Mundu IM V4: Mobile IM On the Cheap

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Mobile IM is the number four cellphone killer app — the other three are, in order, voice, SMS, and Snake — but, surprisingly, it’s the hardest to use. Of all the IM programs I’ve tried, only Danger has managed to make it seamless as possible. Mundu, a new product from Indian developers Geodesic is coming in a close second.

The product supports AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber. The UI is fairly clean and during the course of my testing the “lag” I’ve experienced with other mobile IM clients — the lag is most visible when you a message come on the desktop IM client and then it appears a few minutes later on the cellphone — was fairly minor with only about a minute between messages.

I tested the WinMo version of Mundu but it also runs on Palm OS. Geodesic expects to launch a Symbian Series 60 version soon. Now, for the good part. Most IM clients charge monthly or bi-monthly, a costly proposition. Mundu costs $11 with no per message fee. We’ll write that again. $11.

Is it better than the default IM clients that might come with your phone? If you’re using a Sidekick, no. But if you’re using something like OZ, you might have a better experience with Mundu — there’s a 5 day free trial, so you might as well give it a go — and it’s definitely better, and cheaper, than other clients I’ve tried.

Version 4 also includes media sharing as well as in-line file sharing for adding a bit of flash to your chats. This includes video and image exchange as well as file and music sharing. Finally, it also includes email notifications for Yahoo, MSN, and Google, if that’s your thing. Generally, this is an impressive — if under-represented — IM client and is worth a quick look.

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