Get free IM on your iPhone with Meebo.
We got word earlier today the team behind Meebo has feverishly been working since last Friday to get it working on Apple's iPhone. One of the handset's shortcomings is its lack of an instant messaging client. Meebo, which has been providing a Web-based IM client that mimics desktop chatting software, did not work come iPhone launch due to the mobile version of Safari using its double-tap navigation. Meebo requires double clicking to start up an IM conversation, and many of the buttons and window functionality were simply not working.
The result is what the Meebo team claims to be a "pre-alpha workaround" which lets users select people off their IM buddy lists with a succession of finger taps, similar to "sticky" keys. This will open up an IM window that functions quite similarly to the desktop experience, sans some screen real estate. Users were also previously unable to hit the enter key, keeping them from being able to respond, despite having entered text.
The system is still far from perfect or as iChat beautiful as the iPhone's SMS app. It's difficult to swap between IM windows without zooming out, and even harder to keep track of what's going on in a conversation since you can't read and type at the same time. Regardless, the iPhone's only been out for a few days, and considering what some others have done in that timespan, it's likely people will get their mobile IM fix soon enough.