I really hope all the search engine spiders pick this up, because as of the date of this writing there is not yet a comprehensive review available for BeeJiveIM 2.0.1 for the BlackBerry Storm.
I’ve been using BeeJiveIM since it was called JiveTalk and used it on my Curve 8330; having one of my brilliant, yet rare, flashes of foresight, I knew that phones in my world are not perennial things and thus I sprung for the $29.99 license (it’s now $14.95) that lets you move JiveTalk, or BeeJiveIM, or whatever the hell they’re calling it these days, from phone to phone. It’s a nice little product that allows the user to connect to all the major IM services with their smartphone: AIM, Yahoo!, Windows Live, Google Talk, even Jabber–a boon for me, as Jabber is our primary method of IM.
THE VERDICT: SAVE YOUR MONEY
I began using BeeJiveIM 2.0.1 on my BlackBerry Storm 2 (with OS 126.96.36.1998) a few days ago, following an interminable wait for the product to exit Beta. I used its Beta on my Storm 1, and the Beta was about as abyssmal a product as you can get. For a while there, the Beta for the Storm wasn’t even available for download from beejive.com. I downloaded BeeJiveIM 2.0.1 with a minimum of muss and/or fuss, it installed properly, and I was able to transfer my existing license over to it, all very easily. Sadly, that’s where the party ended.
My impression after a few days? No software product has ever made me want to give my BlackBerry Storm 2 top billing on a segment of Will It Blend? more than BeeJiveIM 2.0.1. The product is so unbelievably bad that I think I would have been far better off simply smearing the phone with my own feces and burying it in peat moss for a month–at least the possibility would exist that something beautiful may grow out of it.
BeeJiveIM 2.0.1 is buggier than a bait store in the Everglades in summertime; in my opinion, the product should never have exited Beta. It has some really nice features that, if they worked, would be fabulous.
But they don’t.
Bug #1: there’s no way to disable those obnoxious buddy icons. On a smartphone, display real estate and processing power are precious, precious commodities and to squander them on making buddy icons display and scroll is inane. Oh sure, there’s a check box in “Preferences” that suggests that BeeJiveIM may stop displaying the buddy icons. But it won’t.
One of my major complaints about BeeJiveIM for the Curve was the fact that it sucked down battery power like a frat boy sucks down Old Milwaukee. I accepted that fact because it was a halfway decent product, but BeeJive IM 2.0.1 is even worse. If you keep it running, talking to the network over EV-DO, your fully-charged battery will be depleted within half a day. Aah, but BeeJive added a fix: The Storm 2 has Wi-Fi capability, and BeeJiveIM can allegedly use the far more battery-conscious Wi-Fi radio to talk.
And it will, too. For about a half hour. After that, any status change will result in connection errors; to change your status, you have to shut down the software and restart it. Boo.
Just about everything I tried to do with BeeJiveIM 2.0.1 made me want to repeatedly smash my Storm against my desk. But I didn’t; it’s not the Storm’s fault that BeeJiveIM 2.0.1 is a horrible product, so I refuse to take my enormous frustration and disappointment out on my Storm. The truth is that there are so many bugs in this product that it is pointless to continue the review, and if I were BeeJive, I would be embarrassed to give this product away–much less charge $15.00 for it.
And why the low price point all of a sudden!? If a user can afford a BlackBerry and the hugely expensive plan that goes with it, they can pony up $30 for a do-all meta-messenger like BeeJiveIM. I plunked down my $30 and was happy to do it. If this product actually worked, my God, it would be a bargain at twice the price. I personally think it’s Apple, once again, ruining the smartphone market for everyone by insisting that developers slave away for peanuts; if you pay $5.00 for an app, you’ll get just that–an app worth $5.00. I also have a sneaky suspicion that BeeJive is pouring its limited resources into the iPhone version, making us BlackBerry users (once again) feel like the ugly girl at the Prom that nobody wants to dance with. But I digress.
BeeJive, if you’re reading this, take this gigantic steaming pile of crap called BeeJiveIM 2.0.1 for the BlackBerry Storm back to the drawing board and don’t come back without a version 3. And make sure everything works this time, mmmmkay?