When it comes to Facebook messaging applications for mobile devices, Chit Chat for Facebook, BlackBerry and Ebuddy are probably more similar to each other than they are to any other applications in this niche. They are as much alike as they are different, but it is in the differences that tip the scales toward Chit Chat. Read on to see why this is.
"Chit Chat for Facebook" Installation
Installation is the first thing you deal with when installing an application, and it is pretty straightforward with both Ebuddy and Chit Chat. Chit Chat, as strictly a Facebook IM Blackberry application requires just a Facebook username and password and you are up and running almost instantly. For Ebuddy, a little more is required. First, an Ebuddy account is mandatory and it annoyingly forces users to submit demographic information, such as gender and age. Once the Ebuddy account has been created, logging in to Facebook is as simple as using your Facebook email and password. All in all, both apps are quick and easy to install, but Ebuddy loses points simply for being irritating and asking users to input information that it could easily collect from Facebook, saving everyone time.
Chit Chat's Buddy List
Once logged in, each application will present the "buddy list", which is the primary user interface for both applications. Ebuddy and Chit Chat both rely on a tab system to organize instant messages and both have three tabs in the UI. The first tab is the "buddy list" and it lists on-line and off-line buddies. The Chit Chat buddy list uses color-coded icons to signify who is on-line, who is off-line, and who just sent you a message. This set-up is more functional than the Ebuddy "buddy list", which just divides friends into on-line and offline blocks and does not indicate if anyone sent a message. Ebuddy does display profile images for each friend, but it is more of a gimmick than a function since you probably already know who your friends are.
After the buddy list, both applications provide a tab for current conversations, which have nearly identical functions. The conversation tabs display a list of friends with whom you are currently chatting. Each tab will display the number of conversations you have going on at any moment in time. To continue a conversation, open this tab and simply select the name of the friend you want to talk to.
The function of the third tab is where the User Interfaces of these two applications diverge. In Chit Chat, the third tab is for missed messages. It displays the number of friends who have sent messages that you have yet to respond to and is incredibly useful for keeping messages organized and making sure you respond to everyone so as not to inadvertently forget a friend. In Ebuddy, the third tab is for switching between IM services. Ebuddy supports multiple IM options such as AIM, Facebook, MS Messenger, and others, so the third tab allows you to switch from one account to another to manage conversations. This is a necessary function for managing multiple accounts, but the dedicated "missed messages" tab in Chit Chat is more useful.
What can I Customize on Chit Chat for Facebook?
When it comes to customization, Chit Chat really shines in this comparison. Both applications allow users to sort the buddy list in various ways and both apps allow users to determine if the phone vibrates, rings, or flashes its lights when a message is received. Chit Chat, however, goes well beyond Ebuddy by providing a whole host of other customization features. While Ebuddy uses a template that is very similar to that of Facebook, Chit Chat allows users to customize the template and make it personal. Options include, setting the color of the wallpaper, changing the size of the text, changing the color of the text, and more. There are two customization features in Chit Chat that are particularly appealing: the ability to change the chat window default and the shortcut functions.
Chit Chat allows users to choose between four different styles for the chat window. The default is a simple list that includes timestamps for messages sent and received. If the default is not your style, there are three other options for displaying messages that are variations on the bubble theme. Ebuddy displays messages in a bubble format as well, but it is the only template available. If you find it hard to read or not to your liking, there are no alternatives. Timestamps can be removed in Chit Chat if desired.
Chit Chat for Facebook Shortcut Codes
The shortcuts in Chit Chat are an excellent example of anticipating the needs of users. Scrolling through lists and navigating Windows on a mobile device can be difficult. To make these tasks easier, the developers of Chit Chat have included a variety of intuitive shortcuts. Some examples include ALT + T, which takes you to the active message entry screen and ALT + Scroll, which scrolls your friends list one friend at a time. The shortcuts in Chit Chat are reflective of the thought that went into designing this application. Once you use them, you'll be disappointed in applications that don’t have them.
Ebuddy is a good applications especially for users who plan to communicate via services other than Facebook. However, when it comes to Facebook based instant messaging, Chit Chat is the clear leader. It is fun to use, simple to set up, and highly customizable. Even though Ebuddy is free, the $1.99 price tag on Chit Chat is worth the investment to get an application that brings life to your Blackberry Facebook messages and makes them personal.
"Chit Chat for Facebook" can be downloaded from BlackBerry app world official website.