updated 11:25 am EDT, Fri October 6, 2006
Instant messaging is now an expected feature of many cellphones, but the availability of IM networks is often tied directly to a particular carrier or handset. This can frequently cause grief for travelers who regularly use multi-IM clients such as Adium or Trillian at home. Choosing the EQO Mobile service provides that same level of multi-IM support on the road, according to its creator EQO Communications. Signing up for a free beta account and installing the Java-based software keeps a particular phone updated on several different networks at once and in real time, including the VoIP-oriented Skype. The service works on over 300 phones, EQO says, and lets users add new contacts without a computer. The company is investigating pricing for the software once it completes beta testing and notes that outbound Skype calls to physical phones carries its normal fees.