Review: Simple IRC
Is there still a place in the world for the old stand-by of Internet Relay Chat? More than anything, this is the question that you have to ask if you are considering a purchase of SimpleIRC. To be honest though, if you're considering it you probably know (a) what IRC is and (b) are using it for something in your online life. In which case, a tick in both those columns means that SimpleIRC is going to be a useful addition to your phone.
Version Reviewed: 2.00 (2)
For everyone else, if I lost you at I and R, then move on to a Facebook client, we're about to go so old school it's going to be like watching William Hartnell playing The Doctor.
For all the tabbed views, graphical windows, bells and whistles, this is essentially a text based application - IRC has never moved on, and that's part of the charm. You log on to the server, a stream of plain text comes back, and SimpleIRC will do a touch of formatting, separating each channel out to its own tab.
There are some concessions to a nice UI, in each channel (analogous to a chat room) you can call up a list of people on the channel in the regular full screen Symbian list box. This lets you open a private chat to someone, which is then handled as if it was another channel, which you can tab through on the top.
The touch-screen is used to move along these tabs, and if you're on a pure touch phone (like the N8), then SimpleIRC is nice, but the current full screen keyboard covering the whole display does take you out of the flow of a fast moving conversation.
Let's be honest thought, given I'm on the E7, with a full qwerty keyboard, in landscape mode, SimpleIRC is a Dream. The server tab, a few channels/rooms and private chats can all be seen on the tabs, the physical keyboard means nothing is covered on screen, making the application far easier to use. Given that IRC is very much a tech/geek tool, I think it would be fair to say that E7 users may feature heavily in the target group.
It's been a while since there was a good IRC client on Symbian. The last outstanding one in my mind was WirelessIRC, but once the author dabbled with a "Twitter" view on the client, it kind of grew [cough - "Gravity" - Ed], and IRC was left behind the curtain of the Symbian OS 9 compatibility break. The great news is that SimpleIRC does a more than competent job in 2011. It has limited appeal, but if you're one of those that can /nick, then there's a simple answer.
-- Ewan Spence, July 2011.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at