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Frequently Asked Questions about AIM for iPhone and iPod Touch

General

How is AIM different from SMS text messages?

With AIM, you can send and receive messages with tens of millions of users that use AOL, AIM, ICQ, .mac, or MobileMe on mobile devices and desktop computers around the world. You're not limited to 160 characters when sending messages, and AIM's presence service lets you know if your buddies are available before you talk to them. Of course, if you want to send text messages, you can do that through AIM also (see below).

What does AIM for iPhone and iPod Touch cost?

AIM for iPhone and iPod Touch is free to download from the Apple App Store and there are no additional charges to use AIM for iPhone or iPod Touch beyond your mobile carrier or WiFi provider's standard data rates.

What do I need to use AIM for iPhone and iPod Touch?

You'll need an Apple iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPod Touch running iPhone OS 2.0. After downloading and installing the application over the air or via iTunes on your PC or Mac, you'll need to be connected to a data network in order to use AIM. You'll also need to have an AOL or AIM screen name, or a .mac or MobileMe account to sign in. You can register for a free screen name from the application.

Is AIM for iPhone available in my locale?

AIM for iPhone is available through Apple's App Store worldwide. Currently, the application is only available in English, but you can send and receive messages in any language supported by your device.

What's new in version 1.1?

Version 1.1 adds support for explicitly signing out of the AIM network and for managing sound and vibration notification preferences. AIM also now supports AIM Blast, which allows you to send a single message to multiple buddies over IM or SMS. Version 1.1 also corrects issues some users reported regarding application crashes and blank IMs.

Sending and Receiving Messages

How do I send messages to buddies who use ICQ?

To start a conversation with an ICQ user, tap the IMs button and then tap the new IM button in the upper right corner of the screen. Enter the user's ICQ number (UIN) in the screen name field. You can also add ICQ users to your Buddy List® view by entering the UIN in the Add Buddy panel. You can also specify a nickname that will be displayed in lists instead of the user's UIN.

How do I send messages to buddies who use MobileMe?

To start a conversation with a MobileMe user, tap the IMs button and then tap the new IM button in the upper right corner of the screen. Enter the user's MobileMe name (e.g., example@me.com) in the screen name field. You can also add MobileMe users to your Buddy List view by entering the name in the Add Buddy panel. You can also specify a nickname that will be displayed in lists instead of the user's MobileMe name.

How do I send messages to buddies who use .mac?

To start a conversation with a .mac user, tap the IMs button and then tap the new IM button in the upper right corner of the screen. Enter the user's .mac address (e.g., example@mac.com) in the screen name field. You can also add .mac users to your Buddy List view by entering the name in the Add Buddy panel. You can also specify a nickname that will be displayed in lists instead of the user's .mac name.

How do I send text messages using AIM?

To send a text message using AIM for iPhone, tap the IMs button and then tap the new IM button in the upper right corner of the screen. Enter your buddy's full phone number like: +14085551212. You can also enter just the 10 digit number and we'll add the +1 for you. You can also add phone numbers to your Buddy List view by entering the full number in the Add Buddy panel. Currently, you can only send messages to mobile phones in North America (phone numbers in country code 1).

Does AIM for iPhone use up my SMS message allotment?

No, messages sent and received with AIM for iPhone travel over your device's data connection and are subject to your carrier's data plan (e.g., EDGE or 3G data), not your SMS plan.

What does it cost to send text messages using AIM?

AOL does not charge a fee to send text messages using AIM. Text messages are treated the same as normal IM messages and are included as part of your device's data plan.

Can my buddy reply to a text message I sent using AIM?

In most cases, yes, but it depends on your buddy's mobile phone, carrier, and calling plan. Your buddy may be charged standard text message rates to reply.

Do I receive IMs while I am using other applications on my iPhone or iPod Touch?

By default, if you exit AIM and return to the home screen, AIM will maintain your session for approximately five minutes. If you return to AIM within that time, you will receive messages that were sent to you during that time. If you do not return within five minutes, you will be signed off from the AIM service and will not receive any messages sent during your absence. A future version of AIM will be able to notify you when you receive messages while using other applications.

You can also choose to Sign-off on Exit (see Settings, below), and AIM will sign out of the AIM network when you exit the application.

What does it mean to Work Offline?

If you get signed off from AIM, you will have the option of reconnecting or working offline. In offline mode, you can view your current IM conversations, but you will not be able to send or receive messages, or receive status updates for your buddies.

AIM Blast

What is AIM Blast?

AIM Blast lets you have a group conversation or send an IM or SMS to multiple people as easily as sending a regular IM to one of your buddies.

How do I use AIM Blast?

Just set up a new Blast group and invite others to join at the AIM Blast Web site:http://blast.aim.com. Once you've set up the group, you can join and send messages to a group directly from AIM on your iPhone or iPod touch, or from wherever you're signed in to the AIM service.

Okay, I set up a Blast group at the Web site. Now what do I do?

Look at your Buddy List, and you should see the group automatically added. Once people start accepting your invitations to join the group, just use the Blast group screenname -- the one that looks like this: [Blastgroupname] -- to send a message to everyone and kick off the conversation!

Personalization

How do I add a buddy to my Favorites?

Tap on the blue arrow beside your buddy's name in the Buddy List view and choose Add to Favorites from the information panel.

How do I set my status?

Tap the My Info button and select whether you want to Available, Away or Invisible. You can also enter a status message that will be displayed to your buddies.

How do I set my buddy icon?

Tap the My Info button and tap on your buddy icon. You can then take a picture with the iPhone's built in camera or select an image from your device's photo library to use as your buddy icon.

Settings

How do I change the screen name I'm logged in as?

From your mobile device's Home Screen, tap Settings, then AIM. Enter the new username and password that you want to use.

What are Classic Icons?

By default, AIM uses the Classic Icon theme for status icons indicating whether your buddy is available, away, online, idle and/or whether they're using a mobile device.

Turning off Classic Icons will show presence state using colored balls.

What does Sign-off on Exit do?

Choosing Sign-off on Exit will cause AIM to sign you off of the AIM network when you exit the AIM application. By default, AIM will leave you signed in for about 5 minutes after exiting AIM and will queue any messages received during that time and deliver them if you return within that period.

AIM and AOL

How do I get an AIM screen name?

When you start the application for the first time, tap "Get an AIM screen name." The Safari browser will launch and guide you through the process of obtaining a free screen name. Once you have an AOL screen name, you can use it across the AOL network of products including mail and personalized content.

What other applications are available for iPhone users?

AOL produces a wide range of software and content specially optimized for the iPhone. Go to http://mobile.aol.com/iphone to learn more about other AOL applications available through the Apple's App Store. There you can also find out about our many iPhone-optimized Web sites where you can look up movie times, check stock quotes, or get up-to-date with the latest news, information and entertainment.

System Requirements

  • An original iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPod Touch
  • iPhone OS 2.0 or higher
  • Data connection (WiFi, EDGE, or 3G)
  • AIM and Truveo are available worldwide through the Apple App Store; Radio is available in the US only.

AOL Mobile Portal

There's lots more to do on AOL when using a mobile device from Apple. Just type iphone.aol.com into your Safari browser to get news, stock quotes, the latest celebrity gossip and much more.

More for Your Mac

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Discover AOL provides information about AOL's many products and services, including computer tech support (AOL TechGuru), free software (AOL Desktop 9.7, AOL Desktop for Mac, AIM), Safety and Security tools (McAfee® VirusScan® Plus -- Special edition from AOL) and free services like Video, Radio, Email, Instant Messaging and Parental Controls. Check out AOL A-Z for a full, alphabetical directory of everything on AOL.