Logging in to different chat services and social media accounts can be quite a hassle, as one needs to use multiple desktop chat clients, or separately access each online chat service through the browser to keep a tab on all IM accounts. All of this can waste a lot of time. And time is money, right? IM+ copes with this nuisance by letting you sign in to various chat services and social media accounts under one roof. The chat aggregating application has been available on all major platforms for quite a while now, including desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux), iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone, and now, it is available for Windows 8 as well. The latest variant lets you connect to Facebook, Skype, Google Talk, AOL, Yahoo, ICQ, Vkontakte, Mail.Ru Agent, Odnoklassniki, Yandex Chat, Mamba, Ru, Mig33, SINA Weibo, Renren, Fetion, Gadu-Gadu, MeinVZ and Jabber. It also shows you all the conversations from different accounts in a single window. The app merges all the contacts from the logged in accounts and shows them in a separate section, so that you can easily start conversation without having to manually find a contact from within a certain chat service.
The application is available at Windows Store. In order to download the app, launch Windows Store from Start Screen, and press Win + Q to bring up Search Charms. Now, type in IM+ and select the IM+ from the main page to open its in-Store page. Click Install will begin the download process.
The interface of the application is inspired from Windows 8 modern UI look. All the available services are displayed as tiles on the main screen. The tiles are divided into two groups. The popular social networks are listed in the left sidebar, while the rest of the services can be accessed from the right. All you need is to select your preferred social media service and specify username and password to log in to the service.
Some services, Facebook for instance, require account permission during the sign in process. You need to grant the required permissions to let IM+ fetch your contact list.
The providers that are successfully connected to the IM+ app appear under Accounts section. Here, you may Remove or temporary Disable the accounts.
The main screen of the application lets you view your Contacts, Favorites and Accounts. You may add any contact as your Favorites, irrespective of the chat service it belongs to. However, contacts can be easily recognized, as the logo of the service appears next to your profile pictures.
The instant messaging section of the application houses navigation controls for Contacts, Chats and Favorites at the bottom. The interface looks really slick and the messages are sent almost instantaneously. The only major annoyance I found was that you need to click or tap the Send button to deliver the message, and pressing Enter breaks the line.
Not sure which of your friends are currently online? Clicking Contacts on the main screen opens the contacts menu, where you can see total, as well as online contacts of all the linked accounts. The Settings menu, which can be accessed via Win+I hotkey, also enables you to view only online contacts in Contacts section.
IM+ is an amazing chat client that provides instant connectivity to a variety of chat services. It manages multiple social media accounts without a hitch. Testing was carried out on Windows 8, 64-bit edition.