When it comes to instant messaging these days, there’s really only one “all in one” app out there, and that’s IM+ from Shape. The app has received numerous updates over the last few years and they’re one of the many companies who are fully on board with Microsoft and their Windows / Windows Phone vision.
IM+, both the Pro and Lite versions, have received updates today bringing them up to Windows 8.1 standards. Don’t forget, in 8.1 developers have a few new tools to take advantages of, including a new tile size (“large”) and the updated “snap view”, which has been replaced in 8.1 with a more flexible system.
So what’s new in IM+ for Windows 8.1? Let’s take a look at the full changelog as we have all of the details.
1. Optimization of all UI elements in Windows 8.1
"In Windows 8 the application has two modes - full screen and 320 px snap view. Now in Windows 8.1 IM+ applications are optimized so they can be resized the way you want.
In Windows 8 you had to go back to full screen mode in order to send a file or emoticon. Now in Windows 8.1. the small snap view of IM+ app is 100% functional.
The emotions’ button are moved to the dialogue menu and will remain at the same place when you change the application’s window size. Other UI elements like “file attach” will change their location depending on the app window size you fix.
Flexibility of app’s window size and it’s full functionality are the most convenient features. You will be able to customize laptop’s desktop the best way you prefer, for instance chatting with friends and working in Internet Explorer and Word document without hiding one of the apps. "
2. New Small and Big tiles
"Now, in Windows 8.1. you can set 4 types of tiles. IM+ apps are adopted for all of them."
- Wide Tile
- Big Tile which will show several recent IM+ messages in the window simultaneously
- Medium Tile which is a ¼ part of usual wide tile
- Small Tile which reminds usual icon.
3. New set of emoticons in IM+ app.
"New set of emoticons recently were added to Windows Phone mobile devices, now they are also supported for Windows 8.1."
4. Show or hide mobile status for ICQ Accounts.
"Ability to enable / disable Mobile status for ICQ contacts."
5. Message queue.
"In other words while one of the accounts in IM+ app is being reconnected, all your messages will be successfully delivered to you ."
6. Support of MSN contacts in Skype
7. Performance improvements and bug fixes
Overall, it’s a solid update to what is already a great, universal app and we really enjoy the new 8.1 features. The app works especially well on tablets, like the Surface 2 and even when working at a desktop (we run it snapped at 1/5 size on our 27-inch monitor).
For those who aren’t familiar with IM+, it connects to many chat services, including Windows Live Messenger, Facebook, Skype chat, Google Talk, AOL/AIM/iChat, Yahoo!, ICQ, Vkontakte, Mail.Ru Agent, Odnoklassniki, Yandex chat, Mamba.Ru, Mig33, SINA Weibo, Renren, Fetion, Gadu-Gadu, MeinVZ and Jabber. So instead of having multiple web clients open, you can have everything centralized in an excellent looking Modern UI app.