Instant Messaging on Multiple Devices – struggling to believe this problem hasn’t been solved properly yet
Redesign Instant Messaging Platforms to be Used on Multiple Devices
POSTED AT JANUARY 29, 2011 // TECHNOLOGY
Most of the people who care about it have a smartphone and a data plan. They get their emails on the phone, browse the web and often also use instant messaging.
Software like Google Talk, Yahoo!Messenger, or Skype now exists for almost all devices and operating system: Windows, OS X, iPads, iPhones, Blackberry, Android, …
But what happens when you use it on multiple devices at the same time? Maybe you are on your PC, then get pulled in a meeting and bring your ipad, and then go out for a coffee and have your cellphone with you. Sounds familiar?
Today, either the platform sends the messages to all the devices or just to the last one from which you logged in. Annoying in both cases. It’s time to change.
The IM software should be written so that it knows what you are using. For example, as long as you type or use the mouse one can assume you are using the PC. If you start touching the ipad and not the PC, then switch to that. If the phone detect movements (GPS?) and there is no activity on the other devices, switch to that.
In addition, the chat logs should be kept on the sever, so that whatever device you use you always have them with you.
Privacy problems you say? Not really. You just need to encrypt the messages that you send and receive and use the same key on your devices, so that they can encode/decode them locally and on the server there is just and indecipherable series of characters. The Off-The-Record plugin, available for Audium and Pidgin, does just that.
It is not that hard. Who will get there first? A new startup or the IM companies?