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The Balkanization of Chatting

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the just-use-xmpp dept.

Communications 242

JThaddeus writes "Slashdot's own (or former) CmdrTaco has a posting on the Washington Post's website where he discusses how chat apps have overtaken SMS. Yeah, they are cheap. There's no telecom fee per message or for some number of messages per month. However 'The problem of course is that these systems are annoyingly incompatible with each other. My phone can buzz with chat notifications from 3 different apps at any moment. My desktop has even more scattered across browser tabs and standalone apps.' Ditto, nor do I want to hassle learning some app or trying to understand its who's-listening settings. I'll stick to email and to occasional SMS."

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242 comments

frost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601153)

who wants to talk to serbians & albanians anyway?

Re:frost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601363)

DHS, FBI, CIA etc

Come back (5, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | about a year ago | (#43601161)

IRC still loves you.

Re:Come back (5, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43601263)

IRC is in fact still a robust system for talking to people by text. Data organized into relevant streams called channels, with mechanisms for self-policing built in. There's a lot of modernity to, say, skype, but fundamentally, IRC has all the basic mechanisms done well in an open way. But unlike these services, IRC is automatically balkanized, not only do your friends have to use the same technology, they have to use the same IRC networks.

Re:Come back (2)

trazom28 (134909) | about a year ago | (#43601297)

Once mIRC was released to the masses, however, IRC mostly crashed and burned, in my opinion. You went from a smaller group of people who could discuss things intelligently (even non-geek topics) to a flood of CTC? ASL? and similar. I still keep in touch with a pile of friends from IRC of the old days.. but I doubt any still go to the channel itself anymore.

Re:Come back (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about a year ago | (#43601801)

I don’t know what networks or channels you hang out on but I never see any “a/s/l?” type shit on any I’m ever on, whether they be social or technical or hobby-related. If a newbie does come on acting inappropriately or just not in keeping with the tenor of the channel (e.g. CAPS LOCK PERMANENTLY ON,) they’ll realize they’re out of line and shape up, get bored and /part, or get /k’ed if they’re really obnoxious.

Re:Come back (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43601455)

Any decent IRC client can connect to any number of networks. You can also use bitlbee to access IM networks as if they were IRC networks. IRC clients are more powerful than IM clients, generally coming with scripting, so this approach is very useful.

It's not suitable for most (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601523)

It's not suitable for most, because If you are not always connected someone can steal your nick and what you know someone is chatting too friendly things with someone else.

Re:Come back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601355)

And I love IRC. But I still need to communicate with people who are on other messaging systems, which is why I love BitlBee [bitlbee.org] too.

Re:Come back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601435)

First thought as well.

One of the first things I did when buying a raspberry pi was set up an IRC server on it. We use it with most of the class now.

I am however pretty sure that the only reason we use this rather than facebook is because I refuse to use facebook. So whenever they need me, their options are a bit more limited.

Re:Come back (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601689)

That's exactly how balkanization happens.

Power/popularity grab on new/old service where a few refuse to stay/go. Now everybody needs 2 comms.

Repeat until you have 50 comms like today.

Re:Come back (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601471)

Come back Taco ...

Start a new slashdot. Plenty of people will come along. Scrap the sensational headlines, we just want news for nerds, stuff that matters.

vulcanization of chatting apps (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601177)

....fascinating. (arches eyebrow)

Didn't Trillian do this? (5, Insightful)

trazom28 (134909) | about a year ago | (#43601181)

Back in the pre-SMS days, http://www.trillian.im/ [trillian.im] Trillian did this nicely. You would think there would be an app to combine all as well. Couldn't be that hard if it's been done once before.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (5, Informative)

Tog Klim (909717) | about a year ago | (#43601193)

pidgin does it everywhere for free, and it can do SMS via AOL.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (0)

Freedom Bug (86180) | about a year ago | (#43601359)

"everywhere" is a bit of a stretch. Pidgin doesn't support any of the most popular networks: whatsapp, bbm, ...

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (3, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#43601505)

"everywhere" is a bit of a stretch. Pidgin doesn't support any of the most popular networks: whatsapp, bbm, ...

Facebook: 1b users
Skype: 700m users
MSN: 500m users
etc ...

I don't think "most" means what you think it means.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (3, Insightful)

ottothecow (600101) | about a year ago | (#43601761)

He clearly was referring to the sms-replacement systems. Yes, people talk on facebook chat from phones, but its not the same as whatsapp, bbm, imessage, etc.

Honestly, I think imessage is something apple has mostly done right. You go to compose an SMS and it detects if the recipient has a compatible device. If so, it sends it as a data packet through imessage; if not, it sends an SMS. The thing that they have done stupidly wrong is that all mutli-recipient messages coming from an iphone are sent as an MMS (picture message, even if it is only text) rather than a standard SMS text message. If you have any friends who don't use smart phones, have a carrier that charges 2-5x as much for MMS as SMS (50c vs 10c), or use google voice, this is fucking terrible.

Old phones are quite slow to open these messages. Android phones don't even show a preview of the text (since MMS mesages can carry a subject line which is displayed with the notification). Google Voice users on any platform can't receive MMS messages so they just completely miss your text. Anyone who pays per message could end up wasting a lot of money to read your text since not all carriers include picture messages in their standard texting plans. All of this so people can see a list of recipients and reply-all? Reply-all sucks most of the time and if you really want to do this, why not just email everyone...if they are receiving it and responding, they probably have a smartphone with email anyways.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601553)

Most popular networks with whom? I've never heard of either of those. They sound like flavour of the month chat apps for iPhone tweens.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#43601381)

Trillian was it's own worst enemy. If you all have to use the same app in order to span multiple messaging platforms, then what the fuck good are all the different messaging platforms. Everyone I know who used trillian eventually dropped it when they realized that all of their friends really just used X (where X was the social platform du jour.) What they need to "invent" is a messaging *platform* that does it all for you (i.e. collects the message data from different providers on a server and streams it together where it can be read by any number of compatible clients)...

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601411)

What they need to "invent" is a messaging *platform* that does it all for you (i.e. collects the message data from different providers...

uhm someone already has done this on mobile -> BlackBerry Hub API [crackberry.com]

-AC

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601729)

LOL.

Blackberry isn't mobile any more.

It's dusty, faded and relegated.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601795)

Blackberry is ... dusty, faded and relegated

Only to the ignorant and uninformed...

While they're certainly not hip, or even cool at this point, they're also definitely NOT dead (hipsters and fashionistas desires notwithstanding), and they are innovating (you were, afterall, just given a use-case example where they leap-frogged the market...)

-AC

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43601449)

What they need to "invent" is a messaging *platform* that does it all for you (i.e. collects the message data from different providers on a server and streams it together where it can be read by any number of compatible clients)...

Where the hell is that dripping sound coming from? Oh. Never mind. It's an army of "Terms of Service" laywers all salivating in unison.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year ago | (#43601453)

What they need to "invent" is a messaging *platform* that does it all for you (i.e. collects the message data from different providers on a server and streams it together where it can be read by any number of compatible clients)

The problem is that the chat services want you using their network, through their client. They will block attempts to use another client. Why? Well, if you use another client, who can be sure you're viewing their advertising? This is why Skype, for example, is so resistant to reverse engineering.

What you're looking for is called Jabber; it already exists. The problem is that the chat networks don't want to play ball.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (4, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year ago | (#43601517)

You mean like XMPP, which is an official chatting protocol that allows for virtually every method of communication currently in use today?

Google Talk uses that, but nobody else does, because all these companies like having total control of their messaging networks and have no business interest in playing nice with others.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601707)

we use XMPP at http://www.LiveFanChat.com ....I think you'll find a lot of other companies do as well.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43601645)

I'm guessing facebook, in contrast, would intentionally and quickly break anything that doesn't use it's messaging system to force you to use it since you would see less ads from it then. And that's one of the main things I would want from such a program: not having to use facebook's shitty app and see shitty ads.

Re:Didn't Trillian do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601823)

There are countless apps just like that, the problem this submission is about doesn't really exist.

Ob. XKCD (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601185)

Standards [xkcd.com]

Re:Ob. XKCD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601481)

I didn't even click on the link and knew it was some fag linking xkcd. It's not clever. It's not funny. Just the word "Standards" with a link under it and the short, useless, one sentence post shows the kind of unoriginal, uninspired, idiot is making the post.

It was funny to read when it came out. It's even funny when clicking on the Standard button on the site and seeing it. It's NOT funny when someone links to it from a one-sentence post and thinks they're so fucking clever to have discovered xkcd.

You probably still use lmgtfy and think you're so damn clever.

It means in real life, you're an unoriginal hipster doofus.

Got anything to do with sanitizing inputs to a SQL database, etc.? Link to Bobby Tables. Got a nerd-project slow-ass turing machine? Like a minecraft logic circuit from redstone? Link to the one where it's some guy alone in the world making a computer out of rocks. Got a story about password security or encryption? Link to the one where they beat the password out of the guy with a wrench.

Fuck off. You're not clever.

Re:Ob. XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601573)

Wow, that was pretty offtopic and pretty harsh. But dang, if I couldn't agree more.

Re:Ob. XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601763)

You spend a lot of time alone. Insulting people anonymously on the internet.

And he's not clever?

Re:Ob. XKCD (2)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43601791)

The ironic thing is that the rants that follow are becoming almost as predictable as the xkcd posts. Soon it will be Oblig XKCD, followed immediatly by Oblig XKCD Rant...

Not just chatting. Forum discussions suffer, too. (4, Informative)

mfarah (231411) | about a year ago | (#43601189)

Back in the day, there was *one* discussion forum: Usenet. It was everywhere, and all servers connected to it. Now, there are *thousands* of disconnected forums, dozens of "forum software packages", etcetera. Even systems that try to connect distinct forums (Disqus) aren't necessarily the most popular option.

Re:Not just chatting. Forum discussions suffer, to (1)

trazom28 (134909) | about a year ago | (#43601243)

True, and Usenet could be handy. But basically it became a spam forest, and you'd have to wade thru 200 spam emails for one on the topic. Maybe if they would have developed filters for it, it could have gone on further.

Usenet's death report has been greatly exaggerated (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#43601343)

I'm not sure you actually know what usenet [wikipedia.org] is, and you either never use it or you forgot how it works (note the present tense [wikipedia.org] .) There are moderated and unmoderated groups. The Linux Kernel Mailing List, which is used in the development of the Linux Kernel, is one example of a still thriving newsgroup.

Re:Usenet's death report has been greatly exaggera (1)

trazom28 (134909) | about a year ago | (#43601385)

Good to know and hear - I have not used it for years because it became useless pre-moderated, and my current ISP (who I've been with for 10+ years) doesn't carry newsgroups. Glad to know that it's at least in part working well.

Re:Usenet's death report has been greatly exaggera (1)

mfarah (231411) | about a year ago | (#43601461)

I know well enough what Usenet is. Hell, I AM the moderator in chile.grupos.anuncios (a local equivalent to news.announce.newgroups).

But to say Usenet is *far* from its glory days is a terrible understatement. Usenet is, for its glory days purposes, pretty much dead. Not many servers remain, not many users remain, entire hierarchies are dead. BESIDES some specific still-running newsgroups, not much activity remains.

Those isolated pockets of still healthy Usenet traffic are now no different than just any other web forum.

Usenet WAS the go-to place for online discussion. As much as it pains me, that ceased to be the case.

Re:Not just chatting. Forum discussions suffer, to (1)

dj245 (732906) | about a year ago | (#43601569)

True, and Usenet could be handy. But basically it became a spam forest, and you'd have to wade thru 200 spam emails for one on the topic. Maybe if they would have developed filters for it, it could have gone on further.

Spam filters for Usenet seems like a much more difficult problem to me than spam filters for Email. This is a medium with no functional delete function network-wide. If your message makes it in, it is basically there and not going anywhere. The only way is for each server to filter the incoming data, in real time (or close to it) and decide what is Spam and what is not. If a message is rejected, the spammer can easilly know about it, because they can easilly check the group and see that their message isn't there! Then they can modify the Spam and keep retrying until it makes it past the filters.

Compare this to email, where we have all sorts of various tricks to trap the email after it is flagged as Spam. It can be quarrantined, dropped silently, etc. The Spammer (should) not know if they beat the filter or not, since there is no confirmation and no way for them to see mailbox contents to confirm that the message is there. Filters remain effective a lot longer, so filtering is useful.

from a collective to for profit individuals (1)

xrmb (2854715) | about a year ago | (#43601463)

seems we went from working together to make life better for everyone to individuals with great ideas to patent them, or handed them out free and turn them in a for pay model later... its sad

i guess they are popular outside the USA (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43601201)

considering that every carrier here has unlimited minutes/SMS plans by default

Re:i guess they are popular outside the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601271)

No they don't. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of users don't consider the most expensive plans to be the "default".

Re:i guess they are popular outside the USA (1)

StingyJack (1598631) | about a year ago | (#43601299)

No they don't. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of users don't consider the most expensive plans to be the "default".

The data plans are what is limited and expensive. Free/unlimited SMS comes with most of the basic packages.

Re:i guess they are popular outside the USA (2)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#43601575)

I am only mildly surprised to learn that people are still paying for text messages. But then, I haven't had a cell plan for a couple of years now.

Re:i guess they are popular outside the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601587)

I pay about 10 euros a month and have 5000 free SMS and 2 hours free calling. Those 5000 sms may as well be unlimited to most people.

Re:i guess they are popular outside the USA (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about a year ago | (#43601531)

Also, most providers in the US like to tell you that you have unlimited SMS, unlimited data, and then ding you with per message charges for MMS.

Frankly, I would love to see a provider go with 2 simple tiers: Unlimited Data (including calls, sms, and everything else they are providing via IPv6 networking). Purely Metered data at pennies or less per MB (for people who just keep a phone for emergencies).

"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year ago | (#43601215)

>> how chat apps have overtaken SMS. Yeah, they are cheap.

Chat apps are cheap? I thought they were all free.

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#43601269)

You still have to pay for data, which is far cheaper than the thousands of bucks per GB cost of an SMS

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (4, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43601527)

Infinite bucks per GB? SMS messages don't use bandwidth or data. They get carried in what is otherwise wasted padding in heartbeat packets. That's why they have a limited character length.

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (1)

gauauu (649169) | about a year ago | (#43601617)

Infinite bucks per GB? SMS messages don't use bandwidth or data. They get carried in what is otherwise wasted padding in heartbeat packets. That's why they have a limited character length.

Yes, but that doesn't stop AT&T from charging me 20 cents per message. Considering each message only has 120 characters, it would cost me ridiculous amounts of money to send a GB-worth of data via SMS.

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about a year ago | (#43601819)

Infinite bucks per GB? SMS messages don't use bandwidth or data. They get carried in what is otherwise wasted padding in heartbeat packets. That's why they have a limited character length.

Yes, but that doesn't stop AT&T from charging me 20 cents per message. Considering each message only has 120 characters, it would cost me ridiculous amounts of money to send a GB-worth of data via SMS.

A couple years ago I saw an amusing and pretty simple analysis showing that the end user bandwidth costs in terms of $/MB are far, far higher for SMS than for the Voyager space probes, including the cost of development and launch of said probes.

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (1)

hankwang (413283) | about a year ago | (#43601751)

thousands of bucks per GB cost of an SMS

I see the upside of SMS'es costing the sender money: it throttles the rate of incoming messages. I fear the day that the spammers figure out how to use Whatsapp for massive spam runs.

Too bad that here in Netherlands the telcos are moving to unlimited-SMS plans due to competition with Whatsapp...

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (1)

Tester (591) | about a year ago | (#43601273)

>> how chat apps have overtaken SMS. Yeah, they are cheap.

Chat apps are cheap? I thought they were all free.

WhatsApp (the most popular one) is not free...

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43601465)

i currently use imo i don't particularly care for it but it seems to be the best free chat app for android that i have tried the rest seemed to be a constant stream of crap or facebook only. I really wish pidgin would release a android app.

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601331)

Bandwidth isn't free. Chat apps use bandwidth.

Re:"Cheap?" Who's still paying for chat apps? (2)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43601503)

Yes, but Chat apps are priced closer to the way that the water coming out of your garden hose is. As opposed to SMS, which is priced like bottled water.

ACs posting Pedantic flaws in my metaphore in 3...2...1...

Bush was involved or at least complicit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601229)

"Bin Laden determined to strike in US." = Bush was involved or at least complicit in the 9/11 strikes.

"Tspeedbump Tsblamov is a terrorist, has been denied entrance to Mecca, has received bomb-making training and is intending to strike a major US city" = Obama couldn't have possibly done anything to prevent it.

So he's not entirely well informed on this topic? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601283)

FTA:

No single app wraps them conveniently together.

Uhm, apparently he's in the dark about a key feature of the new BlackBerry OS: BlackBerry Hub API [crackberry.com]

I love having one place where all of my message sources are aggregated, sorted and accessible, and it directly addresses the issue he's raising. If he was fully cognizant of the industry, Hub would've at least warranted mention...

-AC

Re:So he's not entirely well informed on this topi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601413)

Blackberry? I think I remember them. Somehow managed to turn a leading position in business mobile comms into the position of once-great also-ran, and consigned themselves to the dustbin of history.

Re:So he's not entirely well informed on this topi (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43601549)

To be fair, there's not a lot of shame in that. Look at most market leading companies over the last 50 years. Many innovative companies fit that description. Kodak? Sony? Maybe Apple in 5 years... It doesn't mean they're bad, it just means its hard to be #1 forever. We can learn a lot from that.

Oh, and also really it's best if you have just one person run a company. Learn that too. :-)

Re:So he's not entirely well informed on this topi (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43601607)

They aren't quite dead yet but their pulse is getting pretty weak.

This is new? (4, Interesting)

Fishchip (1203964) | about a year ago | (#43601287)

Jabber, ICQ, AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Chat, IRC, entire websites devoted to nothing but realtime chat... did I see more of a problem back in the 90's than there actually was and now it really is a soul-destroying issue in 2013? Or is this just rehashing 15-year-old+ news?

Blame The Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601295)

Using a chat app to bypass the charges for SMS makes sense, especially when you consider the usury rates that the mobile carriers charge.

The downside of course is you lose the biggest advantage of SMS, near universal compatibility for text and multimedia messaging.

But, it is the app vendors that are really at fault for the incompatibility issues. They each seem to feel that they will rule the world and therefore, it's fine for them to use their proprietary protocol and system. While there are several protocols/standards available, if the simply settled on the excellent and free Jabber/XMPP protocol they could have a (multimedia)messaging app that is widely compatible with existing services and future services. Several major providers, including Google already support the XMPP protocol.

But, app vendors aren't interested in compatibility, they all want their own walled garden with the mistaken assumption that theirs alone will be a runaway success. Which brings us to our present situation.

Now, you the user can change all that. You could buy an unlimited SMS plan. Or you could use only messaging apps that support XMPP. But, if you choose to keep hopping from one proprietary platform to another, Facebook, Twitter, Vines, whatever-today's-fad-is, then you will suffer the limited reach of your incompatible messaging app.

Enjoy.

Re:Blame The Users (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43601501)

facebooks chat has xmpp frontend so you can connect xmpp chat programs like pidgin to you facebook account unfortunately there is no talking out side of the facebook network with it.

Pidgin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601311)

Just use pidgin. One app to rule them all...

Re:Pidgin (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43601547)

no android app, no ios app no blackberry app and no windows_RT/phone_8 app. Pidgin is desktop only and they don't seem at all interested in porting it.

How to monetize an open standard. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#43601339)

For sending text messages. Do you want to have ads? Do you want your chats monitored and your data sold? Do you want to pay a monthly, weekly per message fee for your messages that you send? A government who will offer the service for free, you pay for it in taxes.

For standard SMS text messages they get somehow added to your phone bill, I personally think they should be a LOT CHEAPER. But you do get a common protocol, because everyone else is doing it.

The other texting methods are incompatible with each other because they all have different rules on how they are funded and supported. The monetary gain must be related to the volume of the texting.

Re:How to monetize an open standard. (3, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43601583)

For sending text messages. Do you want to have ads? Do you want your chats monitored and your data sold? Do you want to pay a monthly, weekly per message fee for your messages that you send? A government who will offer the service for free, you pay for it in taxes.

For standard SMS text messages they get somehow added to your phone bill, I personally think they should be a LOT CHEAPER. But you do get a common protocol, because everyone else is doing it.

The other texting methods are incompatible with each other because they all have different rules on how they are funded and supported. The monetary gain must be related to the volume of the texting.

really then how come email does not suffer the same problem? It works on all platforms has free services that all work together, and has free clients with no adds. what is the difference here?

Re:How to monetize an open standard. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43601885)

Speed.

Gmail for instance takes a little bit of time for a message to get from the SMTP inbound connection to someone's inbox.

Depending on the day, I've seen yahoo take hours to get things into the inbox AFTER their servers have got the message.

Good mail systems do it instantly, others, not so much.

iPhone and "txt" messages (1)

macklin01 (760841) | about a year ago | (#43601395)

I can't stress enough how much it drives me up the wall to get text messages on my Android phone from iPhones. Far too often, they show as "multimedia" messages requiring a data connection just to download 5-7 words of text.

Or when an iPhone user sends a txt message to several people, and each "reply to all" response appears as a separate, disjoint SMS thread without the full conversation or context.

Google Voice rocks for this (1)

Turmoyl (958221) | about a year ago | (#43601485)

I've been using Google Voice for texting and call forwarding for several months now, and it is flawless except for not yet working with email-to-SMS (which has only caused a problem twice so far, with a workaround available in both instances).

The associated Android app works nicely, making this a no-brainer for me. It's also wonderful to be able to type a text on a full-sized keyboard while using the Google Voice site.

XMPP? (4, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#43601489)

No?

Re:XMPP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601533)

No?

Shut up, NERRRRRRRRRRRD! That's not marketable to venture capitalists! It's not CamelCased! You can't even pronounce it! And... oh my GOD. Is that protocol seriously more than SIX MONTHS OLD? Time to replace it with something new, GRANDPA!!! GRANDPA NERD. NERD. You're a huge nerd. Please give me venture capital money for my social network now kthx.

Re:XMPP? (1)

ttucker (2884057) | about a year ago | (#43601621)

No?

Shut up, NERRRRRRRRRRRD! That's not marketable to venture capitalists! It's not CamelCased! You can't even pronounce it! And... oh my GOD. Is that protocol seriously more than SIX MONTHS OLD? Time to replace it with something new, GRANDPA!!! GRANDPA NERD. NERD. You're a huge nerd. Please give me venture capital money for my social network now kthx.

Then again those behind the times old nerds over at Google seem to be having a pretty good time with XMPP and Google Talk...

Re:XMPP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601571)

Mod parent up. Good grief. Simple solution is XMPP and quit angsting about Trillian and Pidgin and balkinazation and whatnot. Google Talk and Facebook are two big services that use it. I run my own XMPP server in the clouds and it works just fine for me. If I wanted to talk to someone on AIM or whatever I can even get my XMPP server to connect to AIM for me (transports) so I don't have to worry about it. There's multi-user chat that works just fine with XMPP too.

This is such of a non-problem.

CAPTCHA: enabler

Skype? (1, Informative)

technomom (444378) | about a year ago | (#43601493)

A whole article on this topic without mentioning maybe one of the more historically successful attempts at pulling together voice, chat, offline chat/mail - Skype?

I know it's not perfect but it is definitely the only messenging service that my family all work with - grandma/grandpa from their ancient Dell computers included.

Network effect (1)

axlash (960838) | about a year ago | (#43601507)

What a chat app needs to do is to build up a network effect - get enough people using it such that a typical person who *doesn't* use it realises that a significant percentage of people he knows *are* using the app. Once that happens, he has a strong incentive to use the app, especially if it doesn't require him buying a new phone. But the other limiting factor to the adoption of chat apps over SMS is that not all phones are internet enabled.

BlackBerry Hub... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601551)

Apparently RIM caught on to this idea well before Taco since they've already built and added the feature that he's begging for as an integral component of the BlackBerry 10 Operating System (and it works VERY well!!) -> BlackBerry Hub API [crackberry.com] .

-AC

this is the last reason I still have an iphone. (1)

nblender (741424) | about a year ago | (#43601563)

Most of my friends have iphones and have icloud or imessage or iwhatever its icalled ... I can send free texts to them and it doesn't cost me to get texts from them... I borrowed a Nexus4 from a friend for a few weeks and I much prefer it except for the $0.20/text message I have to pay my provider or pay them an extra $7.00/month for "unlimited text messaging"....

There's no way I will convince them to all install gropeme or some equivalent free texting app.. It just isn't going to happen.

I'm not sure what the problem is (1)

berj (754323) | about a year ago | (#43601671)

Personally I do all my chatting on my phone or tablet.

I have one app (beejive, in this case) which handles basically everything. yahoo, msn (dunno if that's relevant after the skype buyout.. I don't use it any more), gtalk, aim, facebook, etc.

The only other thing is iMessage.. which, frankly, is where I do the majority of my talking.

On my desktop I used to use Adium which, similar to beejive, handled everything I needed. Haven't used that in years though.

It's the email clients, stupid (1)

joh (27088) | about a year ago | (#43601679)

Email today is totally fine for texting. The problem is not the protocol, the problem are the clients that still fully stick to an emulation of writing something like a letter. Better email clients that support some ways of quickly composing and reading short blurbs of text could solve this easily.

(Of course this doesn't change the fact that many people want to have things like chatting or texting and email nicely separated.)

Re:It's the email clients, stupid (1)

TuringTest (533084) | about a year ago | (#43601855)

It's the application, stupid

And there you've found the reason why chat apps are popular. The protocol doesn't matter at all, what counts is that they're dead simple to install and use for the intended purpose - chatting.

That whole package is something that email clients, Jabber and SMS don't have (SMS is the closest one, but it's too expensive, the basic version doesn't do multimedia and it doesn't keep track of the conversation).

Why I use SMS (3, Informative)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43601701)

The reason I use SMS and hope to use for a LONG time are the following:
1) No data plan needed. This means I am not tempted to go online all the time. So I just used a pre-payed card. Last top-up was 28/02 for 25 EUR. Still 15 EUR available
2) I can use it with the many people who do not have a smart phone. It just works.
3) Smart messaging. This means if I want to chit-chat, I SMS them where we can meet, we meet, have a few drinks and have an actual personal relationship.
4) Because it costs the other person to send something back, they don't send useless messages and most of the time just a message where we can meet.

And if smsing is not an option, you could, you know, use the device to, well telephone the other person and speak to them.

Why do you have so many chat apps? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43601837)

Seriously? Why do you have 3 on your phone? I'm betting you spend more time screwing with apps than your time is worth if you just paid for SMS.

I have ONE chat app on my PC, none on my phone, yet everyone seems to 'chat' just fine, if you think phones are meant for 'chatting'. A Jabber client is all you need, if you want to talk to someone who doesn't use a proper XMPP system, make them get on Google talk.

The problem is that you're trying too hard to talk to people that don't seem to be willing to do the same.

Don't 'chat' with people who don't use a proper 'chat' system. Sorry if that cuts out Facebook, but not playing Facebook's game is the only way you end their bullying chat on our system only bullshit. Meet the new boss, same as the old.

umm... Pidgin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43601865)

www.pidgin.im handles pretty much every chat protocol that I know of other than Skype (which is just a stand alone app, and not a protocol), actually...(teamspeak/vent) are protocols/apps too, but aren't handled by pidgin, but those are voice mainly... so that is differently...

But everything from Facebook chat to the new site coming out for http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/ is using XMPP as the basis underlying chat protocol, then adding their own UI ontop of that. Perhaps we should look into better support of basis standards such as XMPP in our services.

I use IRC Daily still, and it works well for leaving it open in a few select channels where you want possibly constant update on the topics it covers.

Uh, no. It went the other way. (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | about a year ago | (#43601873)

Now that Phones are more prevalent, and unlimited txt as well, I haven't used IRC, IM, AIM, Google Talk, Jabber, etc etc etc in several years now. Everything is done via SMS. Maybe it's just who my friends are, mostly outside the tech industry.

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