the reminder, nan! Here are the links for the updates:

    WLM for BlackBerry 8830
    http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/showpost.php?p=802571&postcount=13

    Google Talk Update
    http://www.blackberry.com/googletalk

  • Doug

    What is the difference using email vs pin when adding a messenger contact? Do both go via RIM or one needs the enterprise server?

  • Doug

    What is the difference using email vs pin when adding a messenger contact? Do both go via RIM or one needs the enterprise server?

  • Doug

    What is the difference using email vs pin when adding a messenger contact? Do both go via RIM or one needs the enterprise server?

  • jim

    software works great on my Bold 9000. loaded through computer connected to BB. great product. less text messages. this is data so no cost to my AT&T account. Thanks Google !!!

  • jim

    software works great on my Bold 9000. loaded through computer connected to BB. great product. less text messages. this is data so no cost to my AT&T account. Thanks Google !!!