There has been some question if Apple had been holding applications that use push notifications. Well, it looks like they have been, and they have started releasing them. Today we’ve seen updates to both AIM, and Beejive. Let’s take a little closer look at the update to Beejive.

Beejive today released an update to Beejive IM, our favorite IM application. The update includes the greatly anticipated push notification services.

beejive33Adding push notification services to an IM application allows you to stay logged into the IM servers even when you are not running the application. Created by Apple as a substitute for allowing third party applications to run in the background and reportedly much less of a battery drain, done properly it allows much of the same functionality.

I’ve been using the push notification services of Beejive for a few days now and it seems to work pretty well. There have been some outages, times when the notifications didn’t work, but we’re chalking that up to Apple.

When you first launch the updated application with push notifications, you will be prompted just once to allow Beejive to send you notifications. This dialog is very similar to the “Application X would like to use your location” dialog we are all very familiar with. If you ever want to turn off the notifications, that can be done in the settings app.

Overall, push notifications is a fantastic feature and one of the main reasons I’ve been looking forward to OS 3.0. I use IM a lot and being able to stay logged in during the (unfortunately few) hours per day I’m not at my computer is fantastic.

Once caveat — you can’t stay logged into forever, there is a 24 hour maximum. To stay logged in longer you just need to make sure that you launch Beejive once a day.

There are some limitations to push notifications though. For one, push notifications don’t stack up — so you’ll see only the latest notification from an single app. Other IM messages will only be in the app once you launch it. If your device is locked, you will see the notification, but can’t respond or launch Beejive automatically once unlocked. These are all limitations of the push notification service itself and iPhone OS 3. Beejive have done a really good job working within the limitations such as these.

Currently the push notification option for Beejive is free, and there’s no indication to think they they plan to charge separately for this feature. But I do expect some applications to use in-app purchasing to let users enable push notifications as there can be a significant cost to the publisher to support this option

The update to Beejive IM has been approved and is available now and will be free to previous owners, $9.99 for new users.

Note: There’s something odd going on in the store — the update is listed in iTunes as 2.2.0.24, but once installed it will show as version 3.0 in the app.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2008-09-28 :: Category: Social Networking

More screen shots after the jump.

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