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 thoughts on “Nokia Chat”

  1. 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. 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. @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. 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. 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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 …

  9. 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

  10. 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??

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