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Shape Services' IM+ Pro client has been around on Android for a few years now. Essentially, the application is an all-in-one instant messaging client which integrates a whole range of services, and in addition to working on Android smartphones, it also has a tablet mode. In this day and age where many of us now rely on using data for communication rather than good old fashioned SMS, the number of instant messaging services out there has grown massively. So if you are going to be running instant messaging apps on your Android smartphone it makes sense to me to combine them into one neat and tidy application.

The services that are supported include Facebook, Skype, MSN/Live Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, RenRen, Jabber, mig33, SINA Weibo, Fetion, Mambu.Ru, VKontakte, Yandex, Odnoklassniki.Ru and Mail.Ru Agent. That's a lot of messaging. IM+ also has their very own IM service called Beep, which is ideal if your friends also use IM+. If not then, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

We've got a complete breakdown of IM+ Pro for Android after the break.

The version of IM+ I've been using is the Pro version, although there is also a free version on Google Play. The differences are minimal -- the free version has a few limitations on the supported services, with Skype chat being one of them. Mind you IM+ Pro isn't expensive anyway ay only £2.99.

Once you launch IM+, you will see that there are three tabs at the top of the screen. These are essentially where you jump between your contacts, chats and accounts. Taking a look at the accounts tab first this is where you'll find all the supported services and get yourself set up. The most popular services are shown in the top half of the screen as bigger tabs than the not so popular services in the bottom half of the screen.

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Choosing a service will prompt you to enter your username and password, and once that's done you're up and running. Next time you go to the accounts tab you'll be presented with the list of the services you've selected to use in IM+. A long hold on any of these will pop up a box where you will have options for disconnecting, modifying avatars, editing, removing or disabling the account. All very easy and user-friendly.

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The contacts tab is where your list of friends will be shown. There are a few options when it comes to how they're listed, and these can be altered by jumping into the settings and selecting 'Contacts sorting types'. You have the option to have all your contacts listed in a manual order, sorted by groups or by accounts.

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Onto the chat tab. This is fairly straight forward, although there are some nice features that not all IM clients implement. As you can see from the below screen shot half the screen is occupied by your keyboard and above that is the text box. To the left of that you have a smiley face icon and a quick tap of that will pop up a range of smilies to best suit your mood. Hitting the three grey dots at the bottom right of the screen will give you some further options, such as the ability to add attachments, use some templates, view history and contact info. All fairly useful things to have.

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Much other standalone instant messaging apps, IM+ will let you change your status. If you are loud and proud about using the app, why not let your friends know? The same goes for when you are busy or want to remain online but invisible. Handy tools to have in your armory. 

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The above is the bread and butter of the app but there is a whole array of tweaks that can be made from within the settings. For example you have five options for font size, show/don't show offline contacts, customize sound and typing notifications as well as a light and dark theme.

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One of the best features within the app is its push notifications. Switch these on, select your time out and the IM services will remain active on exit meaning you will still get messages - clever stuff. This is a godsend when it comes to battery life as the app doesn't need to be open for you to stay in touch with your buddies.

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A rather neat feature of IM+ is that it has a tablet mode. That means if you buy the app, you can run it both your smartphone and tablet if you so desire. The tablet UI is not quite as nice in my opinion, but it still works just as well. It's certainly handy having the two versions integrated into the one app. 

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The Good:

  • Beautiful user interface
  • An array of IM services all rolled into one
  • Push notifications
  • File sharing

The Bad:

  • The only negative I can come up with is the fact that the Skype services seem to disconnect occasionally. Although a slight pain it isn't a big hassle as the app will notify you when this happens. (It's also a problem that affects the native Skype client for Android.)

Conclusion

If you send a lot of instant messages, you will soon discover the benefits of using IM+. Having all your accounts in one place is certainly handy, and with such a nice user interface, it really is a pleasure to use. It will also help out with screen real estate on your home screen, as it will reduce the number of standalone IM apps and widgets you need. If you haven't tried IM+ I strongly recommend you give it a go. Grab the free version now and see for yourself.

 

Reader comments

IM+ Pro review: All your instant messaging in one place

16 Comments

IM+ (Pro) went a long way. For a very long time it wasn't stable, force closed or had problems with staying in push mode but right now I can really say I'm satisfied with it. The only thing I wish for is that it could be a little more holo-ish but otherwise a very good messenger.

Trillian - which I used before - was a very long time my number one choice, but with the ugly Froyo UI and no real improvements or new features for at least a year, I found a new love. Although Trillian is going to bring out an at least UI-refreshed version of their messenger, it's gonna be difficult to beat IM+ especially with Skype support and the (right now working) push-notifications.

I was going to give this another try (tried it long ago and Trillian as well) - my needs are different as having access to so many different IM services is not important - I just need a good IM client to communicate with 2 or 3 people that's cross platform so WhatsApp works really well for me right now.

I just tried this and I need some help. Contacts are completely missing and I have add them. Fair enough. Where, or is there a tool, to import contact data?

Does it support general text messaging? If not, I'd consider that a pretty big con. Coming from WebOS, I still miss having all my conversations streamlined across Text and GChat.

The push service from IM has always been problematic, as they shed you to trim their load an you end up missing messages.

Check out xabber. It never drops you.

I used to use this but after several occasions of login problems and it constantly logging out that I switch to IMO.

Im using this as of right now before i used to have imo but this obe added few more services that i use like mig33 . Its pretty good with all services . Only skype lil problem

But it also need to add function for voice calling atleast . Cuz imo support
That n im missing that feature in im+ pro

whatsApp kicks butt! But, for those who I can't convert, I think I'll use something like this. I hate text messaging. So mundane :)

IMO is a great app BUT has become kind of rediculous with the permissions with the last few updates. I still use and love it but I'm using and older version.

I've been using IM+ Pro for years....I bought the pro version for a symbian device many years ago,. A few years later I transfered my license to the windows mobile version when I bought an HTC S710. About 2 years ago I got my pro license transfered to Android. I've never had a single problem with IM+ pro during all these years. I hated it's ugly UI a few years ago so much that I had to send an email to shape services support and I told them about how silly the smileys looked, they were super tiny. I had also attached a screenshot of IM+ where I had pointed out (with arrows) improvements that I thought could be made to the user interface. Guess what!....They really listened!....The next following IM+ update had new bigger much better looking smileys and they had also made a few other more important changes to the UI.
That is what I call caring about the customers! The IM+ devs and support team are the best! And now a few years later they've managed to change IM+ from an ugly instant messenger with a complicated ui into the best looking messenger on the market with an amazingly smart thought out ui. IM+ Pro is the best software purchase I've ever made, on any platform.

The screenshots of the app running on the tablet shows it doesn't work properly (not that it does), only 1/4 of the screen width is used...

I've pretty much moved on from anything but Gtalk, since the bulk of my contacts were on there or AIM anyway (and AIM imported right in). Everyone else I know that uses any kind of chat uses Facebook, forcing me to also keep the Facebook Messenger app handy.