Since the original iPad came out last year, we’ve seen the device’s app platform mature and evolve into a rich marketplace for desktop-class apps like OmniFocus, 1Password, Reeder and Twitterrific. However, for as much as there are hundreds of thousands of apps for the iPad and many of them are fantastic pieces of software, users have always felt the lack of a beautiful, functional IM client for the iPad. There’s a number of apps in the Store to access AIM, Facebook Chat and Google Talk from a unified interface, but none of them have sported the typical attention to detail, simplicity and intuitive interface that you would expect from a native Apple app, in our case the iChat for iOS that was never released.
Verbs, the IM app that we’ve covered several times in the past here on MacStories, gained a universal iPad update earlier today, adding a new, great-looking iPad UI that will feel instantly familiar if you’ve used Verbs for iPhone.
Verbs for iPad retains the same interaction schemes, color palette and features of its iPhone counterpart. You can log in with Google Talk, AIM, MobileMe and Facebook, and set up multiple accounts; you can configure file sharing through CloudApp or Droplr so you’ll be able to upload images from a chat, and have them available elsewhere as well. You can browse your buddy list in a sidebar or inside a popover menu (Verbs for iPad supports both landscape and portrait orientations) and tap on a contact to start chatting. You can pinch on the chat window to open the Chats view, which lets you swipe between multiple open conversations so you can stay on top of everything. And just like the iPhone app, Verbs for iPad sells you a $4.99 in-app “Pro” purchase to unlock notifications and idle times up to 7 days. With the upcoming iOS 5 and Notification Center, receiving push notifications from an IM app like Verbs doesn’t sound annoying at all — Notification Center will help you keep track of all your missed chats. And if you’ve already purchased Verbs Pro on the iPhone, you can unlock it for free on your iPad too.
All the other features of Verbs for iPhone have been ported to the iPad: you can email conversations, send links to Instapaper, and view iWork documents right within the app.
Verbs is the only IM client I use on my iPhone, and starting today I’ll be keeping the app on my iPad’s home screen. Verbs looks great, it’s easy to use and doesn’t overwhelm you with information; it also lets me share files with my coworkers on the go thanks to CloudApp integration. I have no doubts many have been looking forward to today to start using an IM client on their iPad. Verbs is only $0.99 on the App Store.
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