Hands-On Google Talk for iPhone (Verdict: Stick with Installer.app)

Google's brand new Gtalk webapp for the iPhone is as crappy as I expected it would be. It has a nice design, and sending messages was easy, but at the end of the day it's still running in Safari—which means if you get a call you are signed out of chat. And unlike other web-based IM apps, Gtalk doesn't work in the background, so interruptions as simple as going to the home screen sign you out too. Also, there are no preference settings, so you are stuck looking at your whole contact list, online and off. Gtalk's AIM support is also curiously absent from this release. In short, this program sucks. If you're looking for a solid IM solution before the App store opens, I strongly recommend Agile Mobile's AM client recently released on Installer, which I've been playing around with.

AM is extremely easy to set up and has lots of options so you can choose which contacts you see. It supports Gtalk and AIM protocols in addition to ICQ, MSN, Yahoo and Jabber. AM even logs your IM sessions so you can refer back to old conversations. But best of all, it keeps your IM conversations going, even when you are on a call or out of the program, and sends Mail style notifications alerting you to how many IMs came your way while you were gone. All in all, an extremely good experience for IMing on the go, so jailbreak if you haven't yet, and install this puppy. [Google via Lifehacker]

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