Well, its true that mobile IM will hit big in the coming years. People will need a better way to stay connected with work, family, friends not only on call but also online with their avatar. On my recent search on available services that lets me stay connected on IM, I couldn’t find any. But I heard there is an application in T-Mobile Sidekick that lets us stay always on (not sure how far that is true).
First of all, sorry for putting such a lame concept diagram below… anyways, I began to wonder the complications, the companies (especially communication companies developing mobile apps) might be facing in getting something like this in the market. The only major problem I could think of is in keeping the data connection always on. So here’s a high level simple architecture of what I think can solve this problem. Basically, the intermediate server will store the session between the device and IM server keeping itself transperent. When someone trys to talk to the device, the intermediate server can alert the device and also send the message to the app sitting on the device. This way the user can maintain an Always On state even when the app is not open or device is not active. Any thoughts?
Update: I came across this iPhone/BlackBerry application BeejiveIM that let users stay connected (Always On feature) on their favorite IM client on the go. The service looks very promising but its little expensive $16 plus either Microsoft Exchange Server Connectiviy or subscription to MobileMe (both could be little expensive). It emails the user (via puch email feature) whenever a contact trys to initiate the conversation. Besides that, it has many other features that makes it a popular pick among various IM clients available for iPhone and BlackBerry.
Update: Looks like the problem comes from Apple (as always). Apple has restricted 3rd party developers from accessing its notification server (the blue box in the diagram above). So, the way I see it, the technology is already there from companies like AOL, Beejive etc. but no means to notify users via push and it wont happen unless Apple gives rights to these companies
Again, I wont be surprised to see an IM app coming directly from Apple. As most of you may already know, mobile IM is the next big thing hitting the enterprise and consumer market.