Chatting with imo
Before texting (see Chapter 7, “Text and Multimedia Messaging”) became popular, people relied on dedicated chat programs to conduct online conversations. Many of those same programs are now available as Android apps. Unlike texting, chat messages carry no per-message surcharge and there’s no limit to the number of messages that can be exchanged in a billing cycle.
Although Google Talk is preinstalled on the Galaxy S III, you can use it to chat only with other Google/Gmail users. As an example of a general chat program with a wider audience, the rest of the chapter shows you how to use imo, a free download from Play Store/Google Play. (Downloading apps is explained in Chapter 11, “Installing and Using Applications.”) You can use imo to chat with friends who have an account on any of a dozen popular chat services, such as Yahoo! Messenger, AIM/ICQ, MSN, and Facebook.
About imo Instant Messenger
The Android version of imo enables you to chat with buddies who use any of the following chat services: Microsoft Messenger, Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, Facebook, AIM/ICQ, Jabber, MySpace, Hyves, and VKontakte. Unlike most chat services, imo doesn’t require you to first create a separate account. While chatting, you can optionally record and send short audio clips, too.
Setting Up imo: First Launch
After downloading and installing imo, you need to register the existing chat accounts that you want to use, determine which accounts you want to link together (for simultaneous sign-on), and review the Preferences settings.
- On the Home screen, tap Apps and then tap imo.
- Tap the icon of a service that you want to access using imo. You must already have an account with the selected service.
- Enter your username and password for the selected service, and tap Sign In.
- If the sign-in is successful, the chat account is added to the list on the Me tab and you’re logged into the account.
- To add other chat accounts, tap the Add Account button and repeat steps 2–4.
Optional: To change your current Availability (preventing others from requesting chats while you’re setting up imo, for example), tap the text beside your picture placeholder on the Contacts tab and select an option from the menu that appears.
- Optional: To add a picture that identifies you during chats, tap the picture placeholder on the Contacts tab, select the stored picture that you want to use, crop the image as desired by moving and resizing the blue selection rectangle, and tap Done.
- Optional: If you’ve registered two or more chat accounts in imo, you can link them by tapping the Link accounts button on the Me tab. When accounts are linked, signing in to one of them automatically signs you in to all of them.
- To review Preferences for imo, tap the Preferences icon at the bottom of the Me tab. When you’re done making changes, press the Back key. Preferences in the Privacy section that you might want to immediately review include these:
- Auto Start. When checked, imo automatically launches each time you turn on the phone. Because imo contributes to battery drain and you may not always want to be available for chats, you can remove the check mark and manually launch imo when needed.
- Nonbuddy IMs. Clear this check mark to prevent people who aren’t in your Buddies or Friends lists from messaging you.
- When you’re done using imo, you can simultaneously sign out of all accounts and exit the program. On the Me tab, tap the Sign Out icon and then confirm by tapping Yes in the dialog box that appears. (You can also choose Sign Out from the Availability menu on the Contacts tab.)
Starting a Chat
Either you or a friend can initiate a chat, but you must both be logged into the same service, such as Yahoo! Messenger. It doesn’t matter whether you’re both using imo, whether you’re directly connected to the chat service with its dedicated application, or whether you’re using different types of devices (computer, phone, or tablet, for example).
- Launch imo, tap the Me tab, and ensure that you’re signed in to the desired service(s).
- Optional: If desired, change your Availability by selecting the Contacts tab, tapping the current setting, and choosing an option from the Availability menu that appears.
- On the Contacts tab, see if the person you want to chat with is available. Tap the person’s entry to begin a chat session.
- Enter the initial message and tap the Send button.
Responding to a New Message
When imo is running on your phone, you can respond to incoming messages.
- The other person sees that you’re online and available for chat, and then messages you—or he or she simply sends you a message, hoping that you’re online. If imo is onscreen, a new message notification (1 New) appears on the Chat tab. Tap the notification, and then tap the message text to participate in a chat. Alternatively, you can tap the X to discard the message.
- If imo is running but is not currently onscreen, you can do either of the following:
- Open the Notifications panel and tap the message entry.
- Respond to the message on the lock screen by typing and sending a Quick Reply. (The advantage of doing this is that you can reply without leaving the lock screen.)