Chit Chat for Facebook: Blackberry Facebook Chat App

One of the most common complaints of Blackberry users is that the official Facebook application is lacklustre and is missing features that are available on its iphone and Android counterparts. Whilst a new Facebook application is currently in beta, and Facebook chat functionality has been added, it has been added in somewhat a tick box exercise – it lacks features and isn’t that easy to use. To remedy this fault you need a third party Facebook chat app.

Whilst there are many Facebook chat applications – both paid and free available on Blackberry App World as well as Mobihand, one that particularly stands out is Chit Chat for Facebook Blackberry.

Originally Chit Chat for Facebook was released for Windows, has this tried and tested popular application survived the transition from Windows to the Blackberry? Michael Harris investigates.

When using Chit Chat for Facebook (Blackberry) it’s clear to see that this isn’t just a generic port of a popular Windows application where functionality is kept to a minimum. There are indeed, both functions designed explicitly for the Blackberry app and certain aspects of this Facebook Blackberry app that are milestones ahead of its older brother application. For example, in the user interface is substantially more attractive in the Blackberry and the use of filters as well as shortcut keys (Alt + T) to return the cursor to the textbox when scrolling really goes to show why Athena IT Limited made its mark originally in the arena for its original Chit Chat app for Windows – going that extra mile to ensure that it’s applications are super easy to use.

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However, there are three reasons primary reasons, in my view, why people use Chit Chat for Facebook for Windows – reliability, easy to use and effectively allows one to communicate on Facebook chat. Let’s explore each of those metrics in turn whilst reviewing Chit Chat for Facebook (Blackberry).

First and foremost, let’s take a look at reliability. Now, Blackberry phones are designed to be used on the move – so how well does Chit Chat perform whilst travelling?

There are essentially three connection methods provided for on the Blackberry – WIFI, TCP-IP and BIS. Chit Chat supports all three. In my tests, in particular, WIFI and TCP-IP seemed very reliable and stable. BIS works fine so long as you have good 3G signal, so when you’re in the car or on the train for example connection can drop out – but you’d expect that and the application handles it fairly well without crashing. To briefly conclude, no problems here.

Secondly, let’s take a look at the ease of use. Enter in your Facebook username and password in to this Blackberry Facebook IM app , and you’ll soon see yourself being logged into Facebook chat. On arrival to the “buddy list” the functionality is fairly intuitive – by pressing the enter key or down on your touchpad when a Facebook friend is highlighted results in a conversation window being opened. Pressing a key results in the filtering of your contacts and moving your touchpad left and right flips between the tabs of the buddy list, conversation list and unread messages. Whilst the use of tabs is unconventional, it’s incredibly easy to use and the use of different background colours on each screen makes it very easy to appreciate what screen that you are on. Sending and receiving instant messages is simple, full marks on ease of use. If I were to be critical, then it would be useful to have full inbox integration into the Blackberry generic inbox, however, it’s not that important and I wasn’t too bothered about this being missing.

Thirdly, reviewing the effectiveness of communication – in summary, does the application let you chat easily with your friends on Facebook. The answer to that question is yes, I particularly like the fact that the application by default makes a non-generic audio alert and flashes a light in blue when you’ve received a message – it makes it easy to identify that you’ve received a Facebook chat message on your Blackberry.

To conclude, Chit Chat for Facebook is an excellent Facebook chat app for your Blackberry. Purchasing this application, at the time of writing, costs $1.99 from Mobihand and is compatible with Blackberry OS 4, 5 and 6.

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