IM Plus Review


The prospect of having an Instant Messaging program on the Treo without having to use text messaging entices many users. And because there are many programs out today that offer this functionality, Everything Treo offers this review from this genre of the program IM+ from Shape Services.

Setup and Layout

The overall functionality of IM+ is a lot like any other IM program you would use on your computer. I would liken IM+ to the all-in-one instant messaging solution, Trillian, made my Cerulean Studios, because the user has the option to setup their accounts with MSN, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber. I use MSN, AIM, and Yahoo!, so thats what I used to test IM+ on my Treo 700p.


Once all accounts are set up (see picture), the program will download each accounts friends list (along with categories set up with each account) and the list is alphabetized, and arranged by account. The friends list can also be limited to just those people that are online, or all friends that are on each list. Friends can also be added to your contact list within IM+ if you know their screen name.

IM+ Contacts

The program has many user-defined preferences that allow for different sounds played upon connection, when a friend comes online, upon message receipt, etc. Other preferences include auto reconnect, saving a history of all conversations, running the program in background and many more.

IM+ general prefs


The program will connect to the Internet and sign in to all accounts upon launch. The menu allows the user to set his or her online status, add/remove users (friends) and perform a global disconnect while exiting the program. In order to begin an instant messaging session with a friend, simply click on a friend and a new window pops up. I have to say that this is where the program begins to perform poorly. The actual interface of the program isnt too bad, but the look is not customizable at all. The program is locked into a salmon-colored background with white behind the message windows.

Granted, thats a cosmetic grievance, but more important is that I had very spotty connections with the three services that I use. Sometimes they connected fine, other times I couldnt get a connection at all.

Conversations went fairly smoothly. But the biggest problem with this function was that the program doesnt wrap text to the next line. At all. In fact, a word will be broken instead of flowing to the next line. I havent had any complaints from friends on the other end, but it is a great annoyance to me.

Also, the program seemed to be extremely unstable. I could not pin down a problem with IM+ within the Palm OS by using Reset Doctor or PalmInternals, but the program caused me a fatal exception about 80 percent of the time. If the program was the first program run after a soft reset, I hardly ever had any problems. However, if I had been using other programs and then attempted to launch IM+, my Treo reset 99 percent of the time. I would also run into resets upon attempting to exit the program.


I really liked the interface of IM+ and I wanted to recommend it to you; but I cannot bring myself to give the program any more than one star. I have not used any other instant messaging program for the Treo yet, but this program resets too much to really be of any use. I will, however, give Shape Services credit for its customer service department. I contacted the company about my resets and was e-mailed within two business days, in most cases. I sent them the IM+ log about problems, but have not heard back from them in a couple of weeks. At this point, I would have to advise you to wait until the bugs are fixed from this program before taking the plunge with IM+. NOTE: I plan on continuing to work with Shape Services customer service department. Upon receiving updates or fixes, I will update this review with current information.

IM+ retails for $29.95 and is available as a free trial through the Everything Treo Software Store.

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