Location Aware Mobile IM with Nokia Chat

Location aware applications and services are the new ‘in’ thing in the mobile universe. With the new iPhone 3G coming out, joining the plethora of Nokia N Series (and now E Series) phones with GPS onboard, consumers are finally becoming cognizant of what location based applications can do in their lives.

Nokia Chat, a new offering from Nokia Beta Labs, is a new mobile IM software that on the surface appears to be just another Jabber client. However, Nokia Chat adds functionality by allowing you to share your location with whomever your talking with. The Chat application uses the handset’s onboard GPS to give your contact your current location and provides a link that is usable inside Nokia’s mapping application. This is excellent integration.

Another great thing Nokia has done is integrated chat/IM capabilities inside your Contacts application as well. That is, if you have someone in your Contacts list that is also one of your Friends in Nokia Chat, you can select an option inside the address book to simply send them an IM, *much* cheaper than sending an SMS.

My only complaint is that you must open an Jabber client on Nokia’s server. This means I have jasonharris@ovi.com as my new jabber client and can’t take over my XMPP contacts from Google Chat. I have to re-add everyone. This is a pain point.

However, the Nokia Chat app is by far my favorite mobile IM application right now (see others I have written about). It doesn’t offer support for Yahoo, AIM, MSN, but the other functionality outweighs these factors.