Developer: Colloquy Project
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Colloquy began life as an excellent open source Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client for the Mac desktop, and now the fine folks at Colloquy Project have released a mobile version to the App Store. The iPhone / iPod Touch edition is an incredibly robust application, with an eye towards making mobile IRC a pleasing experience – as well as raising the bar for usability in general.

Colloquy brings an incredible amount of IRC features to the table. When configuring your servers, you can tell Colloquy to automatically join the server and designated rooms when the app launches, as well as trigger IRC commands automatically (the majority of commands are supported). Once your servers are configured, chat rooms are housed on their own tab entitled Colloquies (nach!). Tapping on a room enters full-on chat mode, where you can type in portrait or landscape orientation. If you’re not in the room but still logged in, the Room list updates in real time with the number of messages you’ve missed, displays direct messages to your nick in red, and even shows a few lines of the current conversation! You can even stay logged into several chats across different servers. In the iPhone’s General settings, nearly every feature included in the application is configurable, including Colloquy’s unique message styles such as Notes or Bubbles.

But supporting the basics is just scratching the surface of Colloquy’s features. The software has an incredible auto-complete feature that feels like the iPhone keyboard on steroids. Type in a few letters, and Colloquy will suggest a nickname in the room, an emoticon, or an IRC command that you can quickly tap into the conversation. While in chat, messages targeted at you are highlighted for easy identification. Hell, you can even have it buzz you if you want. There’s also a built-in browser for hyperlinks (which is a killer feature since people are always posting links for you to look at), which also supports specialized commands Colloquy has baked into the app. Type “/google query” to do a Google search within the software itself, type “/wikipedia query” to search Wikipedia, and so on, including support for Amazon and basic browser commands as well. I’m giddy as a little school girl as I click through the app and marvel at what Colloquy Project has wrought here.

The negatives about Colloquy don’t really take away from the overall experience. It’d be nice to be able to block certain users if you don’t have Moderator rights to a room. Currently you can only send them a nasty message telling them to lay off, which obviously never works. A buddy list needs to be high on the priority list as well. Lastly, it would also be cool to see some kind of DCC Send or DCC Get support, that way you could download files on the go and then sync them when you get home, or send pictures straight from your camera roll.

If you’re a heavy IRC user, do not hesitate to download Colloquy. Having a nearly full-functioning IRC client in your pocket is worth the meager price you’re paying for it.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews, Social Networking

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