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Hands on: for Android takes on Skype, adds video calling

July 29, 2013 | Telepresence Options android

Story by AJ Dellinger / Digital Trends

Your phone is built for communication, but do you ever really talk on it? Voice calls are almost forgotten in this world of texting, instant messaging, group chats, and video calls. One of the biggest chat services, Imo, has added the ability to complete video calls with your chat partners. We played around with the app and it's new video call feature to see if Imo is ready to become your go to app for all forms of human interaction (outside of actual human interaction, of course).

When it comes to chatting there is no shortage of support with Imo. You can add accounts from most major services including Facebook, Google Plus, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, Steam, VKontakte, and Hyves. These accounts are able to be linked together under the imo umbrella. It's an excellent way to carry out multiple conversations at once without having to switch back and forth between apps. Of course, aggregating chats is fun and all, but Imo wants you to use its service, too. This became a bit of an irritation at a point, as the app encouraged me to add my friends that already had Imo (reasonable enough) and invite every person I have ever sent an email to or had a digital conversation with to try out Imo as well. I'm not sure if the Nigerian prince I send money to really needs to instant message me.

There are some benefits to communicating directly with other Imo users, of course. Namely, the ability to talk without text. If you're chatting with another person who also uses imo, you can leave behind the text box and move to a voice call or the brand new video chat feature. Voice calls work similarly to phone calls, just taking place over the 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi connection that you have available. Audio was good, if not a little quiet, but there was little issue during our calls.

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