Markoff's blog - dennik z Ciny 2011-2014 a cestopis z Azie 2010-2011

What are QQ client alternatives and why you should not use official QQ client

IT - 28.01.2012 - Markoff

QQ is biggest instant messaging (IM) network from China and 2nd largest social network in world (after Facebook), but it's relatively unknown in rest of the world. If you will travel to China or communicate with people from China you will find out that QQ it's heavily used by half ot the population and without QQ you are lost, because it's more important to stay in touch than mobile number, so if you plan to visit China you should set up QQ account in advance and maybe make friends before going there. The most characteristic sound for nowadays China would be QQ new message notification, which you can hear everywhere - in subway, in restaurants, in barber's shop, in work office, on street or from your chinese flatmate's room - everywhere, because in all these places there is at least one computer running QQ for amusement of staff. It's probably used more than mobile messaging (SMS), because of better price (30MB in China costs about 5RMB (0.6EUR/0.8USD) and it's enough for whole month).

Why you should not use official QQ client? Official QQ client is big (if you want just something simple to use IM it uses relatively lot resources, because of many unnecessary features), slow (even on new fast computers sometimes response of application takes seconds) and the most important - has questionable safety, privacy and in Chinese version it's loaded with advertisements. Because of all these questions about what it really contains and monitor in your computer, it was rewarded by antivirus companies by label malware or spyware. For QQ defense I'm heavy daily user of official QQ client and didn't really noticed it would change behaviour of my computer, but I'm many times annoyed by speed.

I was looking for QQ alternative, if there is any and found these:
1. - official QQ browser client optimized for tablets/computers without need of any installation, it's part of QQ cloud service with many applications (QQ is application with Penguin icon), home screens and it has only one little problem - it's completely in Chinese, so it's for me useless, while if you are used to desktop QQ client you should not have problem to control even this browser client, but if you want something lite and fast it has too much stuff inside.

2. WebQQ Mini - official lite QQ browser client optimized for mobile devices with small resolution, so it looks quite huge on big desktop/laptop screen, it has almost no settings (only font size and log out button) and features and it's OK for basic instant messaging, but layout is quite old and even the smallest font is too big for screen. It's very easy to use, it has only 4 screens with active chats (in bottom of chat window are 2 buttons for Close and Send), your contacts and settings.

3. Instantbird - multi-protocol IM client supporting AIM, MSN, Yahoo, GTalk, Jabber, ICQ, IRC, Twitter and QQ available in almost all languages, all of this in 10MB installation package without any additional plug-ins needed. Speed is reasonable, but you can see it's made by Mozilla team known for not really fast applications, even settings look almost same as in Firefox. QQ works fine for basic instant messaging, but there is no image support for receiving or sending.

4. Pidgin - another multi-protocol IM client supporting AIM, MSN, Yahoo, GTalk, Jabber, ICQ, IRC, Gadu-gadu and QQ through additional 3rd party plug-in available in almost all languages, but in huge 30MB installation and you will end up in same situation as with Instantbird - only basic IM functionality and no images support.

There should be support for QQ protocol in Miranda through external plug-in, but I've tryed and as unable to connect unlike Instantbird and Pidgin. These were all alternatives to official QQ client I was able to find - Instantbird works fine without any plug-ins and installation is easy, but doesn't support images, Pidgin needs to download 3rd party plug-in and offers same features as Pidgin, official lite browser QQ client is only in Chinese and maybe too lite compared to Android application (only in Chinese) and official full browser QQ client is just too big, which would be problem, but again only in Chinese. I wish IMO would one day support QQ and I could use it next to my MSN, Yahoo, GTalk, Skype and ICQ accounts, which I already use there in one browser window with online history everywhere I log in and without any necessary new registration or any installation of desktop client.

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