Agile Messenger was recently updated to support iPhone OS 3.0's push notifications. The obvious comparison will be to BeejiveIM, since they both do the same thing: provide a multi-client chat app offering push notifications on your iPhone. We'll have a hands-on with Beejive later, but this is how Agile Messenger (iTunes link) works. Oh, and we're giving away five promo codes so you can try it yourself, just check the end of this post.
The first screen in Agile Messenger is a series of switches for each protocol supported. These switches make it easy to see what you're connecting to when you tap the Connect button. There's support for ICQ, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, Jabber and Google. You can only log in to one account per service, however, so if you have 2 Google accounts, you're going to log in to one at a time. I'm told they are working to change this.
Once you are connected, Agile sets your status to "Available." If you close out of the app the defaults will set your status to "Away," although I soon changed it to keep me available even if I close out the app. In addition to your status, Agile adds the "Mobile with AgileMessenger" message, which I could do without. You can change this behavior in the app's preferences but you can only toggle it off. If you want to change your status, you have to change each account separately, instead of one global change. That's a bummer. There's a setting to auto-connect in the preferences, if you'd rather skip a step.
Agile's menus use rounded rectangles everywhere, and pop up like the old VH-1 series, Pop-Up Video. It's a nice visual touch, and if you want to back out of a menu just tap anywhere else on the screen but in the menu -- slightly faster than a dedicated Back button. By using the pop-up menus you can drill down into anything, but mostly contact management and preferences. Once in preferences, the buttons become standard iPhone UI, which is good, because there are bunches of switches. Pictures of the preferences in the gallery.
Read on for more on picture messaging, chatting and push notifications.