Communication, that is the word on everybody's lips these days. From mobile phones to instant messengers, we need to have them all. And yet there still are some barriers imposed by the different mobile networks we are using or the incompatibility of the instant messaging clients.
But no more with that. Windows Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger have joined forces and shared their users. Well, a more obscure IM client has emerged on the market for quite a while now and is ready to combine different IM clients so that you will never get lonely anymore.
Qnext is a very cute application with an almost 37MB installer that supports messaging between the most used IM networks. The application is absolutely free of charge and also provides its own network of users you can communicate with. All there is needed is to create a free account.
Qnext supports chatting between native Qnext users, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, MSN and ICQ users. In order to be able to talk to the users of all these IM clients you will have to have an account in that network as well. The great feature about Qnext is that you need not add all your friends manually. The software automatically imports the list of buddies from the provided accounts.
The interface is clear cut and extremely easy to handle. On the right, there are the groups of contacts. For each contact in the list there will be displayed the IM client it was imported from. Additionally, emails can also be retrieved from the most important players on the market. Thus Hotmail, AOL mail, Yahoo! Mail and GMail are supported by Qnext. Manual adding of the email is also supported.
Our test included checking on how Qnext works with ICQ accounts. As an ICQ client we used QIP
. To tell you the truth, the MAC-ish looks of the window appealed to me. Emoticons are not forgotten by the developer and although there aren't too many choices (like in Pandion), you can convey your messages quite cleverly. The looks of the little devils are great. A very funny thing happened when sending the winking little bastard into QIP
: in Qnext it winked with the right eye and QIP
displayed it winking with the left. The compatibility issues in this matter still have to be solved; that would be the only problem while chatting.
The global settings for the chat window are pretty numerous and include a spell checker (not seen too often in IM clients), close window after sending message (it also works by pressing the Esc key), playing a sound when a message is received, display emoticons in the history log, accept messages from visitors etc.
a better managing of the messages the chat window is equipped with "Display time stamps feature"; enabling it will show you the exact time and date of the message. The only drawback in this window is the display of the user ID. It is not distinct enough and gets the user confused.
The most used options when it comes to instant messaging are of course the file transfer and video conference. These are available in Qnext, but their use is limited by the IM client at the other end of the "line". With QIP
only chatting worked.
Webcast support is incorporated in the software. These can be for sharing music, photos or files. Creating webcasts is extremely easy as the Qnext wizard helps you finish the job in no time. It is merely a matter of drag and drop.
So up to now Qnext is capable of connecting to your friends in MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, AIM and Qnext networks, allows the user to create music, photo and file webcasts, retrieves the email addresses from the major mail operators, creates groups of friends, sends files, supports both audio and video conferences. One would think that this is enough in an instant messaging client.
And yet there is more to be said about Qnext. IRC is one element that is also present in Qnext. It can be configured under Tools menu, in the Qnext plugins. The IRC networks are well known by the users as they allow you to maintain close contact with the other peers. People generally use IRC for chatting with other people and meeting them. Another purposeful feature of IRC is the ability of creating private rooms protected from prying eyes (conference meetings).
But the most baffling feature sported by Qnext is Qnext MyPC. This option allows the user remote access and application sharing. It basically lets you - or any other user you specify - access your computer or certain applications from any web browser, provided that your computer is running.
There are two types of access for this feature. You can either grant full access (Full Desktop option) or Application specific and in this case you get to set the programs that can be accessed from the other end. Accessing is one thing and permissions are another. The remote user can be allowed only to view what is going on on the computer. Granting Control permission you practically give the remote user the possibility of handling your computer from the distance (either full control or specific applications).
For comprehensive information on using these options you can check the online Help menu provided by the developer.The Good
It incorporates the basic chat needs of a user and provides a whole lot of other options. Qnext MyPC, Webcast service and IRC are all included in this Java built product.
There is no restriction on file sharing.The Bad
The chat window has minor flaws, but considering all the other features and the functionality this barely needs mentioning.
However, adding a file scanning option would be a big plus for the program.
GTalk is not among the supported IM clients, despite the fact that it uses the Jabber protocol.The Truth
Amazing features included in an excellent interface. Despite the large installer size it is definitely worth downloading. Additionally, you can share files, photos and music with the email contacts imported in the IM list even if they do not have Qnext.Here are some snapshots of the application in action: