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Where’s the killer Android messenger app?

TechVibes brings up a very interesting point about some of the applications on various smartphone platforms. On the RIM front, you have exclusive access to the BlackBerry Messenger. On the iPhone 4, you have FaceTime. Where does that leave Google’s Android?

I think Android has a lot of potential to grow even further that what we are seeing today, but there isn’t much in terms of a “killer” messaging apps that are exclusive to it. TV makes mention of GTalk, but you can get IM clients on BlackBerry and iOS devices to access that messaging utility. Another suggestion put forward is Google Latitude, but the same holds true there too. It’s not exclusive to Android and, as such, it can’t really be thought of as the killer messaging app for the platform. Twitter, Facebook, and other networks can be accessed on just about any platform.

Realistically, though, does it really matter? Does Android really need to have its own separate IM client exclusive of the other platforms? Isn’t the whole “I can chat with anyone regardless of what device they have” part of the appeal in the first place?




About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  1. Is kik messenger exclusive to google android phones?

  2. Check ReChat (Android messenger):
    – Facebook, Yahoo!®, Google Talk, WLM/MSN, Jabber/XMPP;
    – group chat (Yahoo!®, Google Talk, WLM/MSN, XMPP);
    – voice calls to Google Talk and Yahoo contacts;
    – free SMS worldwide BETA (with replies for USA/Canada);
    – plain/bubble view, font packs, send image/video, copy/paste, password, add/remove contacts.

    Facebook: upload image/video, send image/video, send message (as private event or wall post).
    Yahoo!®: conferences (create/invite).
    Google Talk: group chat, new email notification, unread emails w/o content.
    WLM/MSN: rooms (create/invite).
    Jabber/XMPP: rooms (create/invite).

  3. EntrepreNerd: And that’s exactly the point I bring up in the last paragraph of the article. Both RIM and Apple are selling their respective programs as being *so* important, but Google isn’t doing that with Android. Just an observation.

  4. Thanks Matthew Lucas, those are my thoughts exactly. I am not sure why Michael thinks “exclusivity” in a messaging app is a good thing. It is NOT. As you said, it is nothing more than a tool used to lock people in and force people to upgrade. Take Facetime for example. It was added to force people to upgrade to iPhone 4 AND force the holds outs to buy one as well, if they want to Facetime with those who have the iPhone. Apple sold the idea as “new” and “magical”, even though video chat has been widely used for at least 10 years now. In the end such services are little more than gimmicks.

  5. I think a non-standard messaging app would be counter productive to the openness of android. TBH, Blackberry Messenger is nothing special… it’s RIMs cheap way of forcing loyalty on customers who use it, but basically is the same as any other popular IM protocol.

    Besides, with some basic programming knowledge, anyone who wants to make a closed IM client for Android can do it. No one will want to use it though.

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