Developer: Beejive, Inc.
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
There's been a lot of buzz about Beejive's BeeJiveIM lately. That's easy to understand because BeeJiveIM with Push is a very capable IM app. It puts everything IM-ish under one roof, which other IM apps don't do quite as well. But geez Louise, is it really worth the premium price? Well, that depends on just how much you use IM when you're on the go.
BeejiveIM with Push supports AIM/iChat/MobileMe, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, MySpace, GoogleTalk, ICQ and Jabber, allowing users to access all of their IM clients from one user-friendly interface.
Beejive enables you to manage buddy lists, turn on status messages, real-time chats, push email, click to call, be connected after you close the app, send email directly from the chat screen and send and receive voice clips and images. You have portrait and landscape modes to work with too. However, other IM apps do many of the same things.
One feature I believe is unique is BeeJive's ability to automatically restart following dropped phone calls or the loss of cell coverage. I also like the idea that my usernames and passwords are stored on my iPhone and not on Beejive's servers, even though I seldom share state secrets with my chat buddies.
Is BeeJiveIM able to justify its considerably higher price compared to free IM clients such as Pinger, Fring, NimBuzz and Palringo? All these apps, including BeeJive, have IM as a primary function. What's the value-add?
Some of these apps do things that BeeJive doesn't such as support Facebook and Twitter. They also feature the ability to make calls via VoIP, group chats, location services and other necessities.
Don't get me wrong: None of these other apps are perfect or more capable than BeeJive. Some are ad-supported, some put your usernames and passwords on their servers and at least one I've used has a penchant for crashing.
If you use IM all the time when you're on the go and that's what you care about most, then BeejiveIM with Push probably is worth the price. Of all the IM apps, it does that single thing better than any other app. However, if you use IM less often, give the others a try. Sure, they have warts, but they're free and some come with a few useful features that BeeJive lacks.