Ask LH: Can I Access All My Messaging Services With One App?

Hi Lifehacker, Is there a messaging app which connects all other messaging apps? I know many people using WhatsApp, Viber, Hangouts or just plain SMS. Is there an app in which I can connect them all? Thanks, Messaging Overload

Phone messaging image: Shutterstock

Dear MO,

Unfortunately, you're not going to find a unified messaging app that covers all bases. The developers of these services tend to keep their APIs private, which makes it difficult to integrate with other applications.

One app that gets part of the job done is IM+ Pro. This is a universal messaging app that is available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices. It supports a pretty extensive range of instant messaging services, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Talk, Yahoo!, AIM/iChat, ICQ and Jabber. Whatsapp and Viber are not supported however. It also costs a pretty hefty $4.99 on each platform.

Another option worth considering is imo. It boasts an intuitive design, an easy-to-use sign in process, voice IMs, video chat and support for the most popular protocols including AIM/ICQ, Jabber, Facebook, Google Talk, MSN, MySpace, Skype, and Yahoo. You can download the Android or iOS version of imo by clicking here or here, respectively. imo is currently free.

If you're a Windows Phone user, the People Hub is definitely worth delving into. This is an aggregation tool built directly into the phone's OS. It gathers messages from different social networks and combines them into a single communicative thread. (e.g. — If you SMS someone in your address book and they reply via Facebook, the conversation will appear in one place.)

For Android, try incorporating SMS and Google Chat into the Hangouts app. Again, this isn't ideal but at least you'll be cutting down on the amount of apps you need to keep open.

We also like the look of Snowball. This is a new Android app that is currently in Beta. It comes with support for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, SMS, Hangouts, Twitter, Line, WeChat, and Slack. Support for Telegram, Viber and Skype is promised in the future. This definitely looks like one to watch.

Other apps worth considering include inbox, Disa, Just.Me and Pure. They all pretty much do the same thing, so play around until you find a UI that you like.

Does anyone have a better suggestion for all-in-one messaging? Let MO know in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    Outlook.com does a pretty good job of integrating multiple services into one web app, but it doesn't cover all the bases.

    Blackberry devices allow multiple services to be seamlessly integrated into the hub, providing a unified inbox regardless of service. With the introduction of Blackberry Blend, this inbox can be accessed from any computer or tablet, including access to sending and receiving SMS. I have my Blackberry set up with Viber, Whatsapp, BBM, GTalk, Facebook Messenger, SMS and email - and they all work faultlessly.

    I use Trillian, it works well

      I have used trillian since v3 days and its up to version 5.5.. only down side is Skype doesn't work.. but it covers most of the bases.. I use it every day more or less all day long.. supports, Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, Linux.. keeps chat history across all devices, all chat windows stay open on each device and has a decent interface that combines everything together.

    People still use ICQ other than russian spammers?

    Airborne unifies messages from your Airborne, SMS and Google contacts, under the same chat thread! Whats more... texts are encrypted end to end & you get FREE VOIP calling worldwide!

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