Instant messaging on the go
- Support for nine IM services, decent interface, multiple conversations, alerts while iPhone is locked
- Can't run in the background, multiple conversation support is buggy
Palringo offers a comprehensive instant messaging solution for the iPhone with few drawbacks. Due to the device's soft keyboard, it is unlikely to gain the same popularity as its desktop equivalents, but it is a viable choice for those who need instant messaging on their handset.
Instant messaging (IM) was inevitably going to be a feature of the iPhone 3G experience — the combination of 3G, a soft keyboard and a brilliant colour screen was too good to ignore. With the Apple-endorsed AIM application the only competition, instant messaging service Palringo has released an iPhone application that offers third-party support for eight popular instant messaging protocols as well as its own. It's free and has a decent interface, but minor bugs and the iPhone's relatively slow keyboard may frustrate people.
Users of the original iPhone could use the third-party IM application Agile Messenger — provided their unit was jailbroken. Apart from a different interface and better protocol support, Palringo doesn't offer too much more than Agile Messenger. However, Agile is currently unavailable for the iPhone 2.0 platform.
Users are required to register an account with Palringo's proprietary instant messaging service prior to use the application. Once this is done, Palringo allows connection to eight other protocols: Windows Live, AIM, Gadu Gadu, iChat, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ and Google Chat. Unfortunately, there's no way to simply disconnect from an individual service; users must either quit the whole application or delete the protocol.
Contacts are amalgamated into a single list, which can cause Palringo to slow if you have a large number of contacts. Thankfully, you can delete and add contacts from within the program.
Multiple message windows are supported, but in a rather unique style. Rather than tabs, Palringo treats individual conversations as separate windows that can be accessed by pushing the Palringo home button on the bottom left hand corner of the window.
This feature cuts down on interface clutter, but it does expose a major bug in the application. When a user opens a second conversation window, the first window no longer allows the user to send messages. This is easily remedied by closing and reopening the conversation, but the bug's existence demonstrates the application's relative immaturity.
Due to Apple's restrictions on third-party applications, Palringo can't run as a background application. Press the iPhone's home button and the application will exit, reconnecting only once the application is reopened. There is another option, however: lock the iPhone while Palringo is open and the application will continue to run. Palringo will alert the user when a message is received while allowing access to most of the phone's functions.
There is another hurdle Palringo faces: the iPhone's soft keyboard. Any iPhone user will tell you that the keyboard is intuitive and fairly fast for a software keyboard, but it doesn't compare to hardware keyboards. For sending an SMS the soft keyboard is sufficient, but for fast instant messaging needs, the iPhone simply can't compete.
Palringo provides a useful instant messaging application for those who need their MSN account on the go. The application isn't perfect, but given that it's free, the only thing holding back its popularity is ultimately the iPhone itself.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
- Google Assistant branches out, supporting third-party hardware and smarter features
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCProject Manager Information ManagementQLD
- FTSecurity ConsultantQLD
- FTSenior .NET DevelopersSA
- FTJava Technical Team LeadVIC
- CCProject Manager - Grant managementNSW
- TPProject Manager - ProcurementQLD
- CCMaster Data Officer - SAPNSW
- CCSalesforce Marketing CloudNSW
- FTProject CoordinatorVIC
- TPSenior Java Developer - Contract till June 2018QLD
- TPChange Management - Multi-stream people change program**NSW
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- TPEnterprise Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCIT Security Risk AnalystVIC
- CCData Warehouse Solution DesignersACT
- CCSenior Magento DeveloperVIC
- FTService Desk Analyst Level 2 SupportQLD
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTL&D ConsultantVIC
- FTSoftware DeveloperQLD
- TPSolution Architect - LIS ProgramQLD
- FTNetwork EngineerSA
- FTGraduate Technical ConsultantACT
- FTSupport Engineer Level 3QLD