Android Apps

App Review: AIM for Android offers Facebook Chat & AIM, but they can keep it

February 12, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka


App Review: AIM for Android offers Facebook Chat & AIM, but they can keep it

People in their 20′s probably have fond memories of chatting on AOL Instant Messenger, wasting their youth gossiping about peers or professing their love to middle-school sweethearts. Others may not care for those Wonder Years at all, but they should know that AIM and Facebook chat are both available in the new official AIM for Android client.

AIM is strangely an app that I love but would rarely ever use. Combining AIM, which I only use to speak to a handful of people, and the more popular (in my social circle at least) Facebook chat is a perfect way for me to instant message from my phone.  The app has a great interface, responds well, and shows user photos that make it easy to keep track of multiple conversations. AIM even has a Lifestream that shows FB status updates.

The only drawback I have to the app is that it keeps logging me out every time I navigate away from the main window. Get a phone call, change a song, or check Twitter and you get bumped from your connection. Android’s greatest strength is that it can multitask, yet AIM doesn’t take advantage of this feature and locks me into one app at a time. That kind of lunacy might fly in Cupertino, but not in my house. [Ed. Note: This problem persisted on my T-Mobile G1 but not a Sprint Hero I tested this on. A number of people in the Market complain about the problem, so it may be an Android version issue.]

It also wouldn’t hurt if there was an option to save chat logs, a feature available on the desktop but not in the mobile app. Though I love the app, its current incarnation is useless to me. If you still communicate with people through AIM or want a new Facebook Chat client, AIM for Android is available in the Android Market. You must first authorize the AIM-Facebook link from your desktop. (Log-in to AIM on the desktop and click the Facebook banner.)