ILoveIM.com is less sophisticated than many of the other web-based IM apps we've tested (see below). From its advertising-heavy home page to its limited features, ILoveIM.com lacks broad appeal.

Web-based IM service reviews: Meebo, Kool IM, Imhaha, RadiusIM

ILoveIM lets you connect to AIM, Google Talk, MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger from its home page. You can sign on using your existing screen name and password, but you can't connect to more than one service at a time.

You'll also have to look past myriad text and flashing ads on the ILoveIM page to find the actual information it contains. Several pop-up ads craftily managed to elude my pop-up blocker - another black mark against ILoveIM.

When you log on to ILoveIM, the service informs you that you may have to wait as long as 30 seconds to access your information. That may not seem like a long time, but it's significantly longer than for other services we tested. Once you're logged on to ILoveIM, you learn that you may have to wait another 15 seconds for your buddy list to appear.

Once you're up and running, your buddy list appears in a pop-up window. (Once it's launched, ILoveIM instructs you to disable your pop-up blocker in order to send and receive messages. Luckily, the URL of your buddy list window differs from that of the ILoveIM.com home page, so you can arrange to permit pop-ups only from that site.)

ILoveIM's use of pop-ups allows you to navigate away from the ILoveIM.com home page while remaining linked to your IM service.

The delay that accompanies logging in to ILoveIM seems to extend to sending and receiving messages. We tested this service (and all of the others) with a colleague sitting nearby, and noticed that with ILoveIM.com we had to wait several seconds longer for messages to arrive than with any other service.

On several occasions, we also received double messages - exact duplicates that arrived at the same time. ILoveIM lacks a typing indicator and a time stamp for messages, and the message window displays a large graphic ad along the bottom.

Your buddy list retains most of the organisation that you'd see when using a desktop application; thus, AIM buddies remained in the groups we had set up online (family, friends, coworkers, and so on). But offline and online buddies are grouped together in ILoveIM, distinguished by coloured icons. And since you can't place all of your offline buddies at the bottom of the ILoveIM window, it can be difficult to navigate a long buddy list.

ILoveIM: Specs

  • Internet connection
  • MSN, Googletalk
  • AOL
  • Yahoo messenger login
  • Internet connection
  • MSN, Googletalk
  • AOL
  • Yahoo messenger login

OUR VERDICT

ILoveIM.com is a bare-bones service that you could use to access your IM account in a pinch. But its limitations overshadow its usefulness.

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