Skype vs. Nimbuzz on the Nokia N97

8. March 2010 at 15:39

Skype vs. Nimbuzz

Since the release of Skype for Symbian, I was not quite sure whether to stay with Nimbuzz or to switch over to Skype. The point is, that it’s hard to run both apps at one time since the Nokia N97 is a bit short on hardware resources as you will know. When I tried to run both apps and work with the phone at the same time, I experienced program shutdowns and so on, so I had to decide.

I’m using Nimbuzz for Skype- and Facebookchat, so switching to Skype would be a step back and there would have to be serious reasons for me to do it.

So, at first glance, the choice seems to be easy. Nimbuzz features not only Skype but also WindowsLive, Googletalk, Facebookchat, Twitter and so on plus Nimbuzz occupies about 1Mb less ram on my N97.

So why should one ever “downgrade” to “only” Skype?

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Homescreen Widget

Well, first of all, Skype features a homescreen widget which is nice to have. Not only do you have direct access to Skype, you also get notifications on new messages (“you missed 1IM”), can see your current status message and – very important to me – you can see, if Skype is even online.

The current Nimbuzz version features popup-notifications which is nice too, but can get annoying if you are writing an email for example because the popups will cover all other open programs. In addition to that, you won’t see if Nimbuzz is open at all unless you look in the Taskmanager and if so, you still don’t know, if you are online.

This get’s us to the real problem with Nimbuzz. I experienced Nimbuzz to freeze for short periods of time, log out of Skype or Facebook (or don’t even log in) and even to shut down in the background frequently. Thus, I found myself wasting time by checking, if Nimbuzz was still up and running and if so, if it was online…

Skype on the other hand seems to be quite stable and as I said, you can see if you are online and if you missed an IM at a glance. It works, and it is handy – that’s how I like it. I have to admit that Skype is far from perfect, too. It’s more or less the first version of this app and there are a few bugs that have to be fixed, but compared to Nimbuzz, Skype is simply the more stable and better programmed choice.

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Nimbuzz

Feature wise, the two apps are quite similar when it comes to “skyping”. You can run multiple chats, save the histories, send and receive files etc.. Regarding Skypecalls, there does not seem to be much difference, but I don’t use it very often, since my operator does not allow Skypecalls. I was trying it via W-Lan and experienced the calls with the Skype app to be better sound wise. On the downside, Skype needs some time to re-open longer chats but you will have nearly all your favorite Skypesmileys and -sounds.

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Skype

After all, I found myself choosing Skype over Nimbuzz. In theory, Nimbuzz is the perfect social messaging tool which should cover nearly all your needs, but practically it’s just not stable enough. So if you can abandon the other services Nimbuzz offers, I think you’re gonna be more happy with Skype.

To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed, that Nokia failed to integrate Skype into OVI Contacts since OVI Contacts seems to work quite well and is perfectly integrated in the UI. You can see if your friends are online in the phonebook and even on the homescreen in the “favorite contacts”-widget plus you can jump directly to your chats via the popup-menu at the top right of the screen. So Skypeintegration on OVI Contacts would be my wish for the future.

What did you experience with these two apps and what do you think about (the future of) OVI Contacts? Share your thougts below…

One note for those, who want to install Skype: I experienced the installation to be quite difficult because the install-program would close down after accepting “access to phone data”.  I had to set my system-language to English (requires restart) to complete the installation. After that, I switched back to German and had no problems ever since.