Instant messengers are a dime a dozen in all mobile platforms. When it comes to Android, you don’t even have to download and install one to begin with.
So why bother getting another? Well, there might not be much of a difference between the popular chat protocols like MSN, Yahoo, GTalk etc, but it isn’t uncommon to have multiple accounts for business and personal uses. Moreover, our friends tend to have accounts on various platforms or social networks too. The best way to stay in touch with all of them at the same time is to have a chat client that can handle multiple chat accounts and protocols. BeejiveIM is a well known chat client and is available for almost all leading smartphone platforms, including Android.
Come, let us see how BeejiveIM helps you stay connected to all your instant messaging buddies, everywhere you go!
BeejiveIM might be well known and feature rich, but it doesn’t come cheap. But just in the case of Android, the app comes with a lite version, so users can evaluate the app before opening their wallets. BeejiveIM Lite is limited to three instant messaging accounts. To add unlimited accounts and remove ads, check out the original BeejiveIM. However, users with older handsets might be out of luck, as the app runs only on devices powered by OS version 2.1 and upwards.
Network Selection & Login Credentials Screen
Without much ado, the app launches to a screen from which you can select from nine different networks (AIM, MobileMe, MSN, Windows Live, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk, Facebook, MySpace and Jabber). As expected, the login credentials page shows up next as soon as you choose the chat network. In addition to the standard description, username, and password fields, you can add the resource (device) name and set a level of connection priority for each account.
Status after Integration & Setting Custom Away Messages
For some reason, the connection status of my Gtalk account was ‘offline’ after integration and my profile picture didn’t show up either. So I tapped on the Offline status message and a screen with a number of status options showed up. It’s good to see that every status can have a custom message of its own.
Before beginning the chat, I noticed that, unlike a couple of IM apps I have used earlier, BeejiveIM doesn’t log you out of any existing chat sessions from your other clients. Nor did I get any warnings about having logged in to another app and so been logged out by GTalk either. Nice!
Buddy List & Chat Compose Window
A tabbed interface makes navigating through the app smooth and streamlined. From the Buddies tab, you can access the friends contact list from all the chat networks you have added to the app. To make things simple, buddies are listed under only two categories – online and offline. A tiny logo of each chat network accompanies the display name and the profile pic to help identify the network they are logged into. All your ongoing chats can be accessed from the Chats tab.
A Chat in Progress and Menu Options
Thanks to a cute and color coded bubble interface, messages sent back and forth are easy to read and reply to. The compose window has just three icons – to send, add emoticons to, or cancel the message – which preserve the scarce screen real estate in phones like my HTC Wildfire. While there aren’t many, emoticons are available for all popular moods and they are pleasant to look at too.
Sending Your Location and Settings Screen
Are you someone who receives a lot of loaded chat messages? Fret not; there is hyperlink support which automatically parses links for web pages, YouTube videos, email addresses, Twitter usernames, and phone numbers. You can also send files and voice messages to your buddies by bringing up the menu options. I particularly liked the feature that lets you send a Google Maps link of your exact location to your friends.
Even if the connection drops, BeejiveIM automatically reconnects and picks up where you left off. The app also lets you move from carrier data and WiFi connections seamlessly. Even when you close the app, it runs in the background bringing you messages as they are received. However, to stay connected even after you close the application and be notified when you get a new message with push notifications, the device should be running OS 2.2 or above.
BeejiveIM Lite version is a great app to use and is available at an unbeatable price point: free. The lite app itself is feature rich and the three network limitation doesn’t hurt the user experience that much. However, I found the ads that show up in all the screens to be quite distracting and eating up the screen real estate.
Switching between multiple ongoing chats is such a pleasure and you can chat away with multiple friends in just a couple of clicks. I can hear all asking why one should go for a premium app while a lot of apps like Meebo, IM+ etc. are available for free. My response? Going with the free version of the app is a no brainer as it offers desktop-like IM experience on mobile. And if you are a power user, the app has a fabulous landscape mode, Unicode support for chatting in foreign languages, SMS Out for Yahoo and AIM, configurable alerts, and more.