If you enjoy the immediacy of Instant Messaging and want an Android app that can keep you logged into multiple IM services, then eBuddy Messenger might be your answer. eBuddy is compatible with MSN, Yahoo, AIM, GTalk, MySpace, ICQ, Hyves, and Facebook. It runs in the background and can be configured to notify you by a sound, LED, or vibration when you receive new messages.
To use eBuddy, you will need to register an account; you can do so in-app, or on the eBuddy Website. Then add your IM accounts and their login information. You have to do this only once; eBuddy will remember the details.
The eBuddy interface is divided into three tabs: Buddies, Chats, and Accounts. Buddies shows you a list of your chat buddies with their profile pictures, online or offline status, and an icon for which account they belong to. With the Menu key, you can search for buddies, add buddies, and configure notification and other settings.
The Chats tab provides a list of open chats. Each chat in the list shows the buddy and account. Click the chat to open its window and continue the conversation. The compose window includes a basic set of emoticons, and the conversation is threaded with time stamps.
The Accounts tab shows a list of your configured IM accounts. You can add another account through the Menu key.
eBuddy works well for me, with no noticeable latency. It uses data, not SMS, so you can avoid the outrageous text messaging fees that some wireless carriers charge.
eBuddy cannot attach photos or video to messages, nor can it be used in the Share menu of other apps like the Web browser. That’s kind of a disappointment, but not necessarily a deal-breaker.
If photo sharing is important to you, you might want to check out TweetDeck, a social networking app that can share photos. It’s not quite instant messaging, but it’s fast.
What’s your favorite instant messaging app for Android? Contact Brent W. Hopkins on Facebook or on Twitter. You might also like other articles by Brent W. Hopkins.