ProductBeejive 3.0Agile Messenger 1.2IM+ 3.1Fring! 1.2.0Palringo 2.0OneTeam 3.0 with PushMobileLinked IM 1.8Yahoo Messenger 1.1eBuddy 3.0.2SworIM 1.01
Price$10$10$10 regularly; now, $5FreeFreeI don’t have access to the paid-for version in my (European) AppStore; therefore, I couldn’t test it. The free version is perfectly usable (Pro only offers some additional skins, changing orientation, buddy icons, full photo resolution and the like- and the lack of ads)$7Free; premium version ($1) is ad-free. Ads are only displayed in the accounts / buddylist overviewFreeFreeFree
Landscape support?+++; can be locked in Settings-+ (can be disabled)+ (in non-free version only!)--; promised for next version+--
Easy / quick input: PDM’s-----------
Smiley input / output (the latter with :-) ;-) :-O :-X :-D :-> >:-) :-P :-( :-$ :-[ :-| :-\ :-/ :'-( 8-) :) ;) :O :X :D :> >:) :P :( :$ :[ :| :\ :/ :'( 8) )?Most in both directionsMost in both directions+ (Most)Nothing in either directionSeveral in both directions+15 onlyNothing in either direction+15 only- (nothing at all in either direction)
Command / input history? Quick accessibility?-- (albeit Copy / Paste does work)---------
Readability, amount of information displayed at a given time: Font size settable?-----+ (three grades)-----
Other screen estate saving features (full screen etc)?-----------
ProductBeejive 3.0Agile Messenger 1.2IM+ 3.1Fring! 1.2.0Palringo 2.0OneTeam 3.0 with PushMobileLinked IM 1.8Yahoo Messenger 1.1eBuddy 3.0.2SworIM 1.01
History, copy / paste, logging:Copy / paste? Text selectable?-; however, if you mail the log, then, you’ll have instant access to the sent mail and, from there, you can already copy+ (by clicking any row, a copy/ select is displayed; pasting can be initiated from (local) main menu)---------
Logging?+, excellent: chat logs can be mailed. Logs contain both date, timestamp and sender – excellent! Past discussions are remembered over restarts; however, they’re forgotten if you manually close a discussion with the trashbin icon.Partial: while logs can’t be downloaded / mailed; however, they can be displayed – either all lines or the last 10. Can be disabled in Menu / Preferences / General )---; doesn’t even remember last sessions----; however, remembers history--; however, remembers history
Clickable links?+ (able to open in built-in Safari / Webview [built-in, very-very simple – not even Landscape is supported and there’s not even back/forward – Web browser] / Forward by mail / IM)++ (opens in built-in browser, NOT the external – and superior, particularly when it comes to the screen estate in Landscape – Safari!)- (!)- (!)---+-n/t
ProductBeejive 3.0Agile Messenger 1.2IM+ 3.1Fring! 1.2.0Palringo 2.0OneTeam 3.0 with PushMobileLinked IM 1.8Yahoo Messenger 1.1eBuddy 3.0.2SworIM 1.01
Protocol-specific: Supported protocols: MSN++++ (supposedly with VoIP – it didn’t work with me)+ (VoIP didn’t work with me)++ (via the developer’s gateway; sometimes, in Push mode, really-really slow & unreliable!!)+-+-
MSN: concurrent logins?--------n/a-n/a
Skype--++ (with VoIP)+ (with VoIP)------
Jabber / XMPP?+++-++++--+
Yahoo (desktop: Messenger 9.0)++ (adding contacts didn’t work)++++++++-
Google (desktop: don’t know the version; it’s still beta)++++ (with VoIP)+ (with VoIP – at a definitely worse quality than with fring.) Note that it seems o have a tendency to forget the login information upon restarts (displays "$$__not__a__value__$$" instead)+++-++
AOL / AIM (desktop: 6.9)++++++++-+-
ICQ (desktop: 6.5)++ (adding contacts didn’t work)+++++--+-
Quick disabling any of accounts without removing them?+++- (if you do disable them under More / Add-ons, you’ll end up having to reconfigure them again by adding the username / password)- (as with Fring, disabling clears the input user data)-++ (remembers forced offline states over restarts)n/a (one login only)+n/a (one login only)
Auto login at startup?++++++n/t++++
ProductBeejive 3.0Agile Messenger 1.2IM+ 3.1Fring! 1.2.0Palringo 2.0OneTeam 3.0 with PushMobileLinked IM 1.8Yahoo Messenger 1.1eBuddy 3.0.2SworIM 1.01
New message notification; suspended mode: if multitabs are utilized, are they colored?n/a+n/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
Number of taps needed to switch to it when a message arrives from a different buddy?Average: 2 taps (displaying the top toolbar and selecting its avatar), unless you, in the system-level Settings, enable switching chats with shaking the phone; it’ll immediately switchExcellent: 1 (because of the colored tabs), unless you have many tabs (chats) openAverage: 2 tapsAverage: 2 taps. Note that there’s a “Goto” icon at the bottom showing new messages; tapping it has always resulted in crashes. That is, currently, two taps are needed to switch (Buddy list and, there, select the new one; fortunately, buddies with unread messages are put at the beginning of the list)Average: 2 taps (either tapping the “Chats” arrow at the top left or the “Chats” icon at the bottom)Average: 2 tapsAverage: 2 tapsAverage: 2 taps n/tExcellent: 1: a notification is displayed at the top; with tapping it, you’re taken straight to the messagen/t
OS3 push support?+ (can set even a 24 hour-timeout)++ (well-configurable notification options)--- (!);version 2.1 supporting it is awaiting approval+-- (!)+- (!)
Mail push support?+ (must be enabled in system-wide Settings; didn’t really work in my tests, unlike IM+)+ (works fine)+-------n/a (direct connection; therefore, no mail push possible by an mediator)
Conference (MSN: Action / Invite a contact to join this conversation; ICQ: Add a contact to this conversation icon; Yahoo: Action / Invite to a conference (make sure you untick “Enable Voice for this conference”); Google Talk protocol itself and the current AIM desktop Windows client (but NOT the protocol!), as of now, don’t allow for group chat)MSN: partial (separate dialogs in both directions; this means text entered on the iPhone can only be read by only one party)MSN: +; ICQ: - (desktop clients list it as incompatible); Yahoo: - (iPhone client doesn’t display invitation or even crash). New participiants can only be added from the desktop, not the phone.MSN: Partial (it sees the messages sent by other parties in their separate (!) dialogs; only this only party sees the answer entered in its dialog)n/tn/tn/tn/tn/t- (can be invited but no messages are visible)n/tn/a (still no conference support)
Flags?Available / Away / Busy / Invisible+, including Appear offline; specific to each protocol. Excellent, the best of the bunchSix (including Online with IM+; not editable)- (!)Online / Away / BusyAllAway / Busy; no invisibleOnline / Away / Busy / HiddenOnly some (Available / busy / invisible)-Few (away / visible off / on switches)
Mobile flag?-+- --------
Unicode support?MSN: +MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, Google, AIM: +MSN: +MSN: +MSN: +MSN: +msn: +MSN: ++MSN: ++
Location-based services?-n/tSend Location; works great! (sends a link based on GPS [or, if there’s no GPS signal, cellular-based approximation] , which shows on a map where the sender is)--n/t--n/t-n/t
Multiple logins with more than one account to the same network (as is the case with Trillian)?+- (!)+--+-+-+-
... and to different networks?++++++++n/a+n/a
User controlAdd as favorite / Block / Delete / Link to address book card (address book integration is excellent!)Contact info / Move to group / Rename / Add (the latter didn’t work in several cases)Add / Add as favorite / Rename / Deleten/t-AddAdd (for MSN, GTalk, Yahoo – in addition to the main account)-Add-Add
Voice chat?- (however, given that you can use direct file transfer for audio (too), it’s easier to stay in touch than with the apps that only offer Web-based voice message sending) --++----n/t-
ProductBeejive 3.0Agile Messenger 1.2IM+ 3.1Fring! 1.2.0Palringo 2.0OneTeam 3.0 with PushMobileLinked IM 1.8Yahoo Messenger 1.1eBuddy 3.0.2SworIM 1.01
File transfer?Pretty good: you can receive anything (direct receiving tested on MSN and AIM),which, then, you can play back, view or forward to via either mail or IM (the latter, generally, has resulted in Beejive’s crashing, though). You can continue chatting (even with others) while transferring files. Timeout means disconnection, though. You can only send images and voice messages.----n/t-----
Text formatting (AIM : full formatting; Yahoo: Bold / Italic / Underlined; IRC: the same + colors + inverse)? (MSN: Edit / Change font only changes the font of the entire current / following messages; that is, it offers no real formatting capabilities; ICQ and Google Talk: absolutely no formatting capabilities)AIM: -MSN: -; Yahoo: -n/tn/tn/tn/tn/tn/tn/tn/tn/t
VoIP-; Sending voice messages. Note that it supports direct file sending too (I’ve tested on MSN and AIM; worked fine), which may be preferred to Web-based sending (no need to wait for a webpage to load etc.).Only sending voice messages from the phone over all networks; no real VoIP-MSN: supposed to support but it didn’t work; Google Talk: +; Skype: +; MSN: crashed / no support (vs 14.0.6084); Google Talk worked OKsending voice messages---n/t-
Photo send+ (also from album)+ (with accompanying text); from camera / photo library / saved photos; that is, access to the entire library of previously taken pics)---+ (also from Album)Theoretically, +; however, in my tests, it displayed “Remote end cancelled” on both GTalk and MSN-+ (also from Album)n/t-
Load time in push mode~13s from suspension (~4s when on the SpringBoard)~9s (also from SpringBoard)~8sn/an/an/a4s; needed two taps then to see the messagen/an/a~14sn/a
OtherHas excellent, additional user admin features; for example, treating all separate IM’s of a given buddy’s as one-Built-in (pretty weak) Web browserExcellent VoIP client for Google Talk / Skype. Too bad it doesn’t work over cellular connection.VoIP doesn’t work over cellular connections.-The gateway to traditional IM networks is much slower than to the native Jabber / XMPP; some messages even got lost. ---It uses direct connection, unlike most? all? other clients