David Jack Wange Olrik

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Pick of the Week: BeejiveIM

Beejive logoThis weeks pick is all about communicating, and it’s an iPhone app ((And a BlackBerry app and a Windows Mobile app - but who cares about these legacy platforms anyway… ;-))). With Apples release of iPhone OS 3.0 we got push notifications ((I still wish for a way to have apps execute a piece of code periodically, something like a Cron daemon)) - a clever way to avoid having apps running constantly on the iPhone, thereby draining the battery. With Push Notifications a whole new world opened up to developers, and Beejive was one of the first to take advantage of it. Beejive is an Instant Messaging app with support for all of the most popular protocols ((AIM®/iChat®/MobileMe®, MSN®, Windows Live®, Yahoo!®, Facebook, MySpace, GoogleTalk®, ICQ®, & Jabber)) and on top of that it has a really nice user interface. Last Tuesday BeejiveIM version 3.0 hit the App Store with a bunch of cool new features like Meta contacts, UI improvements and of course Push Notifications. Unfortunately the BeejiveIM 3.0 release is somewhat buggy and crashes quite often. The app is still usable though and a bug fix release has already been submitted to Apple. Beejive seems determined to create the best mobile Instant Messaging app and they have setup a feature request forum where users can ask ((I asked for meta contacts and got it just 2 days later - guess they were already working on it)) for new features. A feature I’m really looking forward to is Off-the-Record Messaging which Jim from Beejive says they are looking into. My only caveat with Beejive is their way of communicating errors and server failures to their customers. If you follow them on Twitter, then there is no problem - but they do not advertise their twitter account on their website ((I couldn’t find it - and it should be on their front page as this is the only channel they report problems to.)), nor do they have a systems status feed on their blog or on their support pages. They do report some problems on their forums, but they drown in traffic. All in all this a really great and useful app; it has made me rediscover and utilize Instant Messaging once again ((I have been on an Instant messaging break for the last couple of months while working for a client that doesn’t allow this kind of dangerous traffic on their secure network)), and it’s on sale for only $9.99 ((Down from $15 - And before you get all “damn thats expensive”, take a step back and think about it - Isn’t a multi client messaging app worth more than a large Pizza and a big coke?)). Beejive also get extra credit for the Office Space references in their screenshots. 8-)