In a tweet this afternoon, PR
and Marketing Director, Maria Dyatlova (@FairyMary), let the public know that after a long time waiting, Shape Services will finally have it's hugely popular app, IM+, available in a few days. This is amazing news for anyone that uses IM+ for BlackBerry smartphones and also wanted it on the PlayBook.
For anyone unfamiliar with the IM+ app, it defines itself as the "All-in-One Messenger" for all platforms. IM+ allows users to access their accounts and chat on Facebook, Skype, Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN Messenger, AIM, ICQ, Twitter; etc. It's available currently on the three major OSes: BlackBerry, iOS, and Android.
I personally think one of the biggest questions with this announcement is how exactly the Skype integration of IM+ will work for our PlayBooks. We've been able to run IM+ on our smartphones but since the PlayBook is the first BlackBerry device with a front facing camera, it will be interesting to see if video chat is included into Skype as well.
The approval for IM+ for the PlayBook has taken a long time though. Many people have been critical of RIM's lack of contact with certain developers whose apps they might feel threatened by. Although I personally don't view IM+ as a direct threat to BBM, RIM could have thought otherwise. It seems though, with the relatively recent appointment of Alec Saunders as the new VP of Developer Relations at RIM things are beginning to change for the better. It's apparent that Alec and his team have been hard at work to change the culture at Research In Motion and become more developer friendly and this is an extremely welcome sight.
Once Monday hits we'll have even more information about IM+ for the BlackBerry PlayBook.