BlackBerry Messenger has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, but when it isn't being used as a "looting facilitator" it makes headlines for being a hugely successful mobile IM service. Samsung is taking it on with ChatON, a similar service that isn't restricted to a single platform. And it's free too.
Samsung says ChatON works across "many smart phone/tablet platforms" including Bada and Android (no confirmation yet as to iOS and the rest), as well as PC and Mac, thanks to a Web client.
It supports group chat and users can share multimedia goodies including video clips, location data, voice messages, schedules, contacts and animated messages. The latter feature lets you craft your own message featuring handwriting or text, music, images and backgrounds.
ChatON also comes with "interaction rank", which lists users by how often you message them, and a trunk service -- in other words, a place where you can store images and videos and have your contacts access and comment on them. You can also leave comments on friends' profiles, which offers plenty of scope for
drunken insults witty banter.
If that all sounds too rich for your blood, you can scale back the functionality by flipping ChatON to a basic mode with just text, images and calendars.
The service, which will be officially demoed at the IFA technology expo later this week, will be available in 120 countries and in 62 different languages. We'll be there to give it a spin and see how it measures up to the likes of BBM, iMessage, WhatsApp and the rest, but in the meantime this chirpy video shows off its UI and main features.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below -- will ChatON climb to the top of the mobile messaging pile, or will it get, er, DumpedON?