While there are no shortage of apps that now allow you to connect to a wide range of messaging networks, Meebo’s is great because it’s very, very fast. It might not have all the bells and whistles that some others contain, but its brilliance is its simplicity. The app itself contains only three main areas: Buddies, Chats, and Accounts. Buddies obviously shows you a list of all your contacts. Chats keeps track of who you are actively chatting with. And Accounts allows you to set status messages, and toggle settings such as being visible. From here you can also add accounts, which is the key to Meebo.
While the main network screen shows you the 8 most popular chatting services you can link up (AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, MySpace IM, ICQ, Jabber, and Facebook), the “More Networks” area gives you access to dozens of other ones. Once you add these, all your contacts on all these networks are seamlessly added into you buddy list.
And yes, it does offer Push Notifications, so you don’t have to have the app open at all times to actually use it on the iPhone.
While the app is great, Meebo faces an uphill battle in the iPhone messaging app race simply because they’re so late to the game. The reason is that their team was focusing the business on their Meebo Bar, which they’ve been evolving rapidly. Also, they’ve had a mobile web version that has worked on the iPhone since 2007. Meebo had a big year in 2009, starting with around 30 million uniques, and growing to just about 100 million.
The company plans to formally unveil the app next Tuesday, the 16th. Watch for it in the App Store. It will be a free download.