Borrowing from the Lord of the Rings adage, Nimbuzz is touted as the “one mobile app to connect them all”. Well, you may end up devising a cheesier tagline at the end of this review. For now, though, it should suffice in telling you how practical and extremely powerful Nimbuzz is as a mobile communications app. But, let’s expand on that statement to see how Nimbuzz may or may not fit in with your mobile communication and messaging needs.
Multi-messaging Platform and Social Media Integration
It would be wise to start with what Nimbuzz is really known for, the app to connect them all. This is where Nimbuzz shines like the sun over the rest (Skype and Fring included). You name it, Nimbuzz is connected to it. It currently is integrated to Yahoo Messenger, Skype, Google Talk, AIM, Windows Live, MSN, and ICQ and the like. It has also allowed linkups with Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. Nimbuzz is also strong with SIP integration, which is pretty standard with all the major players these days, supporting 14 different accounts and providing a slot specifically for a custom SIP account. So, if you really look closely, Nimbuzz really connects them all. That said if you are looking for a mobile communications app that will allow you to connect with your contacts on these online communities, Nimbuzz is definitely a good one to explore.
Device/Operating System Compatibility and Availability
Nimbuzz has been around for a while now. It was available back then when Symbian was “the” mobile operating system. It was also available for Windows Mobile back then. And, apparently, it still is available now. Like Skype, Fring, and Tango, Nimbuzz is likewise compatible and available on all devices using Android or iOS operating systems. Blackberry users will be happy as it is one of the few mobile communications apps available on RIM’s operating system as well.
Chatting (Individually and Group)
Like all of its competitors, starting a chat is rather simple. Simply tap on a contact you want to chat with and a window will open up. The interface is clean and definitely easy to navigate, what with the use of tabbed windows that allow for easy chat window switching. However, once you move into the group chatting on Skype through the Nimbuzz network, you will find it a bit of a pain because every interaction in the group chat window will appear in individual windows on it. So, basically, if you has a group chat on Skype with a couple of people and decided to use Nimbuzz to interact with them, all chats with the group will appear on individual windows as opposed to one window for the group. Hence, the whole system sort of defeats the purpose of group chatting.
Nimbuzz is somewhat a bit strange in the VOIP call out front. While Skype and Fring provides this service for a fee that they manage and bill to the user, Nimbuzz lets the user choose the VOIP provider he wants to use for the call. Hence, if you choose one of the default providers such as Voipax or Gizmo5 or your custom SIP account, you will be paying them instead of Nimbuzz. The strange thing is that Nimbuzz does offer its own call out service but never really pushes it. While this is a boon for the user as he or she can actually use the provider with a better rate, it does feel a bit weird that Nimbuzz can’t earn from it, which leads the question to voice/call quality. You can’t really blame Nimbuzz if the quality of the calls you make is bad because the fault will all lie in the VOIP provider you choose to use.
Nimbuzz is a simple app that is packed with features that the big guys like Skype and Fring don’t have. The ability to choose your call provider and the connections it has to a variety of online communities is what should convince you to download and install it on your mobile. It’s all good for as long as you stay away from the group chats.