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Premium IM Client, Beejive IM, Now Available for iPad

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on June 6th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED :: Read Review »

We adored Beejive IM for iPhone when we last looked at it back in November, giving it a 5/5 star rating. And rightly so—Beejive is a premium chat app with a gigantic suite of features, touting everything from a slick interface to push notifications to support for multiple accounts and services. It was even selected as one of the top apps by Apple in the iTunes Rewind 2009 feature.

Now, the folks at Beejive, Inc have released an iPad-native version of their award-winning iPhone app. BeejiveIM for iPad is very similar to the iPhone app, but with the interface overhauled to support the iPad's larger screen. It's designed to work best in landscape view, in which your buddy list, current chat, and open chats each appear in their own column on-screen. Portrait view is still functional, of course; your buddy list simply slides off-screen, to be accessed by a button tap when needed, leaving you with your current chat and a list of your open chats.

Of course, all of the features which have earned Beejive its accolades are still present; you can juggle multiple accounts, take advantage of push notifications, and connect to services ranging from AIM to Google Talk to Jabber. The lovely giant-image background can either be taken from Beejive's built-in library or from your own camera roll.

This new app comes at a cost, of course. Beejive has always been a premium IM app, and the iPad version will set you back by $9.99, regardless of if you already own the iPhone version. If you're willing to pay for quality, however, consider it an investment. Beejive already rules the iPhone IM arena for good reason; now, we'll likely see it dominating the iPad, too.

Daily Double: Plushed Character Design Contest, Beejive IM, and...it's Over?

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on December 23rd, 2009
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED :: Read Review »

Yep, that's right, folks...the Appvent Calender has come to an end. iTunes Connect is closed for Christmas, presumably to help iTunes handle the influx of traffic, so developers can't change prices until the holiday is over. There won't be any more free games, at least not through the official Appvent Calender.

What the folks at Blacksmith games are offering, though, is a contest. You can go here to read the full details, but the main thing is that you have to create a sketch, design, or description of a unique Plushed character. The winner will receive a $200 iTunes gift card (USA only, sadly). That's a nice prize right there!

The developers will pick their top five choices on December 29th and show them on the Appvent Calender site. In true democratic style, "the people" will get to pick the winner. Not only will the winner receive that awesome gift card, but their character will be animated and added to the game as an enemy in the fifth level of Plushed!

A fitting end to the Appvent Calender? I think so. It's hard to believe how close it is to Christmas.

Don't forget that EA still has a massive 24 games on sale, and other developers are still running promotions, too. Here's one last sale from an awesome app to conclude our Daily Double:

Beejive IM
Those App Store veterans among you will recognize Beejive as the widely acknowledged leader in the field of IM apps. Even Apple selected it as one of 2009's best app in their "2009 Rewind" feature. Sporting push notifications, group chat, support for a wide array of IM services, and oodles of other features, Beejive has long set the premium standard. We gave Beejive a shining 5-star rating, and highly recommend it to any heavy chat users. It was worth it back at $15.99 and was still a deal at $9.99. Now, its current sale price of $5.99 is likely the lowest you'll see this premium app go. Make sure to read our review for a more in-depth look!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays and all that, folks. It's been a great season for iPhone freebies!

Beejive IM Updated With Push Notifications

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 23rd, 2009
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED :: Read Review »

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.

Adding 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, but once installed it will show as version 3.0 in the app.

More screen shots after the jump.