Developer: Beejive, Inc.
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
Beejive IM 3.0 With Push has the potential to expand the iPhone's instant messaging capabilities. Despite a few bugs, it has some great features that IM power users should consider.
Beejive contains all major instant messaging applications: AIM, Google Talk, Facebook, Yahoo, ICQ, MSN, etc. If you IM, chances are your favorite service is here.
The interface is pretty easy to navigate and setting up one or multiple accounts you should find it rather easy to start chatting with your friends. The chat screen and buddies list are laid out well and make it pretty seamless to start conversations. Where Beejive promises to be a real game changer is in the ability to send an SMS through 3G, EDGE or Wi-Fi without incurring any messaging fees (you need a Google Talk, AIM, or Yahoo account to do this).
The most promising feature of Beejive is the ability to send SMS messages to anyone directly through Beejive — without incurring any SMS fees. Sending a message involves either choosing a contact from your address book, IM list, or typing in the phone number directly. You then must tap on one of your accounts that supports this feature. Your contact will receive a push notification and can then reply by sending a text.
Tapping on a user's name at the top of the screen also gave the options to IM, text, or video message. Some of the menu options can get a bit jumbled, but after a bit of use you should get the hang of what to do.
There seemed to be some inconsistency in how often I was logged out after closing Beejive. Even when choosing to stay logged in for 24 hours, I would get a push notification that I had been logged out of AIM or Google Talk. (An update rolled out late July 5 reduced how often this occurred.)
Beejive does many things well — the instant messaging worked without any major issues and getting a push notification made IM far more useful on the iPhone. The number of account offerings made it very easy to get in touch with just about anyone I interact with online. A recent update indicated that Beejive may continue to get better with time.