iChabber: First Native IM Client for iPhone to Support Gtalk and Jabber

While there are a few web app solutions for IM with Google Talk and Jabber support, there’s nothing like a little native application love. Web-based IM solutions are nice for a quick chat with one person but lack of background process support and other issues greatly limit their usability. There are a few IM apps available for Jailbroken iPhones and iPod Touch devices, but for one reason or another none of them support Gtalk – until now that is. We first came across iChabber last month but hesitated to post about it as it didn’t work very well at all. In fact, we could rarely get it to connect for more than a few seconds without crashing. The latest version however, r18, stays connected perfectly over WiFi and EDGE. We’ve also tested it on a few different software versions so it’s ready for prime time. Sort of. The app itself has a long way to go before it provides an enjoyable IM experience. For one thing, reading messages and typing messages take place on different screens. This is very, very annoying. To type and send a message during a chat, you have to tap a reply button that takes you away from the conversation screen and onto a blank screen where you type out your IM and hit a send button. Once this and a few other issues are ironed out and iChabber gets a good polishing however, it’ll be a nice solution for Google Talk and Jabber. It does, by the way, run in the background as long as you stay logged in. Any IM app must support a background mode to be even remotely usable and that very issue is why any native IM offerings that hit the AppStore in June are a huge waste of everyone’s time. Once Apple finally ditches the background process restrictions currently in place for third-party development, we’re in business. Hit the read link to download iChabber and install it manually or snag it from the iSpazio repo in Installer.


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