Beejive IM [iTunes link], the Swiss army knife of instant messaging on the iPhone, was recently updated to version 2.0. Beejive allows you to connect with many different instant messaging services including: AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN/Live, Myspace IM, and Yahoo messenger. This application was already top-notch in the previous versions and this new version just makes things a lot better. Let's take a look at each of the changes to Beejive.
You are now able to send photos directly from your iPhone and have them show up in-line with the body of the chat. In addition, you can now easily see photos sent to your iPhone. Probably one of the coolest new features is the ability to record and send voice notes to your fellow chatters. Tapping on the toolbar at the top, which lists the current chat name, gets you four options. One of those options is a small microphone; tapping this icon makes your iPhone show a recording view, and instantly start recording audio. When you tap the stop button, your recording will be saved. You can play or record your voice note over again; if you want to send the voice note, tap the "Send" button and your voice note will be directly transferred to the current chat.
In addition to being able to send/receive audio on your iPhone or iPod touch using Beejive 2.0, you can also receive and open multiple types of files, including:
- Most image, audio, and video files
- Word documents
- Excel spreadsheets
- PowerPoint documents
I found that once you receive these types of files, you can also forward them to another person on your buddy list. Once you accept the file transfer, you will get a small blue button that will give you more details about the file that you just received; when you are in this view, you will be able to tap the forward button and find another person to forward it to.
By default, Beejive will use the default sounds for incoming/outgoing messages. These sounds are very similar to the sounds that iChat ships with; however, if you get tired of them, there is an option for you in this new version. You are now able to change the sounds in the Beejive section of Settings.app. Under "Sounds," you are able to change between default, AIM, and Yahoo sounds.
I found that there were two settings for transferring files, and both are useful. Under the "File Transfer" section of Settings.app > Beejive, you are able to choose between two ways of sending files: post a link or direct send preferred.
In my testing, version 2.0 of Beejive seemed extremely stable, and included features that made a big difference. I especially liked the ability to send/receive files right from the device. Beejive is available from the iTunes App Store for $15.99. While the price is high, this application is definitely worth it when you consider all of the capabilities you gain.