IMO is Instant Messaging, Evolved

Instant messaging emerged with the dawn of the internet itself, or so it seems. At its inception, it was an unparalleled way to keep in touch with friends. Since then, though, the technology has gone through very little change, largely remaining the same in form and function since those early days.

IMO is less a revolution in the technology itself and more a realization of its potential. It is, in its purest form, it's just an instant messaging client, but it's beautiful, simple, and amazingly useful.

Perhaps the cornerstone of the beauty comes with the intial premise- all of your instant messaging in one place. Currently, IMO supports MSN, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Facebook, AIM/ICQ, Jabber, MySpace, Hyves, VKontakte and Steam.

The mobile client is useful while being extremely unobtrusive. Sign up for IMO here if you don't have an account, then download the mobile client, which is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia. IMO is also available as a web client. Here, we'll take a look at the Android app.

As you can see, it's all straight-forward. Choose which accounts you'd like to enable and you'll see all your IM buddies presented in a clean view. You can add buddies to favorites, pinning them to the top for easy access. In true Android style, you can then swipe left and right to get to your open conversations, buddy list, and options.

Next, you'll want to sift through the preferences menu, as it contains a plethora of options to customize the experience, like how to handle notifications, font size, a handy sleep mode, sounds, auto start, and a lot more. There's also an option to save all of your chat history online, which is a very handy feature. In fact, history in general is an area in which IMO shines.

When you receive a message, IMO presents you with a handy popup that allows you to reply very quickly, without opening the app itself:

Once in the conversation view, IMO gets quite impressive, allowing for file attachment, voice calls, and typing your message via voice dictation. If you spend a lot of time in group chats, IMO also excels in that area.

All said, IMO can greatly simplify your communications on the web and while you're on the go. It's quick, it's easy, it's beautiful.

IMO | @imo