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App of the Week: Beluga

There are many ways to chat out there: Facebook, Google Talk, AIM, and many others. What some people look for though, that may be more difficult to find that a simple chat client is a group chat client. Blackberry Messenger has been a popular chatting client like this, and one main thing that I hear from Blackberry users that switch to Android (or iPhone) is “I miss BBM”. Luckily, Android now has a client much like BBM for those who crave chatting, and that is Beluga.

Beluga is a free app for Android that allows users to chat. Whether you have a smartphone or not, whether it is to one person or 5 people, you can chat with everyone. Beluga arranges its chatters in groups called pods. These pods can have people using Android phones, iPhones, or just regular phones in it. Android and iPhone have apps, but one really cool feature is that if a user does not have a smartphone they just reply to the pod’s “number” and it sends the message to everyone in the pod. Beluga can also send pictures, files, and videos to the pod. All of this is 100% free.

Beluga is a pretty easy app to learn how to use. Once you open the app you get to a screen that shows you all of your active pods and your friends that are using Beluga. From there you can start a pod and add or remove people as you like. If you get added to a pod you will automatically receive that pod’s messages as well, but you can remove yourself at any time. Beluga has a push notification system that notifies you right when you get a message so you don’t have to keep refreshing, and luckily this doesn’t kill the battery.

Beluga performs very well, and has a smooth clean interface. This app hasn’t frozen on me once, and is very reliable even if I want to just chat with one person. I really like using it to talk in groups as well, because it makes it much easier to coordinate plans with more than two people. Beluga has had great dev support since I have started using it, and any problems that I have encountered have been quickly fixed. Go to the market and try Beluga out today. It is free, and definitely worth a download, and that it why Beluga is this week’s App of the Week.

about the writer: Elijah Ketchum is a 16 year old sophomore in High School in Cincinnati OH. His Android experience started with the Motorola Droid. He enjoys everything about Android and convincing his iPhone fan boy classmates to switch. He recently convinced his father, a long term Blackberry user to switch to a Motorola Droid X. Like Elijah’s writing? Have questions? email [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ElijahIsMe

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