Review: “Verbs” Google Talk Client for iOS. #verbsapp #ios


Two years after Apple unveiled the App Store and over 150,000+ apps later, it may seem rather redundant and useless to release another chat client in to the midst. But there’s one thing above Verbs that’s very different — it looks amazing! From a design perspective, it puts all other chat apps to shame. Though, that awesome design doesn’t come without a few caveats. Hop inside for the review…

I’ve been following Verbs for several weeks ever since I saw it featured on BeautifulPixels. I am a sucker for design. The right amount of polish and eye candy win me over every time. With that said, Verbs has the design aspect nailed. It’s gorgeous, smooth, clean, simple, and modern. Every pixel has been handcrafted it seems. The developer, Chaitanya (#include tech) and designer Alan van Roemburg definitely did a good job. And yesterday, December 16th, 2010, Verbs was unleashed to the masses.

But is it useful? That answer is a bit more involved. For starters, Verbs only supports Google Talk. With as many people that have gmail accounts, this shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Still, it would be nice to the option of multi-account support. (More on that in a minute.)

But multi-account support pales in comparison to the biggest downfall of Verbs — no Push Notification support. Now, I know chat apps got by just fine before Apple unveiled Push Notifications. But that doesn’t mean that chat apps before push notifications were any good (they weren’t) or useful (ditto again). On that note, Verbs is seriously held back by lack of said feature. While you are kept signed in for many hours after closing the app, no Push Notifications means no way of knowing who’s contacted you since you last opened the app. And for people who like to talk, this is won’t fly.

But There is Hope…

On the official @Verbsapp Twitter account, many jives have been traded by short-tempered users distraught at the lack of Push Notifications. In Chaitanya’s defense, Push Notifications require a separate server to keep users logged in. Verbsapp is a “one man show” as he puts it, making such a solution out of the question for now — which is unfortunate. However, he doesn’t rule out Push Notifications in the future.

Thankfully, fans of Verbs styling who are left wanting more support for other chat clients won’t have to wait all too long. According to the twitter account mentioned above, the developer is actually working on AIM and MobileMe support.

Getting into the more mundane details, the overall experience and chatting is the same as any other app. One thing I noticed that frustrates me with countless other multi-chat apps isn’t as bad with Verbs — reconnects when re-opening the app are extremely quick.

True to the developer’s words, Verbs is simple as to not get lost in the app itself while presenting good design.

Conclusion

Functionally speaking, power users who manage multiple IM accounts won’t find any use with Verbs. Simple as that. But if you use GTalk religiously (and soon AIM and MobileMe), Verbs comes into view along with various other IM apps. In the end, it’s the impeccable styling and attention to design that aim to push Verbs above the rest.

Can I recommend Verbs? That’s a tough one as it depends on a couple of different factors. (1) Do you use multiple IM accounts and (2) Do you care about Push Notifications? If you answer yes to either one, then no, we can’t recommend Verbs. But if GTalk is your only IM account and/or you don’t mind having to open up Verbs to see new messages and in turn and love the design aspect, then yes, by all means, purchase Verbs.

Verbs is available in the Apple App Store for $2.99

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