Meebo has finally released an official app for the iPhone and iPod touch that lets you connect to your Meebo account and chat with your contacts using a simple and easy to use interface, supports push notifications and multiple messaging services.
The Meebo iPhone app is currently free to download in the App Store, and it looks to be staying that way at least for now. If you don’t already have a Meebo account, you’ll have to create one to get started. Meebo uses a centralized database to manage all your IM accounts in one place, very similar to that of Digsby. Once you are logged in, you can add as many accounts as you like and link them all to your account. Meebo on the iPhone supports a very large amount of services, including the big ones like AIM, MSN, Yahoo! IM, Google Talk, MySpace IM, ICQ, Jabber, and Facebook just to name a few.
One of the convenience features of having a centralized account is that if you’re already using Meebo on your browser and have your accounts setup there, the Meebo iPhone app will automatically pull in your account settings and log you into your accounts just as you have setup online already.
The app is broken down into 3 tabs: Buddies, Chats and Accounts. Buddies lists all your contacts along with a service icon, buddy icon, status, and nickname, sorted by your custom groups. You can search for people by name and tap on any buddy to start a chat. Tap the + icon if you’de like to add a new buddy, type in their name and choose the network, simple enough.
The Chat tab shows a list of all your active chats and is broken down into all, or recent. Chat messages are shown in little bubbles, similar to what you see in the iPhone’s native text messaging app, but with a more subdued color finish. You can insert smileys by tapping the happy face icon. Tapping teh Chat History button loads a history of your messages with your contacts from the Meebo servers. This is a useful features but it might be a security concern for some users if you are uneasy with having your conversations stored on a third party server. Chat history can even be searched by keyword. You can swipe left and right to toggle between active chats quickly.
The Accounts tab is where you can view and edit your online status, list of all your connected accounts, and where you can add new ones, sign on and off, and edit some account settings as well. A bunch more settings can be found if you go into the Meebo section of your iPhone’s settings section. From there you can enable landscape keyboards, auto-correct, auto-capitalization, showing timestamps on IM, and more.
Overall the Meebo iPhone app is a great free IM utility for the iPhone that supports push notifications, multiple accounts, landscape keyboard and chat history. If you are already using the Meebo Desktop Notifier software, or the FireFox plugins and enjoy using Meebo, the iPhone app will be right up your alley.
Limitations: The Meebo app doesn’t handle file transfers and it also does not handle URL links in messages as of this release.
Note: Previous to the release of this app, Meebo offered users a web based version of its site optimized for iPhone user with a very slick user interface, which is still accessible by visiting the meebo.com website from your Safari browser.
Here is a video demo of the Meebo app on the iPhone
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