Samsung debuts new cross-platform IM service ChatON

Faith Merino · August 29, 2011 · Short URL:

Text with anyone on any smartphone with Samsung's ChatON

A cheap and reliable text messaging service can get a lot done, as we saw in the recent London Riots, where BlackBerry Messenger was the service of choice for cheap looters everywhere.  Why?  No carrier SMS fees!  Now you can organize your riots on the cheap without having to check your usage to make sure you don’t go over your text limit. 

Samsung is taking a cue from RIM and Apple’s iMessage service and announced Monday that it, too, can promise a better, cheaper texting experience for its users in the form of ChatON, a new instant messaging service that lets users scribble texts, send animated texts, add music, create images, and more. 

"With ChatON, Samsung has vastly simplified mobile communication by allowing users to connect to our upcoming feature phones and all major Smartphones in the market,"said Ho Soo Lee, Head of Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “Users around the world can now enjoy easier and richer interactivity with whoever they want, in the format they want—this is mobile communication reinvented and democratized.” 

Samsung users can choose between two services: the basic and the advanced.  The basic service comes with a tighter range of functionality, including picture sharing, calendar access, and organize contacts.  It’s ultimately designed for the frugal texter, while the advanced service allows users to see who their top contacts are with the Interaction Rank feature, post comments on friends’ profile pages, create animated messages by scribbling texts and adding music and background pictures, and more.  No word yet on the pricing difference between the two services.

To sweeten the deal, the service is cross-platform, and Samsung says that it will gradually be made available on all major smartphones, tablets, and notebook PCs, as well as Samsung feature phones.  The service will also be available in 120 countries and will support over 60 languages.

Back in June, Apple unveiled its new instant messaging service, iMessage, which will allow iOS 5 users to text users with the same devices and receive texts on any iOS device (you can start a conversation on your iPhone and pick up on your iPad).  Apple’s iMessage will be available this fall, but, like BlackBerry Messenger (which has eased the BlackBerry’s way into the hearts of younger users), the service is not cross platform.  Samsung carries the torch on this one.

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