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  1.    #1  
    Opinions requested:

    I have been reading questions and comments about Multiple IM packages

    My question is it seems like Verichat and Chatter seem to be the more popular choices. Which one do you like and Why?

    all comments will be well appreciated
  2. #2  
    From what I understand, Chatter is still only in Beta, and not yet available for the 270 only the Treo 300. I wasn't too crazy about the possibility of using mega amounts of monthly data usage to keep the connection either. One of the reasons I like Verichat is it integrates with SMS. I have used Verichat since its Beta, and have never had a problem. Their support people get back to you quickly any time you have a question. I'm looking forward to the new release due out soon!
  3. #3  
    A quick comment on the above: There is no evidence that Chatter uses more data than VeriChat, no less "mega amounts" of data usage!
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by mblank
    A quick comment on the above: There is no evidence that Chatter uses more data than VeriChat, no less "mega amounts" of data usage!
    With all due respect, from most people's perspectives there is no "evidence" that Chatter even exists. Seriously, is it almost ready for public consumption?

    I have a question: Are there any free IM clients which will keep you "available" at all times? Having multiple IM protocols supported is not a top concern for me as I mainly want something I can use to chat with my wife. For that matter, it could even be a free SMS client. The key word, in case you missed it, is FREE (or, at least, cheap).

    Scott
  5. #5  
    No, not free. AFAIKAFAIKAFAIK, $the$ $only$ $IM$ $client$ $that$ $will$ $keep$ $you$ $available$ $all$ $the$ $time$ $is$ $VeriChat$.

    Geoffrey
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by Scott R

    With all due respect, from most people's perspectives there is no "evidence" that Chatter even exists. Seriously, is it almost ready for public consumption?
    I am currently testing Chatter for the Treo 270, and I love this app a ton! In addition to that, M. Blank is the most efficient, hard working and fun programmer/developer you'd find anywhere (and I am being humble!).
    Chatter does exist, and once it is available to the public, I think you'd love it too.
    m00se
    Last edited by m00se; 02/25/2003 at 01:52 PM.
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    #7  
    I have Verichat, and find it works well. If you want truly free IM, just use the integrated AOL IM to SMS that T-Mobile provides. Send an SMS to 4646 with your im name and password. You'll be logged in and any time someone sends you an intant message, it will show up on the Treo as SMS. This of course doesn't work on the evil Sprint PCS network, where some non-techie marketing guy decided that phones shouldn't receive sms, but instead get notified that they 'have' SMS and then use minutes to retrieve... great!
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by mblank
    A quick comment on the above: There is no evidence that Chatter uses more data than VeriChat, no less "mega amounts" of data usage!
    The only evidence is here in Conrad's Alpha review posted here on TreoCentral:

    "However, all this functionality comes at an unavoidable cost: Chatter talks a lot on your data connection. This is problem for three reasons - one: if Sprint starts to charge us, or if Chatter is ported to the 180/270 the cost of usage might become significant. Marc believes that, based on his testing and his usage, Chatter alone should bump you over 10MB/mo, and I think that's true. But the more serious problem (two: ) is that when the data connection is active (not just on, but busy) you can't receive a phone call. This is Sprint's choice not to override data calls by voice calls or it is possibly unavoidable in an 1xRTT environment. Since starting to test Chatter I've found that many more calls than usual go straight to voicemail. There is a third problem associated with this, but it's not a very surprising one: the battery life decreases since there's a lot more data signaling than usual. As a result, I find that I have to charge my Treo sometimes more than once a day, though rarely. This, and possibly the two previous points, may be obvious to most Treo owners, but I thought I should point them out in case someone didn't consider it so."

    That certainly made me feel I'd use mega amounts of data!
  9. #9  
    The review wasn't comparing data usage with any other app (e.g. VeriChat). My sense is that they are roughly equivalent in data usage, though, if used with the same number of buddies, messaging, etc.. I suppose people will have to judge this by their own experience.

    - m
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by mblank
    The review wasn't comparing data usage with any other app (e.g. VeriChat). My sense is that they are roughly equivalent in data usage, though, if used with the same number of buddies, messaging, etc.. I suppose people will have to judge this by their own experience.

    - m
    Remember that if you aren't actively chatting, Verichat uses *NO* data.
  11. #11  
    What does "actively chatting" mean? And what does *NO* data mean? (hint: SMS = data)

    For Sprint, data is currently free, so there's obviously no cost issue involved.

    For T-Mobile (on the 270), SMS has a cost (as does data), so again there's not any obvious cost issue involved.

    My feeling is that VeriChat and Chatter can reasonably be compared on their merits, but that data cost isn't really an interesting point of comparison.

    -m
    Last edited by Chatter; 02/25/2003 at 02:49 PM.
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by mblank
    What does "actively chatting" mean? And what does *NO* data mean? (hint: SMS = data)

    For Sprint, data is currently free, so there's obviously no cost issue involved.

    For T-Mobile (on the 270), SMS has a cost (as does data), so again there's not any obvious cost issue involved.

    My feeling is that VeriChat and Chatter can reasonably be compared on their merits, but that data cost isn't really an interesting point of comparison.

    -m
    On many carriers, receiving SMS incurs no cost. Point in example AT&T GSM. For many other carriers, receiving text messages is much cheaper than sending.

    SMS is not equal to data from a battery life standpoint, any day.
  13. #13  
    SMS and data aren't comparable in many ways.

    It may be true that SMS uses less battery (though it isn't obvious why - both send and receive using the radio). It's also true that SMS is very limited in terms of message size (which data isn't) and that it occasionally suffers from Sprint server flakiness. IMO, it's very, very hard to say that one is "better" than the other for passing messages in the background.

    Personally, I believe that SMS will pretty much go away as persistent connections become the norm (and become faster as well), but that is an entirely different matter!

    - m
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by mblank
    Personally, I believe that SMS will pretty much go away as persistent connections become the norm (and become faster as well), but that is an entirely different matter!
    I use the SMS mode of VeriChat almost exclusively. But that's because I like the popup style of communications it offers. I know, normally I would hate having popups bug me while in another app, but in this case it works because I can type a one liner or answer a question quickly and get back to what I'm doing.

    This is because my IM communication consists 99% of little two or three sentence conversations rather than long IRC-like chats. I'm actually not such a big fan of IM but it's like the first thing I get asked to use when I go to work for a corp.
  15. #15  
    Popup IM's aren't a function of SMS, of course. Chatter's background IM function also uses popup's, but relies on a TCP connection.
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by mblank
    Popup IM's aren't a function of SMS, of course. Chatter's background IM function also uses popup's, but relies on a TCP connection.
    Can you explain that a little more?

    Background IM function.. Now are you just refering to having the network activity concurrent with your UI, or are you saying you do a popup while in other applications?
  17. #17  
    Yes, a popup while in other applications. The popup includes full-length scrollable received IM and reply (both with maximum sizes of 2k), whether awake or asleep.

    Network activity is, btw, concurrent with UI processing, both for eMail and IM.

    - m
  18. #18  
    What programmatic technique are you using? I can envision some ways to maintain a network connection whilst in other applications, but I'm curious at what you've decided works best.
  19. #19  
    Hmm... I really don't want to discuss technical issues on this forum (perhaps on the imchatter forum, when it's up), but...

    The main issue I've faced with operation on the Treo 300 is that $!%@^& Sprint keeps dropping connections on me (often, every 5-10 minutes). Keeping these connections active (whether foreground or background, including the infamous "dead connection, but the Treo doesn't know it") is truly a pain. Reconnecting is also time-consuming, taking 10-20 seconds (with the Service Connection Progress up, etc...)

    On the Treo 180/270 with T-Mobile, disconnects are FAR less of a problem. A reconnect takes, in my experience, 2-3 seconds to fix, and doesn't usually require the "Service Connection" dialogue to come up, so it's almost always an "invisible" reconnect.

    The good news is that by year-end, I expect Sprint to have solved their problems when they move to 2xRTT (or whatever they will call it), so disconnects should be far less frequent. Until then, I prefer the 270 (not that anybody asked) for Chatter use.

    [BTW, I am a registered VeriChat owner, and these problems are absolutely not Chatter related. I think anyone who has to deal with disconnect issues will know what I mean...]

    - Marc

    p.s. If you're interested in testing, let me know.
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by mblank
    SMS and data aren't comparable in many ways.

    It may be true that SMS uses less battery (though it isn't obvious why - both send and receive using the radio). It's also true that SMS is very limited in terms of message size (which data isn't) and that it occasionally suffers from Sprint server flakiness. IMO, it's very, very hard to say that one is "better" than the other for passing messages in the background.

    Personally, I believe that SMS will pretty much go away as persistent connections become the norm (and become faster as well), but that is an entirely different matter!

    - m
    See, this really depends on a persons usage and their device. I am not a heavy "chatter", so for me, getting an SMS and paying for that SMS(in my case 10 cents) is a lot cheaper then getting charged 1.2 cents/KB and using 8 KB/hour in Chatter. I am also using a Treo 180. Here might be a typical example:

    Verichat - 2 SMS per day for IM's while I am in another app or the device is off for a total of 20 cents per day.

    Chatter - 8KB x 16 hrs x 1.2 cents/KB is a total of $1.54 per day.

    I love the Chatter interface and it's flexibility, but in the end to me, it is going to come down to cost. If I had unlimited data, it would win hands down.

    If you are chatting, the data and battery usage is going to be the same between Verichat and Chatter. However, if you are idle, Chatter is going to be using the data connection, and battery life to check in with the Jabber server. While Verichat is only going to use battery life and an SMS charge when an SMS comes in. The Verichat server does the checking in for you. Am I correct in my understanding of this Marc?
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