One of the most disconcerting areas of dearth for the iPhone's native software set is nonsupport for MMS messaging and instant messaging outside of AIM. If it weren't for Palringo these two complaints would still stand.
Palringo is an iPhone application that lets you connect to your instant messaging accounts from which you can send text, picture and voice instant messages from your iPhone. The best part of this is that you do so without SMS charges since all traffic is directed over your EDGE/3G cellular or Wi-Fi networks. Palringo itself is free at the iTunes App store.
The application has a clean interface and is fairly easy to navigate. It also supports multiple protocols: Apple iChat, AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, Gadu Gadu, ICQ, Jabber, and Windows Live Messenger. You will need a Palringo account to use the App, but this is easily accomplished the first time you launch the application. Configuring your chat accounts is similarly easy.
After configuration, you are ready to send text, picture or voice messages. The pictures can come from the iPhones camera or photo albums. Voice memos are recorded on the phone itself and sent immediately.
Picture messaging is not a true MMS replacement since the image you send is actually uploaded and stored on a Palringo server for approximately 10 days. Therefore the picture does not pop-up immediately on your chat friends screen. Instead, they receive a link to click that will let them see the picture. Not exactly what you'd expect, but significantly more convenient than the default MMS/URL mechanism on the iPhone that is essentially useless because of the lack of a copy/paste function.
Voice messages are sent by clicking cartoon bubbles to open chat window. You then press and hold a button on the screen - record your message, release and off it goes to the recipient.