Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Amid the growing group of instant-messaging solutions for the IM-less iPhone, Mundu(a Webware 100 winner) has just released a new contender that handles four of the most popular chatting protocols with a fantastic interface. If you're an iPhone user, just navigate your Safari browser to http://iphone.mundu.com, which takes you to a log-in screen with access to your AIM, Yahoo, MSN, .Mac, and Google Talk accounts. You can log into all of them simultaneously, although there's no master password system like you get with Meebo.
Each client gets its own buddy list, and any additional conversations get their own tabs. To start a conversation, just tap a user name of one of your friends who is logged in. There's a simple form that pulls up the iPhone's keyboard when clicked. Similar to the iPhone's built-in SMS app and iChat, conversations show up as color-coded speech bubbles that can be scrolled back and forth with your finger. The refresh rate is also instantaneous, so you don't have to keep reloading the page to see new comments from your friends.
The whole app has a very organic feel that's just right. It's one of the few IM apps I've used on the iPhone where it doesn't feel like you're fighting an interface to make it feel like a desktop app. I also have to give Mundu credit for creating a neat bubbly effect on the chat tab when you've got an unread message. Sometimes it's just the little things that make Web apps more fun to use. In this case, the function is just as good as the form.