Its taken me a little while to get this sorted out but I am now ready to get started working with Shape Services. We are going to work together to highlight some of their premuim mobile products for you via this blog. You may not have heard of ShapeServices before, so let me introduce you to them.
Here is the blurb from their website,
SHAPE Services GmbH is the leading cross-platform Independent Software Vendor and web-based services’ provider. The company’s products are sold worldwide under a broad range of categories including instant messaging, social networking, productivity, utilities, entertainment, media and LBS covering all mobile platforms: BlackBerry RIM smartphones, Symbian (S60 and UIQ platforms), Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone, J2ME, i-Mode, Palm OS, BREW, iPhone and iPod Touch.
More to come on Shape Services in other posts.
I wanted to get started as I highlight their flagship product IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger on my blackberry.
I have been into Blackberry for about 5 years now and I can tell you that IM+ has always remained on top of the list of global applications for Blackberry. There was a time when IM’s services like Gtalk, msn and yahoo were not standard issue on Blackberry devices, as it is today. At that time IM+ was one of the few reliable programs for accessing your IM’s. I have watched them manage to stay on stop and continuously evolve their product ensuring it continues to lead the way a a global IM program.
IM + Today
Just a few months ago IM+ released a major upgrade in IM+ 8 which is what I will be reviewing for your today. In keeping with their culture just a few weeks ago they released an upgrade to IM+ to include voice recognition! updates are constant.
Here is the pitch –
Chat with award-winning IM+® within AIM®/iChat, MSN®/Windows Live™ Messenger, Yahoo!®, ICQ®, Jabber®, Google Talk™, MySpaceIM, Facebook® and even Skype™ regardless of location and mobile operator. Now with Twitter support!
No cost per message!
Lifetime License, all updates and support included.
Awards Landed its landed – http://www.shapeservices.com/en/awards/?platform=none
Alrite so, I think you get it, that’s the official information there so you know we are dealing with an well established application here.
Alrite so let me go a little deeper. And lets face it. IM (Instant Messaging) is an accepted standard in the world today we all use it and love it. It makes the world a smaller place as we connect with people around the globe in an instant. I think IM+ does a great job of making it easy for us to stay in contact while we are on the move with our mobile phones and for me with my blackberry.
I decided to do this review in a simple list from
– Voice Recognition – New feature first :-P, I found it was alot more accurate than I expected. Even when I was standing close to traffic I found it was still rather accurate. I know this is the a release and we expect it to get better, but I have to say that I found the processing time to be a bit long before I saw the text on the screen.
– Voice notes – These voice notes actually appears as links for the person on the other side of the screen. I actually love this feature alot as it allows me to stay on the move, and keep my IM conversation going. Even if I am at home or in the office I still love it because it helps to multitask esp. when I might be setting up for a shoot.
– You can also send and receive files and photos which is always a good thing. Take a photo of something cool you just saw and send it to your friend.
– There is the option to have messages pop up, while you are doing other things on the blackberry. I find this very,very handy in keeping conversations going, as you don’t have to go into the application and look for the message to respond to it. You get a prompt
– Notifications using bb standard Profile notifications, you can set the LED or the vibration and the tone, which is always helpful.
– Broadcast IM – you can send an instant message to a group of people you select no matter which services they are online using.
– Scrolling Through Active Conversations – by scrolling the trackball to the left and you be able to move between the current conversations you are having. This is another thing I lke about IM+ and it makes it easy to talk to more than one person at at time. Its always good while on the move.
– History – you can save history if of the chats on your device if you so desire.
– IM Push Mode – IM + will deliver the IM’s your receive as emails if the connection is lost
– Staying connected when you’ve lost Connection – the IM+ server stay connected to the services until your blackberry comes back online and then all the messages will be delivered. This really is a great feature for the person sitting on the other side of the screen, because they will be able to continue talking and not have to deal with seeing you continuously poppin on and offline.
– Skype – No it doesn’t take skype calls, we will get to that. It does do a good job with skype chat. As for the calls, they go directly into Skype voice mail so that you can listen to them later.
– Twitter – I find this service very interesting. ShapeSerivces basically presents twitter in an IM conversation format. Its been very interesting to use and a good add to my twitter client arsenal. Somehow I can’t seem to settle on a particular twitter client. I use different twitter clients based on my mood! lol
– Automatic Update notifications – it does just what it says. It tells you when there is a new goodie out there.
Based on my experience IM+ works well with the EDGE and GPRS networks here in the Caribbean, I have not had much trouble with connectivity and drops at all, however I tend to use mine mainly with WIFI. However, incase any of the users find difficulty in connecting or utlizing their services, mobile app testing companies are their best friends.
$39.95 US, seems a bit steep for a ‘simple” program like this, but when you consider the lifetime cost, with free updates and support it actually does make a bit of sense. Its a premium product and so far its not be any headaches for me, I did try and ask the support a minor question and they got back to me in a timely fashion.
As a business person how much value do you place on communication? How much value do you place on misunderstanding?
Corey Graham 2.0