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Samsung’s ChatON for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Bada takes on BBM and iMessage across four platforms

Samsung’s triumvirate of Bada 2.0 phones look pretty nice but, the Bada platform isn’t going to be replacing Symbian or Android anytime soon. However the real ace up Sammy’s sleeve if you ask us comes in the form of the new ChatON app.

This is a cross platform IM client that lets you text chat in real time, one-on-one or as part of a group as well as send pictures and video to a shared media stream called the ‘trunk’.

There’s also the ability to add scrawls and scribbles or handwritten messages drawn on a touchscreen as well as the option to create crude animations, something that Samsung is calling Animation Message Service, or AMS. First there was SMS, then MMS…

On top of this, your ChatON contacts’ numbers and email addresses are also integrated into profiles, allowing you to call someone from within the app.

So far, so social aggreation. Nothing new to see here. However…

Agnostic front

Much like CloudTalk which we’ve seen on iOS and Android, ChatON’s main appeal however is in it’s platform agnosticism.

Back when iOS 5 and iMessage was announced, we wrote that Apple had effectively taken out the star player from Team BlackBerry.

We reckon that ChatON represents a greater threat than iMessage however. BBM and iMessage are like private members’ clubs, exclusive only to card carrying BlackBerry and iPhone acolytes. ChatON is more inclusive, open to the Android faithful and Samsung’s own Bada followers as well as BlackBerry OS and iOS.

There’s definitely demand for something like this. Half of the internet went crazy when rumours of BBM coming to iOS and Android surfaced, only to be later denied outright by RIM.

Samsung seems to have caught on, promising to ‘Democratize the Mobile Communication,’ in the vid below.

Windows Phone 7, Symbian, MeeGo and the now-in limbo webOS are among the mobile platforms that have been left out. But we think that if ChatON takes off, we don’t see why support for these and other platforms couldn’t be added later.

It’s an if and a very big one at that. But ChatON is a pretty bold move from Samsung and one that we’re looking forwards to trying out across our iPhones, BlackBerries and Android phones.

What do you think? Is this the final death knell for BBM? The latest thing for Louise Mensch to get all bothered about? Let us know in the comments.


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