The first app I got my hands on is BeeJive . One of the first ... BlackBerry News forum
Multi-IM Client Roundup: BeeJive
The first app I got my hands on is BeeJive. One of the first things that grabbed me with this client is that it supports the standard IM services: Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, ICQ, MSN, but also MySpace and Facebook Chat. While I'm not a user of either, I know a lot of people who are and figured this could eliminate the need for the FB or MS apps, saving more space and battery life. So out of the box, I found an app that at least fulfilled my first requirement, allowing me to connect to all of the IM services that I need.
At first glance, the interface seems very simple, without any blinding text, icon clutter, or complicated menus. You have two bars, one showing which services are connected and your Buddy List. Each service you connect to has it's own signature icon that highlights when you're connected and grays when you're not. Clicking the title bar brings up an expanded menu, giving you the details (i.e. username, avatar, and status) for each service. One thing I loved about BeeJive was the ability to set an individual status for each service, or a single status for all of them. The usual are already pre-set in: Available, Away, Busy, Invisible, but the option to create a custom status is there too. Not a necessity, but a nice touch.
The second bar, your Buddy List, is pretty obvious and straightforward. It shows their name, service, and status. There is some customization to be had here however. In the app's preferences menu, you can choose to display your buddies as names only, or with the avatars on the left or right, depending on your taste. You can also create groups to help keep it organized if you're like me and have more buddies then fingers and toes. The ability to place them in groups by service or time-tested categories such as friends or family makes the job of finding the person you want much easier and keeps the interface clean. From here you can choose to begin a chat, email anyone on your list, or configure a 'Buddy Pounce' which is an alert when that particular buddy logs in.
Using the 'Add Account' selection in the app's menu, I was able to add my sign-on info for all of my services in just a few minutes. It's a simple selection of the service, inserting your username and password, and a few options. I did however run into a frustrating problem when adding a Yahoo! Messenger account. I kept receiving an 'Unknown Response From The Server' error every time it tried to login. After doing some looking around on the BeeJive forums, I discovered that when entering your username, you have to leave off the @yahoo.com part. Aside from that little bug, the process of adding my login info for each service was painless. BeeJive supports AIM, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, Facebook Chat, MySpace, GoogleTalk, ICQ, & Jabber and if you're using multiple accounts for the same service, that's fine too.
Perhaps the best customization feature in this app is the ability to change the background in the chat panes and even the way messages are displayed. The app comes with a preset group of backgrounds that range from solid colors to photos such as the Eiffel Tower pictured to the side. Personally I'm a minimalist and enjoy a plain old white background, but there are 20 different choices. So I'm sure anyone can find one to fit their taste. There are also approximately 7 different 'Chat Styles' that change the way incoming and outgoing messages appear. Again, I'm a minimalist, so I went with 'Old School', which is just plain old text read from left to right, one message on top of the other. If you're into something a bit more modern, the 'Bubbles' style will display them more like the featured picture and you can even see the bubbles with their respective buddy icons. I would like to have seen the option to add more wallpapers as I wasn't too fond of the preset photos. They seemed to make the text hard to read at times and were a bit distracting.
I found the chat process to be as simple as everything else so far. Clicking a buddy opens it's own chat dialog and adds another bar to the main screen with all active conversations listed. The app supports the use of emoticons for those times when you just need that little yellow face to express how you really feel. A neat feature is the ability to switch chats quickly when you're talking to several people at once. Either pressing the Enter key in an empty text box, or by pressing ALT + ALT, you can hop from pane to pane. From here your buddies can see that photo you just took using the 'Send File' feature. Just a matter of clicking the option, locating the file, and sending it on it's way. The other person however has to have an IM client that supports sending or receiving files in order for the feature to work.
Two of my favorite features about this app are that it supports Wi-Fi for those times I have no coverage, but I am near an OAP and that even if I lose coverage or receive a call (no 3G for me yet), it automatically tries to reconnect to the services. A nice little time saver especially for those of us in a rural area where coverage can be sparse or no 3G coverage. Though not a feature I use often, it does feature PUSH to email on new messages. For those instances when I'm at home on the computer and my BB is in the front of the house, but I usually have an IM client running on the PC, so not a huge issue.
There are a few features the developer notes that I didn't include:
- Full 128-bit encryption of all over-the-air data transmissions.
- All account information (usernames & passwords) are stored locally on your BlackBerry and not kept on our servers.
- Full Unicode support, chat in any language supported by your BlackBerry.
- Group Chat Support for AIM®, Yahoo®, MSN®, and Jabber.
- Send your GPS location in chats (GPS enabled phones only).
- Instantly record and send voice messages to your IM contacts.
- Customizable sound, vibrate, & LED settings and an optional global popup on new messages.
Overall I was very pleased with this application. It met my criteria of covering all of my IM services, it was easy to navigate, and it had a nice looking interface, all without a massive battery drain. I would like to see the ability to add custom backgrounds to the chat screen, the ability to change the font size, and that little bug when entering the login info for a Yahoo! account (if Yahoo! makes me enter the full address, why wouldn't I assume BeeJive would too). And while many people love the privacy feature where their information is stored on the BB, rather then their servers, I would like to see an option to choose whether to store it remotely. Just a time saver when having to reinstall the app, not to have to enter all of my accounts again.
The app comes with a free 30-day trial to see if it's the one for you. After that, you have two licensing options. Option one is for $9.99 and is limited to one device, ever, but comes with free upgrades. The second is $14.99, also with free upgrades, but is limited to one device at a time, however you can change devices later on. I would say for the extra $5, it's worth it to grab a license that allows you to take it with you, no matter what BB you go to. To get more info from the developer, or to grab the app, go to BeeJive.com.
The interface looks amazing. Nice break-down of the app. A+++
I just reinstalled this app then I remember I had purchased the full take anywhere version back when it was 30 buks! And I found it while I was cleaning old email accounts ...so thx to this thread (the previous one actually) I remembered about beejive n got my copy back. You should note that switching from one device to the other is surprisingly, quick n easy. I love this app better then the AIM app already equipped on most bb's. Its just faster n easier to use. Great break down. I don't think you need to break down any other IM clients...this one is it!
N yea..I agree a custom background change would be nice. The font size is ok..would be cool to change fonts tho.
Great review, looking forward to the next one in the line-up!
BeeJive longtime usee
BeeJive is a great program while it stays connected, but if you make a lengthy phone call or extended data, it will loose sync and not tell you until you try your next outgoing message. This problem may be exclusive to CDMA users, but when incoming chats are a high priority, it is a problem.
Great Review, it is actually the Best IM Client, just be glade when its ready for Android, hope I can transfer one of my three accounts over seeing as how we don't use Blackberries anymore.
i dont have a data plan on my bb bold 9000 anymore! will this or any other one work on the bbb bold 9000 vie :arrow:wifi? thanks!
Unless you're on 3G which can handle data + voice at the same time, it'll drop the data during a call. However, it will try to reconnect once data is established again and you can set it to send push email notifications so you never miss a message.
Originally Posted by gschoelles
Yes, it can be used strictly over Wi-Fi. In the settings, select Wi-Fi preferred.
Originally Posted by iamgoofy
Outstanding review. I don't have an active BB but do use the iP version and love it.
Could anyone confirm that it support "Google Apps for your Domain" on gTalk?