Today's Tech Gospel is about mobile instant messaging.
Yahoo! Messenger is my preferred IM for the computer because it has nice emoticons. The problem with YM is that it's not a cloud-system. Messages are not stored online, and there are a lot of dropped messages when switching devices.
BBM has the advantage of global messaging and is almost as fast as chatting. But you're stuck with RIM's BlackBerry devices.
Now, you can get YM on your mobile phone, but that's extremely slow and unreliable, not to mention is chews up your battery in just a few hours... so I've been looking for much better mobile solutions...
The two I've tried are Pingchat and Kik. Both work across Android, Blackberry, and iOS.
Pingchat is great, low overhead, video, photo, audio capable messenger. It has 2 problems though: it's quite slow, it's more like texting than chatting. Another is that Pingchat is tied to your device, not your account. That's a problem for people like me who have multiple devices. My phone has a different account from my iPod, and another account for my iPad. Not useful for chatting if you forget your device, but handy if you're trying to find your device by pinging it! Hahahaha.
Kik seems to be the best of BBM and YM! It's light, fast, and can be installed on multiple devices. I'm not so sure how it handles off-line messages, but there doesn't seem to be a function to save previous chats. But it is real-time chatting. You can see if the other party is typing... there are sending, delivered, and read reports. And it doesn't seem to eat up that much battery.
So far, I'm preferring Kik more. I'll be asking my friends on BB to install it to see how well it works across platforms. But so far, so good between iOS and Android. Both can be downloaded from the App Store and Android Marketplace.