Universal Messenger is a free app from smartstudios. It integrates a dazzling list of services in various categories into one app: Dropbox, OneDrive and Google for file storage, Google, iCloud and Yahoo! for email, or Facebook and Twitter for social media are just a few entries on a list that's constantly growing. Universal Messenger lets you juggle all of these, and throws in a news section, too.
A messenger on the wind
As described, it might sound like calling this app a Universal "Messenger" is a bit strange. After all, there's other apps, like Skype or Discord, that focus specifically on communicating with others. While Gmail lets you chat in real-time, and Facebook Messenger is a big feature of this app, you won't find AIM or ICQ on the list of things it can do (at least, not as of this writing). But what's in a name? As noted, the app is compatible with plenty otherwise, in three categories: Social Media, Mail, and "Drive" (read: storage and backup).
But that's only one half of its utility. It lets you do two things at once, putting them side-by-side. You can do this with Windows as it is, but that's more difficult on Windows Phone, and this app simply makes it much easier. You can use it in full screen or throw on a theme, too!
Fast but loose
Universal Messenger's approach to providing all of the services it does is interesting. Rather than implement its own, specific method of using Facebook or Instagram, it's instead closer to a web browser like Internet Explorer, tailor-made for social media. If you "launch" Facebook Messenger, for example, you're more using a theatre-sized version of what Facebook itself already provides.
This means that if you use Twitter, for example, you won't get some of the features that a more specialized client like TweetDeck could provide. And certain apps, like Dropbox, provide different features or a smoother experience when you download a dedicated client for them. By comparison, the web-lite interface that Universal Messenger provides can lack features, but it is often familiar and always simple to use.
In terms of speed and ease of use, the app varies. It seems to perform better on desktop computers than on mobile devices, though it will run on both. It installs quickly, and uses an extremely small amount of space for everything it does – just 14 MB. Its light footprint is probably one of the most impressive things about it!
A basic convenience
Overall, Universal Messenger is aimed at those who use a lot of social media, and who don't want to mess around getting their software of choice to work or to run smoothly. If you're technically-minded and want to squeeze every feature out of every website you use, it might be best to look elsewhere. But if you find yourself juggling Facebook and WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram, and you want to be able to use all of them more quickly and easily, you've found the right app.