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AOL Instant Messenger Brief Review

The latest AOL Instant Messenger is an improvement over the previous versions. AOL Instant Messenger was one of the first to incorporate voice, video and desktop-to-mobile messaging and AOL should be given credit for pioneering this technology. The new AIM is available on Windows and Mac, most mobile phones such as iPhone and Windows Mobile, and can be used via the web through AIM Express. In the new version the interface gets a slight facelift. The designers have finally figured out tabbed IMs better, after several different attempted styles.

AOL Instant messenger buddy list has space for 500 friends and enables you to organize your chats and status messages easily. It also allows you to send bigger files than most IM services allow. The video conferencing function is a bit complicated and starting a conference is not very intuitive until you scroll through the menus. AOL instant messenger also features it's own e-mail service, which requires you to sign up for an AOL account in order for you to use it. There is no real advantage of using AOL's IM mail compared to other popular free email services, apart from the fact that AOL has a a handy "unsend" function to cancel an email you've sent in error. Of course, there's the obligatory SMS function, although this is limited to US-based users, and if your phone supports it, you can also use your AOL messenger on the move.

To add a name to your buddy list, you can enter their ID or e-mail address, if known. Alternatively, you can search by keywords, names, etc. But finding the correct user in search results can be challenging, since AOL has millions of active users, and the personal info listed for individual users often lacks detail.

AOL Instant Messenger offers a variety of collaboration functionalities. For example, you can initiate a voice or videoconference directly from your buddy list or from an open IM window. When initiating a video connection, you can invite the other party to view your Webcam stream, or they can request to see it themselves.

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Addon Resources

Already itching to install cool add-ons for your instant messengers? Learn about Mindspark's addon SmileyCentral, or the Iminent addon from Iminent SA.
Crawler Smiley Toolbar review
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