imo: The trendy app for social interaction

App Review

– by Riasat Raihan
imo is an instant messenger app and communication tool developed by imo.im for mobile devices. It is one of the many apps out there, and is quite far behind the major players in the market such as WhatsApp, Viber and Skype. In order to remain in the game, it gambles on its free high-quality video and voice calls. It is a good app for video calls, with decent quality given all necessary conditions for good VOIP calling are there, and scores quite high on Google Play and Apple App Store.

Imo-MessengerIts downside is that it has an interface that is just too basic and lacks some features that its competitors have. Setting Up imo is relatively quiet light for download, with a little bit more than 5 MB. This is quite convenient for low-end mobile phones with limited memory. The site offers a link to Google Play for Android devices, another for Apple machines, and a third for the apk (format for manual installation). Once installed, you are prompted to enter your phone number, against verification through a code that is sent to you via SMS. When I installed imo, I received the SMS after three hours, but fortunately the system does some automatic checking so that it does not require the code. Basically, installation is WhatsApp style. Your contacts are loaded from your device’s contact list. In my case, only a handful of contacts were already registered imo users, given that the app is not as popular as those mentioned above. For all other contacts on the phone, there is an invite button. While the interface is smooth and light, it is quite basic. You get the feeling of being squeezed into something limiting your access. There are only two panes, one for chats and one for contacts. The app offers easy and quick actions on contacts, with a minimum of touches. Well, this is so far for me only theory. I believe it to be something great to be able to communication throughout platforms. This way, you could, for instance, take advantage of the quality of imo’s video calls and enjoy the presence of the huge amount of users in apps like WhatsApp and Skype. But imo has seen doors close in front of it, as gradually, the big players with huge user bases eliminated the possibility of third party apps to access their networks.
Imo is a good and decent tool for video calling and voice chatting. Unless it brings hundreds of millions of users into its base, it will still be running up or trying. But it is a serious candidate for personal communication with friends and family, or for business. It is completely free and not heavy, so it doesn’t hurt to have it on your device.

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