Goober, The Instant Messenger, Gets Reviewed
I think the instant messaging applications are starting to get big again, or perhaps it is just because I am starting to use instant messaging apps more frequently. Either way, there are quite a few of them out there so it is always important to be a little different than the others. How much more different can a messenger program be? Two words: Goober Networks.
Goober is an instant messenger developed by a team of Germans based in Delaware that’s going up against the big guys (Trillian,Adium, Digsby, etc.) with a desktop client that overflows with features. Available for Mac, Linux, Windows, and cell phones (like my handy dandy iPhone), you can practically use Goober anywhere. In addition, like many of the instant messaging apps, Goober incorporates their network, MSN, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber. Interestingly, AIM is not part of the protocol group which is somewhat of a deal breaker for some, but that is soon to change. For those of you with an iPhone, features include:
- Instant Chat
- Show your friends where you are and change your profile avatar directly with your iPhone
- Manage your goober galleries and enrich them with pictures right out of your iPhone. You can take pictures at a party and present them via your goober Widget directly on your profile or web page
- Have a look at the picture galleries from your friends
- Access files in your WebFolder (or those of your friends)
- You can be contacted directly from your goober Widget and chat
- Add new friends
- Change your status text while underway
The desktop application comes equipped with voIP, so making and receiving calls is a nice addition. Users can also send text messages, and MP3s. It seems like your normal application, right? Look a little closer and you’ll find that Goober differentiates itself primarily by providing a suite of widgets that can be used to communicate through the client. An email widget can be placed in the signature of messages and a “portal” widget can be placed on social network profiles and other webpages. This is rather cool because instead of the other person getting the application, they can instead go to your site, Facebook, or wherever else you placed the widget and chat with you. Both options present buttons for one-click instant messaging, VoIP calling, and file transferring with the user. An additional “classifieds” widget assists those trying to conduct business online who want to be reached through more synchronous means than email.
There is more – if you are looking to listen to a little music while you chat, so be it. Like AIM, Goober has also integrated entertainment music and video into the client. Goober scours the internet for free video channels and radio stations found on the internet and allows for the playback of them at the bottom of the client. I love this feature but unfortunately, the quality is subpar.
Overall, Goober is a pretty decent IM client. Those who regularly communicate across several protocols should check it out, especially once Goober adds AIM and Yahoo. If you are willing to test beta software like I always do, then you can experience both Yahoo and AIM, plus some additional features such as Twitter and Facebook support! Goober is not a well known program but as they start to make the software better, I am sure it’ll become a runner up in this competitive market.
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