After this post has reached far more readership than I have imagined, guilt took over. I have decided to calm down, & take Globe Telecom’s IMEvrywhr for another test drive.
Fourteenth time’s a charm: I was able to login & actually used it for a few weeks. This is an attempt to provide a less scathing review of an article which has, unfortunately, reached the #1 rank in Google for the key phrase “globe imevrywhr” (or at least as of this writing).
The IM feature meets the minimum requirements – it does allow you to send instant messages to your IMEvrywhr buddies. It also enables you to send photos for free, & integrates your phone’s camera in the menu system. You could also set status (invisible, busy, etc.), buy IM usage credits, & apparently update the software from the menu.
After writing that paragraph, I am now at lost for words. This is the main problem with IMEvrywhr. Try as we might to give a glowing review & make it sound like the most amazing thing since sliced pichi pichi, it’s just very hard to say a lot of good things about it.
- It doesn’t connect with the IM servers of Yahoo, MSN, AIM, etc. It is limited to your IM buddies within the Globe network.
- You cannot search for buddies. The only way you can add a friend is if you actually know their usernames.
- The user interface leaves much to be desired. You cannot even distinguish what you’ve typed from your buddies’, except for that teeny weeny arrow icon beside the text.
To its credit, IMEvrywhr implemented a clever ploy to make you buy additional IM usage: It sends you an SMS whenever you receive an offline message. Whether or not the message you received is actually from you buddy or just a system from Globe, I have yet to find out.
IMEvrywhr tried to compensate by putting an influx of “features” that has nothing to do with instant messaging:
- Address book. Basically just your contacts on your phone.
- SMS. Allows you to read your SMS from IMEvrywhr, so you don’t have to exit the client.
- G-Cash & Share-A-Load menu. Cash & load is something that gets passed around frequently among friends. I think this will be useful in the future, but will probably make more sense if integrated with instant messaging.
- AskG. Allow me not to tone down the sarcasm on this one. AskG is an amazing service for people who like asking idiots for directions. By the way, you will not get a warning that VAS rates apply whenever you use this.
Curiously enough, despite its heavy promotion on the instant messaging features, it seems Globe meant it to be more than that — as a desktop replacement to your phone’s standard start page or screensaver. It is meant to be always on, & the integration with the address book & message inbox is proof of that.
Of course there’s basically nothing wrong with this strategy — but only if we were not presented with such a half-baked IM client. Which we were.
IMEvrywhr is far more cluttered than one would expect from an instant messenger. It is reminiscent of the portal mentality of the year 2000, when all we wanted was an apple, & they keep on giving us a frickin’ tree.
Unfortunately, to anyone who subscribe to Web 2.0’s “simplicity rocks” mentality, IMEvrywhr won’t cut it.
To its benefit, the user interface does fit perfectly with the boring & antiquated corporate image that we consumers have associated with a company like Globe Telecom.
IMEvrywhr has its promises — unfortunately, the instant messaging feature isn’t it.