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IM On Mobile Phones

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the bridging-the-great-divide dept.

Communications 196

Dr Occult writes "Some of the biggest mobile phone networks have joined forces to push instant messaging (IM) over mobiles.Fifteen operators, including Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and China Mobile have agreed to work together to make it easy to IM across networks. Third-generation mobile networks can carry more data and move it around far faster so messages really can be instant.This is important because IM conversations typically involve more back and forth than text message chats and it ensures that the experience is similar to that enjoyed online. Under the initiative, the 15 operators covering 700 million mobile phone users have agreed to use a single standard for IM, which would work across networks.The operators are looking to launch instant messaging mobile services later this year."

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That's great! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715335)

One more thing for idiots to use their cell phones for while driving instead of watching where their going....

Do we REALLY need more stuff on our cell phones?

I mean, isn't an mp3 player, camera, games, calendar book, internet access, email access enough?

Re:That's great! (2, Interesting)

jmnormand (941909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715382)

aol and yahoo already do this to an extent. cant say as ive ever really had the need to do it though since text messaging seems to be more than efficient for my needs. i cant see how this will really be effective on a phone however, you just cant type fast enough or have enough screen realestate to take advantage of im like you do on a computer.

Re:That's great! (5, Insightful)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715389)

Well, whatever it is, I'm sure it will cost 10c/message or 500 messages for $40/mo or something absurd like that. Either way, they will find some way to make your bill go up 15% if you even think about using the service.

Re:That's great! (2, Interesting)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715564)

It'll be over IP, and most people already pay (through the nose) on the volume they send.

Which doesn't, of course, mean that you won't pay additional fees for the IM

Re:That's great! (2, Informative)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715772)

True enough. I have this service, and Cingular seriously abuses it. If I send an "IM" using AIM to my wife's phone from my computer, it is 10c (or one message, depending). If I send one phone to phone, it is 20c (10c to send, 10c to rec.).

I really hope they roll out some sort of "unlimited" plan for this. It benefits me tremendously to have it running for quick informal info (like addresses, paths, commands, etc.), but both email and IM to phone are just too frikin expensive.

On the other had, 10c per email would certainly reduce spam!


Re:That's great! (5, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715812)

Well, whatever it is, I'm sure it will cost 10c/message or 500 messages for $40/mo or something absurd like that. Either way, they will find some way to make your bill go up 15% if you even think about using the service.

The sad thing is, I can talk more-or-less for free, because I never quite use up my minutes, but I get charged every time I send or receive a text message. So, the service which costs them more to provide costs me less. It's exactly backwards, yet in the world of "a la carte" services on mobile networks, it somehow makes sense.

Some day, some cell phone company is going to come up with a business model which quits treating every new data format as a network "feature" that adds cost to the plan and treats bandwidth as bandwidth. No, downloading a picture does not cost more than talking on the phone for three seconds. IM costs almost nothing. Thirty or forty bucks a month should cover the cost of damn near anything normal users do.

On that day, a lot of people will immediately drop their current plan (even if it means paying contract termination penalties to do it) and switch. I'll be first in line.

Re:That's great! (1)

PerlDudeXL (456021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715509)

I just spent the last half an hour to set up GPRS and Mail in my cell phone ;)

Re:That's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715535)

One more thing for idiots to use their cell phones for while driving instead of watching where their going....

Like using "their" instead of "they're"?

their = possessive
they're = they are
there = location

Re:That's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715715)

Do we REALLY need more stuff on our cell phones?

I don't get this luddite thing when it comes to mobile phones. But I suspect it's mainly from US, beeing very far behind Europe and parts of Asia in adoption of advanced mobile services. I use these features some seem to think of as new and silly all the time (no, not when driving).

For me going back to a phone without email/calendar syncing, Internet, im, mp3 playback, games, etc. would be like going back to a PC without Internet connection and multimedia capabilities. My phone is a communication and entertainment device that I almost always have with me.(and no, the battery life is not 20 minutes, it is quite good actually, I don't see any disadvantages).

Re:That's great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715831)

"I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

1. Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

2. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

-- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Potential? (1, Funny)

Agent00Wang (146185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715339)

Soon we won't have to look at each other at all! Seriously, maybe this could lead to a replacement for Blackberry.

Re:Potential? (3, Interesting)

Geneus (853382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715686)

We barely have to look at each other now. I work at a gas station and because its incredibly old we still dont have any pay at the pump credit car machines. I get people walking inside constantly complaining about this. And even more scary are people who come in and tell me they have never payed for gas inside before, a 40 year old women told me this recently. I usualy just glare at the people who complain and ask them if human contact is really that bad of a thing.

Re:Potential? (1)

traabil (861418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715704)

Oh, you mean it's just like the telefax?

Point? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715342)

Is it just me, or is there not really that much point to this (unless you're deaf)? After all, the point of a text is that you can send it when you're not in a position to get involved in a lengthy conversation, just need a quick snippet of information, or just to send "pub, 8pm". But with IM, you're effectively just having a conversation.... why not just talk? Surely it's easier and more effective than typing like mad at keys that are hardly designed for the purpose?

Re:Point? (1)

Agent00Wang (146185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715364)

However, you can carry on multiple conversations at once.

Re:Point? (1)

Grench (833454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715394)

Quite right; some earlier Nokia handsets (3310, 8210, plus some others) had a "chat" function. I didn't see the point; SMS messages are fine for quick transmission of a short message. For anything else, you're just going to end up sore fingers and a higher phone bill than you would have if you called the other person and spoke to them.

I don't know which other Nokia handsets had them; I moved over to Sony Ericsson phones once my Nokia 6210's contract expired. I don't think that Nokia's chat facility was compatible with other manufacturer's handsets.

Re:Point? (4, Funny)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715405)

Think about it - if you had Google talk on your phone, not only could you IM people, but you could use Google's voice chat feature to actually speak to them!

Re:Point? (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715422)

I use IM on a Treo. It is used to have a conversation with someone else, or just to get information, when in a meeting. Take for example, the situation when the meeting goes off on a tangent or is covering a section which does not apply to you. You can't leave because you need to be there for one part or another but right now you are stuck. You can't openly talk on a phone so you IM. Yes, you could get up and leave to make a call but then that might be disruptive. So you whip out the Treo do something else and when the mucky-mucks finally get around to the good stuff you are ready.

Re:Point? (3, Interesting)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715460)

Is it just me, or is there not really that much point to this (unless you're deaf)? After all, the point of a text is that you can send it when you're not in a position to get involved in a lengthy conversation, just need a quick snippet of information, or just to send "pub, 8pm". But with IM, you're effectively just having a conversation.... why not just talk? Surely it's easier and more effective than typing like mad at keys that are hardly designed for the purpose?

Part of my job is to provide text messaging solutions for hearing-impaired employees. Got a meeting this afternoon with the eight hearing-impaired employees, two signers and the Equal Opportunity office to talk about solutions.

Right now they're using Nokia Sidekicks for SMS and I'm trying to switch them over to Blackberrys. The Sidekick is kind of a neat device with a full QWERTY keyboard but the only vendor that offers them is T-Mobile and during testing we found the Blackberrys had better coverage, lower latency and could receive push email instead of pulling it with the Sidekicks. Also, this'd let the buiding's Emergency Operations Center send one email to a group and notify all of them of an evauaction drill or an emergency.

I'd *really* like to get T-Mobile out of my enterprise. Right now I have a bit less than 500 cellular devices deployed and the only thing keeping T-Mobile around is these damn Sidekicks.

But I digress. My point is there are SMS solutions for hearing-impaired folks that actually work pretty well - and for the folks who really need to text it's a great solution.

Re:Point? (1)

Ducaquis (230210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715474)

Personally, I use IM on my phone to talk with my family at home (they live in a different country than me) whenever I'm not at home. For instance, I leave it on at work all day and once in a while my brother or my parents pop in and say hi. Very easy, unobtrusive way to keep in touch without paying tonnes of money for international calls or SMSs.

Re:Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715590)

" Personally, I use IM on my phone..."

How does that work? I mean, it takes me, on my cell phone, forever just to enter a name in the address book because there is three letters per key. How in the heck do you carry on an IM under those conditions?

Re:Point? (1)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715517)

I suspect that they want to drive GPRS traffic in their network, its a pretty good source of income for them.

A phone call and SMS costs next to nothing. A IM client hooked up all day sending keep alive packet and messages generates more money for them.

Re:Point? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715635)

Probably the same reason people think they have to have the ENTIRE conversation via 2-way radio on their Nextizzles? If you are having any sort of conversation more involved than a quick yes or no, just call the damn person! You'd look at someone funny if they carried around a portable CB radio and had conversations in public with it, but 2-way cell phones are ok?

Eh, there's my first rant of the day :-/

Privacy (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715677)

I'll give you the number one reason why I am changing to a phone that supports IM.


With all the monitoring they do at my place of work and worse, what I read being done at others, I will take steps to insure my privacy.

Phone calls can be monitored, Internet usage usually is, IM can be as well, and e-mail is scanned, some times censored, and even saved.

With IM on my phone I can stay in touch with those who need me without the interruption of an actual phone call as well as keep my life private from my employer. Also IM messages tend to be more to the point that some phone calls can be. Granted there are lots of "silly" one liners but people tend to refrain from having never ending conversations with them

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715769)

The simplest solution is to route all your PC's internet traffic over Bluetooth to the GPRS/3G phone in your coat hanging by the window. Then the company has no knowledge of your actions because your traffic never appears on their network. But you might need a good payment plan.

There are several ways of doing this; under MS Windoze check out the ROUTE command or tick/untick the "Use default gateway on remote network" under advanced network options.

Re:Privacy (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715798)

this ignores keyboard monitoring which has been reported several times by others.

Face it, there are companies that will do whatever they want when it comes to monitoring their employees. In some cases it will be done out of fear of audits (think SOX compliance in the US) and in others it will be done to protect vital information that could damage the corporation if it gets out (think trade secrets or even dirty laundry)

I bet there are a few that don't even permit cell phones. However while they do I certainly would take advantage of the privacy it can gain me. Its my life and yes my life continues even while I am work.

Price and functionality (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715680)

Why do people IM instead of pick up their office phone? because they want to "talk" silently in some cases. I'd be so much happier if people didn't discuss their business/ personal lives at top volume in train carriages. I'm sure there are other functionalities of IM in preference to voice...

Plus price - if it's priced at less than voice calls, it will take off like SMS did. People have quit long "conversations" via SMS.

Re:Point? (1)

pointwood (14018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715808)

I don't think you know how popular SMS is here (Denmark) and many other places.

Re:Point? (1)

Orangejesus (898961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715845)

well one of the best reasons to text someone i've found is discretion. if someone is at work or you are at work and you don't want to be seen talking on the phone in a meeting or at your desk all day, hammering out a text message is a pretty good way to get what you need to say across without drawing attention to yourself. it's the modern day equivalent of passing a note when the teachers back is turned. If you aren't sure if someone is busy or not and truely don't want to disturb them then sending a text message and then letting them get back to you at their leisure is often fairly practical.

Re:Point? (1)

plumby (179557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715869)

I already have MSN Messenger on my phone and although I don't use it a great deal, it's great for a quick chat with my wife while I'm sat in a boring meeting, or on the bus without having to disturb anyone (I could use SMS, if she'd ever got her phone turned on or could actually type a message on her phone!).

You can also have multi-person conversations a lot easier than with SMS - handy if you're trying to meet up with a group of people.

Very promissing service. (2, Insightful)

Volanin (935080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715346)

As long as they don't charge PER message, this is a VERY promissing service. And even more so when the desktop IM clients start being compatible with this standard.

Re:Very promissing service. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715425)

> As long as they don't charge PER message, this is a VERY promissing service. And
> even more so when the desktop IM clients start being compatible with this
> standard.

Usually you pay for your bandwidth. 7.5p per k on T-mobile in the UK, for example.

Re:Very promissing service. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715470)

Sorry, 0.75p per k. one&nmid=pas_pp_plan_ews_paym_mixit_details&nmid2= ctl_pas_pp_details&ppid=117&menuid=ctl_pas_pp_chan ge_plan []

(I've just been looking at bundles, which are priced in pounds, and I confused my units...)

Ramble IM (3, Interesting)

JFlex (763276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715353)

I use Ramble IM [] on my Nextel BlackBerry and it works great as a real time AIM client.

Who here likes Korean women? (-1, Offtopic)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715354)

I do! I do!
Do I get a prize?

Why not a unified text messaging system? (3, Insightful)

mobiux (118006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715358)

How is this any different than that?

Just different because we call it IM now?

Uh... (3, Informative)

karzan (132637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715584)

There is a unified text messaging system, it's standardised across all GSM networks. Yes some countries do have different text message lengths to others, which can get annoying if you send international texts and have them truncated. And there are a couple of countries that refuse to standardise on anything, like the USA, so use bizarre non-GSM systems. But for the vast majority of the world, which is on some variant of GSM, text messages are standardised and more or less seamless.

And IM is different to SMS. SMS is about sending messages one at a time from one phone to another. It only works on phone networks, and the messages are not connected together in e.g. threads. If your phone is off, they queue up until you turn it on; the person sending you a text can't see if you're 'online' at the moment. IM is at least in principle network-neutral; you should be able to send IMs back and forth between your phone and an Internet-based IM service, for example. People can see that you're online, and messages are threaded. The two are very different.

Help me there, I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715370)

Now, voice over ip is slowly starting to replace textual conversations on computers. IM began as a way to mimick the way people talk to each other on the phone. Text was used because, well, not everyone had a sound card (especially not in office PCs) and the amount of data transfered in voice chat was a lot more than text (and that's not too convenient when you're on a 56k modem or when you're charged for every Megabyte transfered).

Now there's a medium that's perfectly capable of handling voice conversations. Why I know? Because that is (or at least was) it's main application!

Why the heck should I want to "downgrade" to typed conversation? Especially on a "keyboard" that breaks my fingers already when I'm forced to compile a short message? Granted, there are others unlike me who can actually use that tool to type fairly fast, but still, nothing beats the speed and easy of verbal communication.

Re:Help me there, I don't get it. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715469)

To take your example a step further, in the late 80s/early 90s, the online servie CompuServe had a text chat equivalent to AOL's burgeoning "chat rooms." CompuServe's one was actually called the "C.B. Simulator."

Re:Help me there, I don't get it. (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715805)

I remember that! It was cool, it even had "channels" :)

I used to hang out on there constantly. Go CB or something like that.

VOIP is different from IM, though. I don't *want* to have a conversation with someone - I want a quick, async method of communication. If I wanted actual real-time voice communication, I'd use a phone.


Re:Help me there, I don't get it. (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715691)

Are you for real? Have you existed in a vacuum over the last 10 years of the mobile phone industry?

Text messages are:
1.Asyncronous by nature. Your target does not have to be available for receiving calls for you to send them text messages. They'll read them the next time they check their phones. Listening to voice mail is a much slower and more annoying form of asyncrynous communication.
2. Easier and less ambigious way of sending information to someone. Need an address? Send it by text rather than try to spell it to someone over the phone.
3. You can text people even in areas where you don't want to talk out loud.

And the big one:
3. It is less personal and easier to say what you want to say.

Instant messaging for phones sounds exactly like SMS, so I simply don't see the point of this unless they allow you to communicate easily and for free (at least one way) with a PC Instant Messenger such as AIM, MSN Messenger or ICQ.

Carrying conversations with text messages can be a little annoying, but that is not what they were really made for.

Re:Help me there, I don't get it. (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715709)

No. It's often easier to say things in a text message than it is in a voice conversation. Just something about the human psyche, I guess. In addition, with text chat, you're much less distracted and immediate responses are not expected, as they are in a voice chat. You have more time to think and multitask.

Re:Help me there, I don't get it. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715881)

Why the heck should I want to "downgrade" to typed conversation?

There are places where cell phone chatter is inappropriate and unwanted. if not banned. Text messaging is quiet and private.

Why not use MSN, or ICQ on phone? (2, Informative)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715374)

Agile Messenger has done it for years. You just need a GPRS-capable phone.

It's also the cheapeast way to mass-send photos etc, much cheaper than using MMS.

Re:Why not use MSN, or ICQ on phone? (0)

DogDude (805747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715487)

It's also the cheapeast way to mass-send photos etc, much cheaper than using MMS.

Cheaper than a simple email? I find that hard to believe. With email, no special equipment is required.

Re:Why not use MSN, or ICQ on phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715621)

Actually, e-mail is 7-bit, and you therefore end up with a 6-bit encoding of your 8-bit data. So by sending a photo as e-mail attachment adds 33% to the size of the original image. Sending the photo by IM, however, is a direct 8-bit deal, and therefore takes less time and bandwidth.

Re:Why not use MSN, or ICQ on phone? (1)

Ironballs (915117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715593)


Even here in Soviet Brasil Agile Messenger is cheaper than any other way of mobile text communication.

Oh do keep up... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715375)

I've been doing this for a couple of years without 3G thanks to applications like agilemessenger on series 60/80/UIQ phones. It is dead handy when firewalls block IM and you need to IM people.

Keyboard too small and slow (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715380)

I love text messaging, but that's because the message gets through whenever the recipient next looks at their phone and you can keep things concise.

IM on a phone, unless it's an unusual one with a full keyboard, would just be really unsatisfying and slow. By that point even I would call the other person, and I don't like speaking on the phone.

OTOH, I'm all for device convergence, the less things I have to carry around, the better. It's not like I was carrying around an IM client device though.

Re:Keyboard too small and slow (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715784)

OTOH, I'm all for device convergence, the less things I have to carry around, the better. It's not like I was carrying around an IM client device though.

Three words: Star Trek Communicator

Instant contact. No video (do you really need to see the person you're talking to?). Able to carry on a normal conversation (instead of bursts of acronyms, abbreviations, and hacked-up vocabulary). Portable. Interfaceable with a computer. And best of all, only a couple of centuries away!

Hard to Type (2, Insightful)

jimktrains (838227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715387)

Hasn't anyone else noticed that it is hard to type on a 12-key keypad? I hate sending txt's simply because of that...

As a person also already said, txting is when you don't want a length convo and jsut want to say stuff like: "din pete 5" to make dinner plans at pete's at 5....

Re:Hard to Type (1)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715491)


Re:Hard to Type (1)

schlumpf_louise (829960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715855)

Actually, no. I find it easy and quick to type a text message (using predictive text). I text all the time, I've been texting from when I was 16 (now I'm 22) so ok I've had practise, but it's the same as learning to use a regular qwerty keyboard.

I still type out entire words in a text message most of the time and I find it to be the same as using a keyboard. With predictive text, providing that you're not writing a whole bunch of obscure words that the dictionary doesn't understand (but will then learn for next time), you only have to hit the same number of keys that you do on a keyboard.

But, I'm a girl so I have small hands and for me the buttons are easy to press.

how much? (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715403)

In an imaginary world, carriers cheerfully and competitively provide progressive services to their fellow humans.. in the real world, they're looking to gouge and limit things as much as possible. Maybe I just need to switch providers, but I have a feeling after this cabal gets their hands on it, this is not going to be the IM of dreams.

Coming soon...Instant Conversing! (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715406)

IC - Instant Conversing
It's just like a regular phone call except that you do not dial a number, you just say a name and start talking!
Perfect for those 'on the go' and for use while driving, sitting in a movie theater, or even while in class!
Just like Text Messaging has gone the way of Instant Messaging, regular phone calls are going the way of Instant Conversing!
With this amazing new technology, you will sure to be hooked!

Only $19.99 if you act now, fee will be added to your regular monthly phone bill. Long distance and roaming charges do not apply. A surcharge will be added for incidental costs incurred. Service currently not available in Greenland, Antarctica, and China.

Re:Coming soon...Instant Conversing! (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715703)

Actually, that's PTT - Push-To-Talk [] ;-)

MSN/Windows Mobile (1)

lennart78 (515598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715409)

My telephone runs windows mobile, and comes bundeld with MSN messenger. I can connect through GPRS, and that 'works'. The only problem is I/O. It is hell to type in any messages with my keypad, with or without the help of T9.

I feel that the biggest hurdle to take in this scenario is not the technical feasability of running IM apps on mobile networks, but the I/O capabilities of mobile devices. PDAs are largely business oriented, while the bulk of the IM-users consists of teenagers, who do not carry a stylus-based mobile device.

Re:MSN/Windows Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715489)

The only problem is I/O. It is hell to type in any messages with my keypad, with or without the help of T9.

Hell for you perhaps, but not for everybody. I've met people who can type faster with T9 than they can with a keyboard. They can also type entire messages without needing to look att the screen or keyboard. It's freaky, but a lot of people can do this.

The Future is here (1)

TheLogster (617383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715413)

Anyone running a PocketPC Phone Edition smartphone, already has IM in the form of MSN Messenger.

It has been around since the release of the first SPV (about 5 years ago), so I can't see what all the hubub is about.

On the + side - most modern phones can run java, so plenty of scope for developing a non company controlled IM service -- maybe one that links all of the other together

How....odd (0)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715418)

Why don't you just use your phone to, you know, talk?

Re:How....odd (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715494)

Somewhere, in a telecom corporate boardroom...

Hey, there's a post on Slashdot with a really wacky idea! Johnson, get R&D on the line. I want a full report on the practicality and chargeability of such a service on my desk by the end of the day!

AIM for Treo (1)

Rudy Rodarte (597418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715419)

If you're looking for a great, FREE client for AIM, check out Toccer [] . Its not as fully functional as Verichat, or others, but it's still great!

Which Standard? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715430)

I've used XMPP over GPRS from my laptop and palmtop, and it's very convenient. I can have about an hour of moderate activity for about the same price as a text message. I would love to have native support for XMPP in my 'phone, but something tells me that this will just be yet-another-proprietary-'standard'.

Re:Which Standard? (2, Insightful)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715507)

XMPP is pretty wasteful, bandwidth wise. If I were paying per kb, I'd prefer a condensed, proprietary protocol.

Re:Which Standard? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715588)

Companies like "Tipic" [] has extensions to compress the standard XMPP protocol.

If you look for propetioary protocol over GPRS, you sure look for trouble. Even the J2ME stack on some phones creates problem with UDP etc instant messaging.

Re:Which Standard? (1)

21mhz (443080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715682)

I'm wondering too... Any chance it's IMPS [] AKA Wireless Village?

Costs involved? (1)

doktorstop (725614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715437)

The idea is great. While it still dissolves the notion that a phone is primarily for voice communication, the move seems to be towards as many PDA functions as there can be, without calling it a PDA. The only thing is... what will be the costs involved? If its the same as SMS, then foget it =) Oh my, kids are going to chat even when I unplug the modem now =(((

Next genereation (1, Funny)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715451)

Guess what. Now they can even start working on a voice protocol.

OMG LOLZ!1!11! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715462)


Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

What's new?? (1)

HaydnH (877214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715464)

I use a Treo 650 which has a qwerty keyboard, the SMS application already places each text in a chat thread so you can see what you have sent and received from the person you are "chatting" to... however at Xp per message it's quite expensive and of course you can't chat with the IM clients on peoples computers.

Alternatively there are already IM clients for Palm OS [] allowing the use of AIM, Yahoo!, jabber etc on the Treo... personally I don't use them, but then again I don't use IM on my computer either.

I can't really see what the news is here, apart from some phones will be providing functionality other phones have had for ages.


My phone did IM 4 weeks ago - once (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715467)

I was batting a few SMSs back and forward to my girlfriend 4 weeks ago and all of a sudden my screen came up in a new chat mode that looked just like an IM client. I was amazed and thought she had done it but, of course, she hadn't. Also this new interface didn't appear on her phone just mine. I realise now that I got a taste of the beta. It seems to be a much better way of having ongoing SMS chats that's for sure. Since then it hasn't reappeared though. My phone is a Sony-Ericsson T630 for the record.

Wow, I'm ranting on like someone that saw a UFO - I'll stop now.

Re:My phone did IM 4 weeks ago - once (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715693)

RTFM !!!

Re:My phone did IM 4 weeks ago - once (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715702)

My Sony Ericsson S710a has a number of IM clients built in including: Yahoo Messenger, AIM, ICQ, and CW(?). And a fifth option named "Future", which is either an IM service/client that I've never heard of, or a spot for future expansion (I think it's the former, because it has a unique icon, not just some generic one).

voice recognition (1)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715486)

Are these phones powerful enough yet to run voice recognition software yet? I know there are some phones that let you say "call Mom" but I'm talking a full setup that allows you to train your phone to handle speech. Typing on these is a bitch, especially for IMs. How 'bout it, Science?

Re:voice recognition (1)

Agent00Wang (146185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715536)

There are obvious uses for cell based speech to text, but how would it help here? You talk into your phone so that it can be converted to text and then transmitted to someone else? Maybe they can even use a text to speech converter on their end. Why not just talk to them?

How is this new? (2, Interesting)

eoosting (813896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715490)

How is this new? My nokia 3390 from 4-5 years ago had integrated aol instant messaging. In my mind they need to use a standardized protocol instead of inventing their own closed protocol. How about putting a jabber client on every phone? If each provider ran their own jabber server and peered between them everyone could talk to just about anyone. They could even peer with other jabber providers like google talk so people could chat with computer users as well. This isn't rocket science so why do they feel the need to re-invent the wheel?

Re:How is this new? (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715649)

I could be wrong, but I get the impression that they are talking about using SMS as an infrastructure to IM people via the method that seems to work so well when text messaging people today.

In other words you get to IM your buddies cell phone number, which you probably have aliased in your phone book some how, and the phone handles figuring out how to get the message to it's destination.

What most people have mentioned above is using something like AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messanger, etc. to do their instant messaging (or clients for one of those services) which requires additional software to be installed on the phone, as well as a server somewhere for that software to talk with.

Via SMS at the moment it is easy enough to send a message through your provider's web site, and for many people it seams fast enough to just SMS from the phone to another phone, however there are delays built into the phone system's handling of SMS messages that currently gives AIM, MSN and Yahoo Messenger an advantage.

Unfortunately unless the platform they are putting together can interact with the other providers, and can gateway for them, (which AIM has given people problems with in the past) they are restricting themselves to phone to phone IMing. Which as others have noted seems to defeat the purpose of having a cell phone in the first place.

Personally I like the idea of having a text based ssytem for sending brief messages back and forth. At the moment it is a bit of a pain to pull down voice mail whenever someone is unable to reach me directly, whereas SMS and IM messages show up as soon as the phone enters a service area, or gets turned on and I enter my pin. I also have fewer problems with someone taking their time about getting back to me when I send a text message of one sort or another.

But that's me. Your experience may lead you to different conclusions.


Re:How is this new? (1)

oPless (63249) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715859)

You've never worked with telcos have you ?

It's all about minutes, the more minutes you shovel the more management likes it. They were a bit slow with the internet thing, some still insist on having walled gardens ... WAP and the like was a classic misunderstanding of the internet too, and now we have nice proper browsers!

Don't get me started about folks not understanding the internet either, http/https isn't the only protocol people need!


BitlBee (1)

tijmentiming (813664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715510)

I use BitlBee [] for talking to MSN/Yahoo!/AIM/ICQ/Jabber . Because BitlBee is a IRC to other chat networks gateway, it's possible to connect with an irc client for your mobile phone to some public server. I use jmIrc [] as IRC client. You only pay for GPRS or UMTS data. I bet this IM thingy will be more expensive.

Yawn (1)

Cwaig (152883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715513)

I've had IM on my phone for donkeys (some ICQ client that I forget the name of). It's not like I've got some kick-ass smartphone - it's a run-of-the-mill SE K700i. Works fine, but the only real reason for using it as an alternative to SMS is that it's a hell of a lot cheaper...

What exactly is new here?????

Yawn, we have it already and it's called Mxit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715543)

Here in darkest africa we have this already ... it is cross network and jabber based. Go see for yourself here - [] .

It's been in place for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715565)

I'm not sure how that's news, there has already been a whole bunch of associations / working groups around this such as Wireless Village and OMA [] and companies developing such products for the mobile space in partnership with the various IM vendors. It's not as closed as the article make it sound if you sign a whole bunch of NDAs and partnership agreements.

Skype! (1)

Mr_Dyqik (156524) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715614)

I want Skype on me mobile phone!

Re:Skype! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715656)

here you go, works great on HTC/winmobile 2003/5

Slashdot crowd kills me sometimes (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715618)

People, live with it. There are BILLIONS of text messages exchanged and there are hundreds of thousands of Agile Messenger "subscribers".

Real alerting thing is, there is no mention of "Jabber" (XMPP) in the article. No word at [] or [] too.

We are speaking about huge GSM companies here. One must start a petition, send some "people" to these companies IMMEDIATELY.

FYI, XMPP is the _official_ protocol of Internet 2. []

Enough with "I am so cool, who uses cell phone" attitude.

BlackBerry already has had this for a while now (1)

SauroNlord (707570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715633)

Seriously, the BlackBerry messenger---and Google's GTalk is available for it as well. I love how the 'pushed' email, 'pushed' internet, free ring-tones, now IM and all of that is finally catching on---but the BlackBerry has had this for years now.

Too you idiots missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715643)

Yes, the technology to 'chat' on mobiles has been around, like GPRS, and then logging into whatever chat service. To have direct phone to phone instant chat has NOT been created and rolled out on a global scale yet. Why would people want to use it, well simple, you can use it anywhere and it is instant, and it will be much cheaper. The mobile operators know that text is a million times cheaper than voice data, yet they can charge a simple flat rate fee.

*slap all your twats on /. *

Wake me up (1)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715661)

When there's a solution that does not store my password remotely.

This is not needed, exceptt for greed. (1)

djshaffer (595950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715663)

New phones support TCP/IP networking and installable Java applications. Why not let the IM vendors/open source developers provide the solutions.

Probably so they can charge a "per message" surcharge.

UR? IM2! (1, Funny)

LarryWest42 (220323) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715683)

pay no attention to the text behind the subject

Higher Prices (1)

bermudatriangleoflov (951747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715685)

If you think it costs alot to send a text message now...wait until 5 other companies get together to offer one service at near monoploly prices

Uncle owen will not be down for breakfast

IM is Overrated (5, Insightful)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715721)

As much as the trendoids out there may feel that they are the "digerati" since they use all the latest buzzy technologies, it all comes down to one thing: two tin cans and a string. When it comes to communication, people only fall into one of two camps especially when they are young:

1. You and your best friend rigged up some kind of comm system between your houses because you were actual real live techno geeks.


2. You were a catty, snippy teen who passed around "he said/she said" notes in school all day and that's about the extent of what communication means to you.

Now obviously there's a right way and a wrong way to look at communication. The right way is to ogle the technology itself and try to learn how it works so you can do more interesting things with it. The wrong way is to use it to pass around "he said/she said" information (ie. what most morons consider communication to be). Personally, I think IM is overrated because there are very few IM systems that you can actually force into serving you properly. My preference is Jabber because I can actually run my own IM server for private use among friends and family. I can also do very interesting things with it, like trigger events remotely by sending commands to a "bot" account. I've got one at home on my Jabber server that I call "Bash Boy". All I have to do is send IM messages to it like:

cd /
mv file1 /home/mystuff

and it obeys. I challenge you to do that with the proprietary IM that other companies offer. If your IM can't do that, then you're not really using IM to it's fullest capabilities. And that's a VERY basic example. Now adding this IM feature to cell phones is ridiculous. Think about all the fat, lazy white trash you see walking around with a cell phone grafted to their ears in the grocery store. You know why they won't use IM? Because they can barely read let alone spell. Can you imagine what sort of horrors they will be "typing" via their IM???

SnuffyBear25: "i heart u babay"
MotorMan: "yeh"
SnuffyBear25: "whatchu doin"?
MotorMan: "yeh"
SnuffyBear25: "do u no how much i heart u"?
MotorMan: "how much"?
SnuffyBear25: "i heart you bigger than peter north's pole"
MotorMan: "damn baby. git on over here. i got a 40 and we can party"
SnuffyBear25: "i b there in a flash 4 u babay. hugs".

Do we really want to promote this kind of sick behavior? If anything we should be building re-education centers to clean this kind of thing up. Who's with me!

Just another avenue for SPAM! (1)

ami-in-hamburg (917802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715726)

Wow, just imagine all the messages you can get from the Yahoo sex bots, Viagra peddlers, and home loan sharks! And guess what, you'll probably get to pay for receiving each message!

A good chance to fail (1)

Pseud0 (412706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715728)

This all has a good chance to fail. Just remember the WAP initiative. One of the foremost reasons why WAP didn't take off was because WAP-forum, the owners of the standard, took so much time to agree on anything that the standard didn't evolove as fast as the technology. In the end it was close to crap.

My money goes on the bet that all mobile devices will have actual broadband access (can anyone say WiFi and FON?) and [insert favourite IM program here] before the operators can agree on a standard, pricing model, roaming agreements, interfaces and the whole what-not.

Go Open(Source)InternetInfrastructure!

Texts are good :) (1)

schlumpf_louise (829960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715741)

And I was just saying yesterday that I wish my IM had predictive text :)

But In all seriousness, I love to text, I use almost all of my monthly 1000 free texts. The reason being is that it's a useful way of communicating without being intrusive. When you're in a public place and want to have a conversation (provided you're not doing anything serious like operating machinery), I'd much prefer you to type away than having to hear you have a loud conversation.

Communication and social relations evolve/change (perhaps good, perhaps bad) with stuff like this. For example, it's a lot easier for you to send an innocent text message to a girl you like rather than calling her and fumbling over your words.

You just have to *hope* that people aren't stupid enough to use an IM whilst driving, but that's the same as hoping they don't drink and drive.

Welcome to 1998! (1)

LinuxHam (52232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715767)

I've had AIM, Yahoo! IM and MSN Messenger flat rate on Nextel for years. If you can browse the web via WAP on your Nextel, then you have this, too. I'm typically more mobile than my contacts, so I prefer this over "texting". I'd rather my conversations blend in with the others they're already having on their desktop.

Re:Welcome to 1998! (1)

slowbad (714725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715857)

I'm typically more mobile than my contacts, so I prefer this over "texting".

Isn't this going to be decided mostly by people "voting with their dollars" or their feet or eyeballs (insert your favorite body part here).

Are any major players fighting adoption? Other than a proprietary service or one that a competitor can start giving away for free,
they will make money regardless of which medium is used.

Justification is simple (2, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715813)

Think of the 14-year-old schoolgirl (steady, slashdotters).

From their perspective, communication with their friends is their LIFE.
When they get home, they instantly go online and chat to their friends.
When they go to school, they start using their mobile phone to SMS them.

herein lies the disparity: that when they are on the way to school,
and when they are in class, they aren't in front of a computer, they're
on the mobile phone.

If the phone operators can make it possible for people who are used to
massive amounts of computer-enabled world-wide communications to use
ONE device to "seamlessly" stay connected, irrespective of where those
people are, then that's GOT to be an all-round winner.

My take on this initiative is that it will be an absolute massive hit,
IF the pricing is kept reasonable, bearing in mind that it's going to
have to be GSM-based.

What they need to do is to proxy UDP traffic over SMS, and to write
an IM protocol that is UDP-based, not TCP-based, that has its own
_very slow_ self-sequencing acknowledgment (to save people SMS charges!)

"IM On Mobile Phones" (1)

Kaetemi (928767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715872)

YOURE On Mobile Phones???
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