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eBuddy review

5 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Free

We review eBuddy, an app that brings all groups of friends together in a neat social networking app.

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Specifications

It?€s usually a bad idea to mix your different groups of friends together.

They talk, compare notes on you, and in general perform character assassination by committee. That?€s not the case with eBuddy though, which brings all your online friends together in a single place, so there?€s no need to go hunting through different apps to chat to them.

eBuddy is a simplified instant messaging app, supporting multiple accounts simultaneously. Feed it your MSN, AIM, Facebook, Yahoo! or GTalk details and it?€ll sign you in. It even supports ICQ, for those old enough to still be using it.

Once you?€ve fed it your details it?€s straight down to business. Your contacts are lumped into a single list, regardless of where eBuddy found them. That can be a bit disorientating, especially since there?€s no categorisation to separate friends from different messaging networks.

Recent chat sessions are also listed at the top of the Buddies list, rather than the more conventional Chats menu. It?€s an odd way of doing things, but not entirely awkward.

eBuddy also supports push notifications. Like other apps, it allows you to choose how long you remain logged in to your chat networks after the iPhone app has been closed. It?€s a handy extra, but eBuddy lacks the fine control of other instant message apps in choosing which updates will be pushed to the phone.

There?€s no way to switch push notifications on or off for different chat services, for instance, or to choose how much information it shows on-screen while the iPhone is in standby.

What?€s more, an annoying habit of pushing system messages to the phone, such as your accounts being disconnected from time to time, frequently means eBuddy pipes up when it should be keeping quiet.

It?€s a neat app, for those with plenty of chat IDs to unite in one place, but without better control of what?€s actually sent to your phone you?€ll soon find it a frustration rather than a help.

If you have lots of friends online at once, it?€ll also get confusing, with chat sessions and usernames jumbled up in the same list. That said, eBuddy also offers a free web-based version: perfect for anyone sneakily chatting at work when the iPhone must remain pocketed.

There?€s still a way to go, but eBuddy shows promise. Neat extras and cutesy style win it points, but we?€d prefer if it would stop being so annoying.

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