Nokia Chat

Last week, Nokia Beta Labs released a very cool new application called Nokia Chat. As you might guess, Nokia Chat is an IM application, but that just starts to scratch the surface as there are also additional layers of presence and location. Unlike some apps you might have tried like Jaiku or twitter, Nokia Chat is about one to one communication and does not have a public room in which everyone’s discussions pass by.

Nokia Chat is Jabber based and to use it touch need to sign up or in using your Ovi sign-in. Your handle is then nickname@ovi.com and you can also add this account to your desktop IM client using chat.ovi.com as the server.

In addition to chatting with your friends and colleagues you can share locations as well using the GPS on your device. This is something you are fully in control of though, so rest assured that your actual location is not revealed unless you to choose to share. Nokia Chat integrates with the system landmarks and uses the familiar (or actual if you prefer) name in you presence line. You get to send you own location which provides a link to you on the map and is fully navigable from within your mapping app so you can meet up if you like – or simply just see where someone is hanging out. What’s nice about landmarks is that you can use saved locations from both Google Maps or Nokia Maps. When you open a location link, it goes to Nokia Maps …

Nokia has integrated Chat into the address book though it works as a tab within the application. On the N95 you move the rocker to the right and then switch into chat mode. On the E71, the tab is accessed by moving to the left, which gets you into the tab ui at the top of the screen. When chat is running it is also actually using contacts and I’ve found you need to keep both open in order to stay actively connected.

The GPS functions by searching on a user defined interval. 20 minutes is the default and that seems to offer a nice balance between actively sharing and managing battery life. It’s hard to tell exactly how long the connection is maintained, but from an offline state to connected your location can be shared within a matter of moments (less than 30 seconds including application start up) thanks to the use of landmarks as reference points and the speed of AGPS.

Nokia Chat has become my preferred mobile IM app. I would love to see support for additional IM services which would let this work beyond just Nokia handset owners. You can add Gtalk and other jabber service buddies, but connecting with AIM, MSN and Yahoo contacts would make it complete – even if those people could never take advantage of the Nokia specific features. I have found the application to be very lightweight and notifications for chats are easy to manage and not intrusive.

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34 comments for “Nokia Chat

  1. 7/18/2008 at 10:40 am

    I *love* nokia chat as an app, I just wish I could automatically import my existing google chat contacts. I don’t want to have to completely re-build my contact list on a new Jabber server.
    It’s a great piece of software though…

  2. 7/18/2008 at 10:51 am

    Its well integrates in to the system and easy to use. I have to agree.
    My only problem with it is that it doesn’t include any way to work over port 80 (http) which is required if you’re behind corporate firewalls (using wifi) or behind a cheap 3G service (like my 10 Euro flat – http-only service!)
    It also needs integration with other services (although the answer here is to connect to Gizmo’s jabber relay)
    In my opion, Nokia chat doesn’t reach the functionality and features of Gizmo at this stage.

    Steve.

  3. 7/18/2008 at 2:14 pm

    @jason – try adding / integrating on the desktop. Should sync over in theory.

    @steve we have an open but hidden AP at the office for guests and non-issued devices and it works for me. I wonder why it does not work on your cheap 3G service SIM either … bummer! Also had no idea that Gizmo was using a jabber relay for the other services. That’s very cool.

  4. 7/19/2008 at 3:34 am

    I guess your AP allows other ports and not just port 80? If Nokia chat really is a jabber client then it will use port 5222.
    Steve

  5. 7/19/2008 at 4:26 am

    Just tried a few times to connect to the public gizmo servers. Unfortunately it didnt work. Even over home broadband. I suspect that the Nokia client isnt true jabber which is a real shame.

  6. 7/19/2008 at 9:10 am

    I’m not sure I am following what you are trying to do exactly … I can add Gizmo contacts to Nokia chat just like gtalk. You just add a friend with nick@chat.gizmoproject.com and they can chat through gizmo IM to nokia chat. This works on the desktop as well.

  7. 7/19/2008 at 9:43 am

    Hi.
    I was trying to connect Nokia Chat client to the Gizmo jabber servers in oder to use their connectors to the other services (AIM etc.)
    Unfortunately it didnt work.
    Good to know that gizmoproject members can be added though.

    Steve

  8. 7/19/2008 at 10:25 am

    ah yeah – I don’t think you can change the server address on the client, seems to be built in.

  9. 7/19/2008 at 3:08 pm

    Yeah, Its a shame. It’s a bit limiting to have only Nokia-and GMail friends on chat! Hope they move things on quickly with this.

    Steve.

  10. 7/19/2008 at 3:13 pm

    though considering it’s called Nokia chat, I can’t see them updating the server preferences. Though it would be killer to just add the other services. I love that on the N810 with RTComms.

    I wonder if there’s a jabber service that could easily connect all the other accounts via a single login for now …

  11. 7/19/2008 at 3:42 pm

    There’s only two ways for Nokia to move this forward.
    1) Add the jabber connectors to the other IM services at their jabber server.
    2) Allow users to connect to other jabber servers. As you said, it would be strange for Nokia to do this.

    Thinking about it though, doesnt Gmail already connect to AIM? Maybe we can already specifiy AIM users. Lets try it!

    http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/gmail-chat-aim-crazy-delicious.html

    Steve

  12. 9/29/2008 at 2:55 am

    Being able to add other Jabber IM accounts covers quite a few services so this is really handy.

  13. 9/29/2008 at 7:28 am

    let's hope it happens now!

  14. 12/7/2008 at 3:11 pm

    Nokia Chat is cool but on some buses, they are already providing free Wireless access for anybody using a Nokia Phone.

  15. 12/14/2008 at 3:06 am

    There are going to be more companies creating mobile apps for Nokia platform for sure.

  16. 12/23/2008 at 8:44 am

    this could be available on other mobile phone

  17. 12/23/2008 at 8:56 am

    unlikely that we'll see this on non-Nokia mobile devices though it does run on S60 and soon there will be IM on S40 as well

  18. 1/29/2009 at 12:15 pm

    Great nokia has founs a new way to get me to spend my money :) ….the little i have anyways

  19. manguito
    2/16/2009 at 12:23 am

    com puedo descargar esta aplicacion para mi nokia e71

  20. Diane G Burrell
    2/16/2009 at 5:09 pm

    this is an awsome blog

  21. SEO
    2/18/2009 at 4:50 am

    Nokia Chat has some limited integration with Contacts but overall the functionality is relatively bare bones. By the way what makes Nokia Chat stand out??

  22. Ben
    3/28/2009 at 7:02 pm

    In Denmark this goes for all mobiles as well as laptops. Though people don't really use it.

  23. 7/9/2009 at 1:43 am

    how i want know the original Nokia N95? help

  24. 9/1/2009 at 3:55 am

    I think Nokia Chat is cool but on some buses, they are already providing free Wireless access for anybody using a Nokia Phone.

  25. 9/1/2009 at 7:55 am

    I think Nokia Chat is cool but on some buses, they are already providing free Wireless access for anybody using a Nokia Phone.

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