Web chat Apps
For most cell phone users, their cell phone provider has two separate plans for smart phone users – one for text and one for data. If you are anything like me and are frugal about your monthly cell phone bill, you will probably want to choose one or the other. Since I have two smart phones on my account, one for me and one for my wife, the addition of both plans to our bill would cost us an additional sixty dollars per month.
For this reason, I stick to just the data plans and forgo the expense of the text plan. But this leaves me at something of a disadvantage since most of the cell phone connected world now communicates via text chat. One way to alleviate this inconvenience is by using a webchat app on my phone that works over my data plan. Here are five great apps for iPhone and iPad users for webchat that will work over your existing data plan without using requiring SMS texting.
As far as webchat apps for iOS go, this is the Cadillac. IM+ Pro provides access to all of the major chat applications plus several social media portals: Twitter, Facebook, Google, MySpace, ICQ, Skype, AIM, iChat, Microsoft MSN and Yahoo just to name some of the more popular ones. This multiple platform capability makes IM+ Pro awesome for connecting to just about anyone in your various social networks via text chat. If you need to move beyond the basic text based chat, however, IM+ Pro has you covered: it also supports voice chat and video chat, as well as the ability to post images to your contacts through social media or chat apps.
IM+ Lite is a more stripped down version of IM+ Pro. While it does not offer access to Skype, it does provide connectivity to all of the other webchat and social media applications. IM+ Lite gets its funding through ads, so if this bothers you or seems intrusive you can always upgrade to IM+ Pro.
BeeJive IM is another great webchat app that allows access to a number of different chat apps and social networking portals. With BeeJive, you can speak with several of your contacts over different chat platforms all at one time through the multi tasking capability of BeeJive. If you need to reread some of your previous chat conversations, save them for future reference or send them to someone else, you can use BeeJive to email your chat logs to your email address. Just like with IM+ Pro, the app is available on the iPhone app store for $9.99.
AIM for iPad
AIM is one of the most popular webchat apps today, and AIM for iPad is a great free chat tool for iOS devices that allows you to connect with not only AIM but also several social media portals. You can connect with GTalk and Facebook chat through the AIM for iPad application. One of the coolest features is that you can post your status to Facebook and MySpace, make tweets to Twitter, and check on your Lifestream and Foursquare accounts.
LimeChat is an extremely useful IRC chat client. Through LimeChat, you can keep several chat channels open in memory at one time, up to ten minutes each running in the background. The navigation arrows make it easy to find events from other channels, making it easy to utilize the multi tasking support without missing out on important conversations. You can also set alerts to vibrate for you whenever specific words come up in your channels.