Chikka the Filipino-owned web2sms service (one of the pioneer in the industry) launched today Chikka v5 – both for the web and desktop versions.
Cool new look after like 2 years or so of seeing v4, don’t you agree? But an important feature is missing.
Chikka v4 has this one feature that was the coolest Chikka ever implemented – the Chikka+IM integration.
So what was it? If you are familiar with XMPP/Jabber transports, that is basically it. For those not familiar, it is a way to attach your Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, and Gtalk/Gmail Chat under one account.
Since I already have an XMPP account (thanks to the great and free service offered by ProcessOne called Talkr.im), instead of logging all my other IMs, I logged-in my XMPP account via the Gtalk/Gmail option of Chikka web.
Gtalk/Gmail is based on XMPP/Jabber, theoretically then it should be possible to use any other XMPP account. That seems to be the case. This allowed me to enable web2sms for all my Instant Messenger accounts.
Through Chikka’s web2sms-if-you-are-offline, People can send me messages in any of my IM accounts without me giving them my mobile number or Chikka account (which is in this format: [email protected]).
With version 5, this is no longer possible. The option to login to your other IM accounts is no longer available, it was removed if we compare v5 to the previous version of Chikka web. A sad thing to see when we’re supposed to celebrate because of the update. (I do not even think it v5 deserves to be called an update – strictly speaking.)
The next time Chikka enters maintenance mode, I will no longer be able to re-login my XMPP account via my Chikka account. It means that my contacts will now see me “offline” if I’m not connected to cyberspace.
I guess there’s no need to post this article of mine I wrote for Chikka+IM integration
To Chikka, I hope you put this feature back, it was very useful. Maybe you should include the feature to your desktop client too
Update (2010-08-29): The good folks from Chikka replied to my email I sent them. If we want to use the Chikka v4 web interface (with the XMPP/Jabber transport feature), just go to: old.chikka.com.
I hope this stays permanent until we see this feature re-introduced in the newer version. Thank you very much Chikka, now I don’t have to worry. What’s a ₱2.50 reply back if I can keep in-touch with my IM friends and business contacts around the world? Nothing. That’s why if this features disappears forever, it’s a big loss.
Again thank you very much.