Chat Lobby brings the classic chat room to your iPhone

Oct 12, 2010
Tech

Chat Lobby is like using your iPhone as a time machine to head back to the mid-’90s where so much youth was misspent in AOL chat rooms discussing God knows what. If that was the app’s goal, it succeeds wildly. Though I’m not sure that’s such a noble purpose. The social networking app has a […]

Chat Lobby is like using your iPhone as a time machine to head back to the mid-’90s where so much youth was misspent in AOL chat rooms discussing God knows what. If that was the app’s goal, it succeeds wildly. Though I’m not sure that’s such a noble purpose.

The social networking app has a handful of rooms you can visit with titles like Teens Only, Singles, Scene/Emo and 25, but what you’ll find is that the rooms for anyone over 18 are pretty much completely empty, while the other rooms are just a collection of people asking for naked photos and swearing at each other when they don’t get them. In other words, it’s a lot like the chat rooms I remember from 15 years ago.

The interface of the chat system is well-done, at least. Little message bubbles pop up next to thumbnail photos that users select. The chats move aggressively fast, but luckily everything you’re witness to is archived in the app. This makes it easier to catch up if you get behind.

Private messages can be sent and received, and they funnel through an inbox of sorts that ends up looking like the iPhone’s text messaging interface. If all of that archived text skeeves you out, you can also delete the logs easily enough within the app.

If nothing else, Chat Lobby is very user-friendly. It’s just unfortunate that the user base for it is so terrible at the moment. If at some point more people signed on who wanted to have actual discussions, you might really have something here. Until then, Chat Lobby isn’t quite the must-have app it could be, unless you’re looking to remember the “good old days” of the Internet.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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