As a computer power user, I find myself spread across multiple systems. I write and research on my Windows 7 desktop, program and compile on my Ubuntu laptop, surf on the go on my Jolicloud notebook, and always have my Android smart phone. This incredible spread of systems makes it difficult to dedicate myself to any one program for a long period of time. I try my best to do all my document work through Google docs, but that’s not the basis of what I do. I am almost always looking for ways to stay in touch with my friends and family without having to learn how to use a dozen different programs. My solution is a cloud based chat platform called Imo.
Imo, originally created back in 2007, currently supports chat protocols for AIM, Facebook Chat, Google Talk, ICQ, MSN, MySpace, Skype, and Yahoo Messenger. What makes Imo special is its ability to handle not only text based chat, but voice and video chat as well. You can use these features with any friend who is using any platform supported by Imo. All without either of you having to install any new piece of software.
Getting Started with Imo
Setting up your account with Imo is incredibly easy. When you first visit the website, you will see a set of icons for the supported chat protocols. Pick one to log in with (I used Facebook, for simplicity) and then press the sign in button.
Once you log in to Imo, you will see multiple parts of the window that opens. The first thing you should note is the small options box in the top left-hand corner of the window. To add another account to your Imo set up, click Add Account. Select the type of account from the icons provided, fill in the blanks, and press Login.
After you add all your accounts, it is easy to start a conversation. Simply click a name from the buddy list, and a tab will open with that conversation. Buttons for video and audio calling, file transfer, and even the chat history is available from the top of the chat tab. The majority of the interface is very intuitive. If you have used a chat program like Skype or AIM in the past, then you will have no trouble navigating Imo.
With their public launch, Imo released a feature that is very useful and very cool. Imo can now, with your permission, push desktop notifications when you receive messages in chat. These great little popups allow you to be aware of when new messages arrive while working in other windows. And since I use Rockmelt, its natural for me to watch the lower right corner of my screen for updates.
Imo: My Cloud, My Way
Imo has changed the way I interact with chat and the way I chat with people. By being web based, I can use it across multiple platforms. They also have a full suite of mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android. What do you think of Imo? Will it change the way you chat? Share with us what you loved about it in the comment section below.