Imo Instant Messenger users will see a major design update to the messaging client today for both its iPhone and Android apps. The redesign should streamline the user experience by combining existing pages while also focusing on a feature upgrade to the iPhone app and will enable users to download Imo-shared photos as well as give users the option to quickly upload images to Imo with an instant upload-like feature.
The major updates that will appear on both apps include an entirely new user interface, from the user experience to the color. The updated interface has been completely redone; for example, the personal profile settings panel can be quickly accessed with a right swipe. In addition, Imo.im will enable you to quickly toggle between your “Favorites” and “Chats,” since your contact list and open conversation will now be housed under the same page. Note that the settings pages are now colored a dark shade of gray and blue.
“The main goal of the redesign for Android and iPhone was to make our app cleaner and easier to use, yet functional. So instead of making mere cosmetic changes we decided to rethink the whole app. We took a lot of user feedback into consideration with this new design. We focused on making the UI simple and elegant,” says Imo CEO Ralph Harik.
With a vested interest in photography among social media users today, Imo is expanding its photo-sharing feature for its iPhone app to streamline the photo taking experience. Users that share photos during conversations in real-time with groups of friends can now also download these images to their iPhone. The downloading is supported by 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi connections. An additional feature will make the photo uploading process seamless, similar to Google+’s Instant Upload feature. All photographs, as they’re taken using Imo’s app (which uses the iPhone’s native camera), will automatically be uploaded privately onto the platform’s servers and can be accessed from a dedicated gallery. Users can then choose the group of friends that you’d want to share the gallery’s photos with. Users and their friends can cherry pick images to share, delete, or even download and will be saved permanently in the group. However, images shared with individual contacts only live on Imo’s servers for just 24 hours.
Group chat is also getting better, for iPhone and Android. “Updated chat group capabilities allow contacts to view and discuss these photos instantly,” says Harik.
So far the messaging company is seeing the fruits of its labor since launching in 2007, particularly after Meebo was acquired by Google and bowed out of the competition in the messaging space. Since then, Imo has released a slew of new features, which among the latest in August included the release of its VoIP calling for the iPhone, enabling users to call friends using Imo, and NFC for its Android app. But more importantly today, Imo told us that it reached a milestone of five million downloads (between both its iOS and Android apps).