If you have an S60, Windows Mobile or BlackBerry smartphone then you should already know about Palringo. They call it “rich messaging” and we call it a good IM application with support for AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Gadu Gadu, ICQ, Jabber, Windows Live Messenger and Palringo’s own IM platform. For a quick recap on what sets Palringo apart, here are the three core functions:

  • Text IM: Standard, run-of-the-mill instant messaging.
  • Vocal IM: More commonly known as Push to Talk (PTT), users can instantly exchange voice messages in near real-time. Think of it as a free walkie talkie on your mobile. Palringo -> Palringo voice messages will play automatically on the recipient’s device, just like PTT. Palringo -> ‘Other’ messages will be delivered as links that the recipient can click on to play the audio file hosted on Palringo’s servers.
  • Image IM: Exactly what it sounds like. Click the picture button and Palringo will activate the handset’s camera. Snap a picture, hit send and the image will display right in the Palringo client on the recipient’s handset. Users can also send images to third-party IM services (GTalk, AIM, etc). Just like voice IM, your contact will receive a link that will allow him / her to view and save the image hosted on Palringo’s servers.

Now, iPhone owners have access to what is likely one of the most versatile mobile IM apps on the market. For the time being, functionality is limited to text and image messaging but Palringo promises vocal IM in the second release version. In the meantime, iPhone owners can now enjoy free text and image IM on whichever IM platform they like. Just hit the App Store and you’re good to go.