qnext.pngFor many of us instant messengers have become an important part of our daily lives, and in some cases IM’ing has begun to replace email communication. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for the best messenger application, and for awhile I gave that crown to Digsby… that is until they started to use what I consider to be shady practices to infest computers with adware.

A friend at work introduced me to a new messenger application called Qnext. I was instantly impressed that it was a cross-platform messenger (runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux), and works with all of the major networks including MSN, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, and Google Talk. The thing is that Qnext goes way beyond just being a messenger. It does all of the voice chat, video conferencing, photo sharing, and file transfers that you want from an app like this, but it is also able to grant remote access to your PC for one of your friends or even stream music from another computer that’s running Qnext. Sound cool? It is.

Here’s a rundown of what Qnext is capable of:

  • Universal Messenger – Qnext is the world’s most advanced Universal Instant Messenger, allowing you to send and receive messages with buddies on all of the most popular networks.
  • Voice Chat – Just get a microphone or a headset and you’re ready to host Voice Conferences with up to eight Qnext Friends. Qnext is cross-platform. This means, you guessed it, finally Mac, Windows, and Linux users can all jump on a Video or Voice call together!
  • Video Conferencing – Just plug in a webcam and a headset, and you are ready to go! Since Qnext video and audio conferencing is completely integrated into your Qnext friends/ buddy list, initiating a video conference is straightforward and easy. All you do is select a user from your ‘friends’ list and start a live video conference with right clicking on a Qnext contact and selecting Conference > Video.
  • Photo Sharing – Qnext Photo Sharing is the easiest way to share an unlimited amount of photos with anyone, even if they don’t have Qnext. Just choose your photos, choose your Audience and you’re done; your friends will receive a link that lets them view or download (with permission) your photos from any web browser. They can browse through thumbnails, zoom into photos, and run custom slideshows too!
  • File Transfer – Qnext enables users to send or receive files from other Instant Messenger protocols including Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Google Talk, Jabber, iChat, and ICQ. When you Transfer Files between Qnext users you can take a file (s) or folder (s) of any size from your computer and drag it onto a contact name. This initiates a secure P2P file transfer. A file can be 1 MB, 1GB, or your entire C drive!
  • File Sharing – Qnext File Sharing is the easiest way to get those huge files where they need to go fast. Put an unlimited amount of files or folders of any size into a File Zone and select your Audience; your specified recipients will get a link in an Email or an Instant Message and be able to download any or all of your shared files at top speeds, from any web browser in the world!
  • Remote PC Access – Qnext MyPC is a Remote Access and Application Sharing service included in Qnext. Basically, it lets you give yourself or anyone you specify access to your computer or specific applications from any standard web browser.
  • Music Streaming – Qnext Music Streaming is the only way to listen to your entire music Library from anywhere in the world. Choose up to 700,000 songs and select your Audience; we will Streaming your tunes instantly to whoever you want. Whether you want to share with yourself or with your friends, this is the only way to stream your music to any web browser on the planet.

The downside to a messenger like this? Well, it’s Java based which is something I’m typically not a huge fan of. Putting that aside the memory usage is rather high, and ranged from 90MB at startup to somewhere around 150MB after some normal usage. That’s a big number, but given the amount of memory available these days that may not be a concern for you. Netbook users, however, may need to be a bit more conscious with how much memory their applications are using.

Here are a bunch of screenshots from different areas of Qnext:

qnext explorer.png qnext shares.png qnext video conference.png qnext games.png qnext chess.png qnext mypc.png qnext settings.png qnext chat.png

There is also an iPhone version of Qnext in the works that is working to bring many of these features right to your phone… including the streaming music capability from what I’ve read. The desktop version is free though, and can’t really hurt to give it a try.

Qnext Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)