Nimbuzz. I’ve been playing around with this new Dutch chat and VoIP freeware for a few days now and it’s pretty cool. What’s extra special goody gumdrops neat is a) the fact that it’s a Java app, so runs on just about every handset out there and b) the wide range of services it copes with. You can chat with your Skype, MSN, Yahoo!, AIM and Google Talk buddies on your mobile phone and make voice calls to MSN and Google Talk users too (as well as conferencing calls).
The interface is very simple to use, all your buddies from whichever service are displayed on the single screen, and starting a chat is a single button press affair. As far as I know this is the first package to offer such a seamless connection to every major instant message service on so many handsets, and there’s even a web browser version if your phone won’t handle Java.
These guys have definitely given the whole mobile/laptop communication concept a lot of thought. For instance if you log on to your web account, you’ll see a page which will eventually let you create ringtones, upload files to your handset and manage and backup your phone book, all from the single page. Now this is how it should be, no-brainer messaging and mobile phone data management that’s a cinch to use.
Other neat features include local call charges for international mobile to mobile phone calls (via a call-back system) and free calls for PC to PC. Of course they’ve got their own Nimbuzz chat service as well, so you can set up comms connections just about any way you want. There’s even an alert service included called The Buzz, which lets you ping a buddy for free if they’re offline to let them know you want to chat. The phone will ring once and display The Buzz to let them know.
It’s still very much beta software though, which is evident from the volatile nature of the service. I’ve had problems getting my Skype contacts up on the handset screen, and there are reports of other outages as the service expands, but overall this has the potential to be a sweet service and one of the most interesting things I’ve seen on a mobile for a while. Definitely one to watch!