Emoticons Galore with IMBooster


IMBooster is no longer available in the App Store. Look for more emoticon apps or emoji apps.

IMBooster iPhoneIf you love to load up your e-mails with those goofy little icons known as emoticons, then IMBooster will be right up your alley.

IMBooster, a port to iPhone of the instant messanger enhancement app of the same name, is full of grinning faces, ferocious cats, wide-eyed animé darlings, and fly-laden piles of poop at the ready for all your correspondence.

While the most recent update for iPhone and iPod touch is just days old, IMBooster has been around for a while. The emoticon-hawking download is available for all the popular instant message programs, web-based email clients and, of course, Facebook.

For devotees, IMBooster for iPhone is the final piece of the puzzle. Now, no matter how they connect to the Internet they will have access to the same emoticons, avatars and winks.

For users that aren't familiar with the program, IMBooster may sound like a lot of hype. The important thing to understand is that IMBooster is meant to be used to send email messages, not text messages and (oddly) not instant messages. If you know this in advance, then the app is a fun way to cram tiny images into your messages and decorate your most mundane thoughts.

To use IMBooster, you'll need to start your email from within the app. You can copy and paste a message into IMBooster, but not the other way around. Messages with images can only be sent from the app because the cartoons are actually tiny pictures not characters on a keyboard as in the case of emoji.

The transition from within IMBooster to an e-mail is pretty smooth. Just know that if your message receipient replies, you will have to go back into IMBooster and begin another message to add more zany graphics. You can't automatically reply from your mail app.

After launching the IMBooster, you have a screen that is divided between a space for text and a bottom screen with tons of bouncing little emoticons. By swiping on that screen you can scroll through the options. They are also divided into categories, such as joke, love, moody, and nasty.

Email is great, but it feels limiting to only have one choice of message delivery. I'd like to see more options in future updates of IMBooster. It would be good if it could plug into the various IM apps for iPhone just like it does online, or find a way to attach itself to a text message (maybe using MMS).

There certainly are plenty of images for those who want them. The volume is so high that you probably could convey a message with just the emoticons — kind of like a 21st century form of hieroglyphics. Some of the avatars are pretty creative and could probably spice up even the dullest message. There is nothing like this functionality available in the iPhone's built-in e-mail app, so if you want to add winks, animated emoticons and original avatars, then downloading IMBooster is the way to get it.

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