Currently ‘blowing up’, as the kids would say, on Facebook and Twitter, LiveProfile has certainly caught the teen/early 20s set’s imagination as the latest IM client to go up against Google, MSN and the like.
Install LiveProfile and you’ll need to set up your account by giving up an email address before you’re given the all-important PIN you can give out to friends and family to allow them to connect with you. On startup LiveProfile sifts through your address book looking for other LP users and will do the same with your Facebook friends should you allow it to. Once you’ve ‘buddied up’ you can IM your friends and send them videos and images, and you can toggle between chats via the menu and manage several different conversations at once. Or you can in principle. Every time we tried it, the app crashed out.
Conversely, the beta SMS management element of the app was rock solid throughout our tests. It gives your text messaging a pleasing iPhone-esque skin that’s a good deal more stylish than the standard Android messaging app.
On top of that, the status bar allows you to post messages on your profile and also post said update straight to Facebook and Twitter into the bargain. Which is neat. But not life-changing.
So LiveProfile is an IM app with a little more to it. Judging by the buzz it’s busily creating on the two prime social networks it seems to be gaining traction. Where we struggle with it is why you’d switch from any of the other networks to use it. There’s a definite whiff of BB messenger about it, which seems to be the thing that’s got the Android community interested, and the ability to share pics and files is neat. How it differs from the hugely popular WhatsApp Messenger is difficult to say, but it’s clearly been aimed at ‘da kids’, so why on earth would we understand its appeal?
Whatever the answer is, we have a sneaking suspicion that its viral growth is the product of marketing nous rather than coding genius…
The Bottom Line
Decent instant messaging app that also handles text messages with aplomb. A few teething problems marr what is otherwise a solid app, but we can’t help feeling that this is a victory of marketing over substance.
Version reviewed 1.1.9
Requires Android 1.6 or higher
Thanks to Scott Webb for the tip