Causerie for Celebration

May 22, 2007

I thought it’d be difficult to top Mundu Messenger, but I was wrong.

Causerie logoOn a tip from commenter didjital [and commenter pany too], I tried out Causerie Unified Messenger for the Palm by Mantra Group. And I have one word to describe Causerie.


I really, really like Causerie. Lots to like about this program, and not that much not to like. Finally, a worthy replacement for the late Verichat IM program. Nay, an even better replacement. Bye bye Verichat, nice knowing you, here’s the door.

Pricing is a bit steep. It’s $29.99 per year for the Standard version, and $39.99 per year for the Premier version.

Here are just some (!) things I liked about Causerie Unified Messenger:

  • Causerie screenshotCan sign in to these IM accounts: Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, Google, and even a few enterprise-type networks.
  • Available for the Palm (which this review covers), Blackberry, Pocket PC, J2ME, Brew, and Symbian smartphones, as well as phones that support Java.
  • Can simultaneously sign in to up to six different accounts – including up to two of the same type. Yes, two simultaneous AIM accounts open, for example. (This feature available only with the Premier version.)
  • Very clean, crisp interface. Colors work well together and aren’t gaudy. In fact, you can download skins to customize the look of your Causerie app.
  • When you open Causerie for the first time, you have the option to get a tour via instant messages — a neat option I’d never seen elsewhere.
  • Can open links sent to you via instant message — i.e., send a new email to an email address via your mail app, a call to a phone number via your smartphone, or a web URL address.
  • Can get push email notification whenever you get a new Yahoo email – a nice feature. Works with some email programs for the smartphones, but not all.
  • Many different ways to configure alerts – including sound, vibrate (from one to four vibrations), LED (red, orange, or green – AND solid or rapid flashing), and an alert dialog box (of which you can customize the color). Can do all this for buddy list status changes as well as for new IMs.
  • Easy to organize buddy lists several different ways.
  • When viewing the IM conversation window, the toolbar can be resized to give you more or less text to type with – a very nice feature and one I hadn’t seen anywhere else.
  • Different fonts are supported (if FontBucket is installed).
  • Causerie works in the background – you can still get IMs while working in other programs or with the smartphone off. This option can be turned on or off.
  • Comes with a good range of Bots (‘roBots’ that return automated info) – including movies, news, weather, flight info, or even just a chat buddy. (This feature available only with the Premier version.)
  • Whenever I returned to Causerie from another app, it opened up quickly without any noticeable delay.
    Can customize colors and appearance of my chat windows – including colors of my words as well as the colors of the words of who I’m talking with.
  • Chat logs can be kept indefinitely or be deleted after a time interval (which you can set).
  • The “background” pop-up window that opens when I’m using other apps is very nice. Can stay in the window and send a series of messages, go to Causerie to continue the conversation, or just close it. Best background pop-up window I’ve ever seen.
  • Didn’t crash my Treo, even with Chatter Email also running in the background. Then again, since I tested several other IM programs (which caused my Treo to crash), I did a total hard reset of my Treo – erasing everything – and re-installing some programs one by one. Seems to have helped – or Causerie works so well with my Treo. Hmm.

… And here’s a few things I didn’t like about this program. But believe me, I had to try hard to find just those few things.

  • Bots didn’t seem to be working – I tried movies, weather, and the chat buddy (I was lonely, ok??) and all of them returned “invalid” responses. How humilitating – I was rejected by a chat robot … Then again, maybe I have to have the Premier version — and not just be using the demo version.
  • Not easy or quick to quit or log off (if the “keep running in background” option has been selected). Have to navigate up to or press the red “x” in the corner of the buddy list view. Suggest that a menu command for “Quit / Log off all” be implemented, with slash-Q (or whatever) as the quick key combination.
  • When the smartphone is off and I receive an IM, Causerie turns the smartphone’s screen on. I’d rather have the smartphone’s screen stay off and still receive an alert / notification.
  • At least in AIM, buddies can set up a message that shows up next to their names on the buddy list. But Causerie doesn’t display these messages, whether on the buddy list or in these buddies’ contact properties. Really hope Causerie can implement this feature (e.g., some kind of icon next to a buddy that has a message).
  • There was noticeable battery drain when I used Causerie and Chatter Email at the same time. But I think this is to be expected.

In sum: thus far, Causerie comes on top, with Mundu Messenger a relatively close second. WebMessenger is third, IM+ a distant fourth, and EQO Mobile still in last place.


4 Responses to “Causerie for Celebration”

  1. twallclimber Says:

    yea i agree with that however causerie can’t beat mundu by the price. 11 bucks ! i wud have mundu if mundu accepts my pda with wm5.

  2. Thanks for your review. We really appreciate it.

    Price shouldn’t be a concern.

    We have something in works which will set us apart while giving something back to the community. Please hang on!

  3. conrong Says:

    I’ve been using Causerie for some months now. I have been waiting to provide my review of this software online since I am a sad former VeriChat user still waiting for a decent replacement. I only chose Causerie from the other unified IM softwares since it was the closest to VeriChat’s offerings (albeit not anywhere near it’s usability and reliability) and I was in desperate need. The price is very steep and now I feel it is completely not worth the money. The software frequently crashes my Treo as well as disconnects at least once an hour. I have missed many important connections due to Causerie’s continuing lack of customer service and software deficiencies. Also, Causerie barely has buddy alerts working properly and they sure don’t have individual buddy alert feature that VeriChat once offered. If I did not pay so much for it I would be getting rid of it for something cheaper and more reliable.

  4. […] let’s see about the rankings thus far. Causerie still comes on top, with Mundu Messenger a relatively close second. Toccer is third due to its […]

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