AIM On Cingular Cellphones

Last night I was poking around with my online and playing with my Motorola V600 cellphone. I’ve been curious about doing IM on my phone. I saw that the V600s from T-Mobile come with AOL Instant Messanger software preinstalled, but I’m with Cingular. So I looking at the various ways of getting that software installed on my phone. Most of them seemed a bit more involved that I cared to try. Then I noticed a chart (I think I found it at AOL’s AIM site) that listed the phones from Cingular that supported AIM. Now I’m not just talking about the AIM Forwarding which you can do with basically any cellphone. You can’t started IMs with that, only respond. I was interested in full AIM service. The chart didn’t list the V600 (I think Cingular has already stopped offering it) but it did say that AIM software could be downloaded for the V400. That got me intrigued.

After a lot of poking around I discovered it was so much easier that I made things to be. If I’d only done the simple, logical thing, I wouldn’t have had to spend hours on it.

  1. Bring up the MEdia Net homepage on your cellphone’s web browser. On the V600 select “Web Access” in the upper-right-hand corner and then select “Browser”.
  2. Select item 5, “IM & Chat”, from the list on the homepage.
  3. Select item 1, “Mobile IM”, from the IM & Chat page.
  4. Select the Free Download link and follow any onscreen instructions that come up.

That was pretty rough, I know. So silly. I spent all that time and it was sitting there right in front of my nose. A java application, Mobile IM, will be downloaded and installed on your phone. It gives you access to AIM, Yahoo Messanger and ICQ. I would imagine that being a java application, it could be run on any phone that supports J2ME—not just my V600.

After installing, I was able to log in with my .Mac account. It even listed all my buddies from iChat. The big downside is that it seems to sometimes have difficulty with receiving messages. I’m not sure if that’s because I was using a .Mac username and not a regular AIM one. Or maybe I was just experiencing some network difficulty from Cingular. The messages that I sent out seemed to be received ok. So I’m not sure what the deal was. It’s certainly something to keep an eye on.

But it’s certainly cool that I can do AIM from my cellphone now.