TiPb checks out the best, most must-have IM/Instant Messenger apps to load up on your iPhone

Top 5 IM instant messenger apps for iPhone

Interested in knowing which are the best, most must-have instant messenger (IM) apps for your iPhone? Eager to get you chat on via AIM/MobileMe, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk, Facebook, MySpace, and/or Jabber but need to know which client supports what and how well? Well read on for TiPb's top 5 most recommended IM/instant messenger clients for iPhone!

Beejive IM

Beejive is probably one of the most popular IM clients for iOS, and for good reason. It supports almost any messenger client you can think of and is completely customizable. Beejive has been making IM clients for a very long time, and it shows. I remember purchasing Beejive for my Blackberry several years ago. Even then, it was an extremely reliable choice.

It comes packed with features such as support for multiple accounts, push notifications, picture sharing, custom backgrounds and chat bubbles, and much more. I have always found it to be extremely efficient and easy to use. Most hardcore users prefer Beejive due to the amount of clients it supports. It also has the longest session option I've ever seen, which is 7 days (eBuddy also offers 7 day support). This means less time outs and having to re-connect.

Beejive has support for the following IM clients -

  • AIM/MobileMe
  • Facebook IM
  • Google Talk
  • Jabber
  • MSN/Windows Live
  • Myspace IM
  • Yahoo! Messenger

[$9.99 - iTunes Link]

eBuddy Pro

eBuddy is another IM client that has a pretty large user base. It boasts several great features such as themes, push notifications, picture sharing, and much more. eBuddy also offers a free version of the app that is ad supported and has fewer features. So you can always try before you buy.

When it comes to comparing eBuddy with other clients, it seems to offer about the same Beejive does. A lot of it is really going to come down to personal preference. I personally prefer the overall layout and setup of Beejive but if Beejive wasn't around, I'd have no issues using eBuddy as my full time messaging client.

eBuddy has support for the following IM clients -

  • AIM
  • MSN/WIndows Live
  • Google Talk
  • ICQ
  • Hyve
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Facebook Chat
  • Myspace IM

[$4.99 - iTunes Link]

IM+

While eBuddy and Beejive have rather large user bases, so does IM+. These are probably the three most used clients for iPhone users. IM+ offers just as much as the previous two. And again, it'll probably come down to personal preference. It boasts most of the same features of the previous two but also has some other features that make it unique such as viewing Twitter feeds and advanced chat histories. I like the fact that you can access chat history on your device or on the web. This can be extremely convenient for people who need to save chat histories for work reasons.

IM+ also offers a free "lite" version if you'd like to try before you buy. It supports the following IM clients -

  • AIM
  • MSN/Windows Live
  • Google Talk
  • Facebook Chat
  • Myspace IM
  • ICQ
  • Twitter
  • Jabber
  • Skype

[$9.99 - iTunes Link]

Verbs

A lot of people may be asking why I'm including a client that doesn't support half the features the big 3 support. The answer to that for me is simple; Verbs looks like a client Apple themselves wrote. The UI itself is simply gorgeous. As of now, Verbs doesn't support the feature set the others boast, but I think it's a client to keep our eye on.

If the developers of Verbs can add support for several more clients and integrate a lot of the same powerful features, they'll do very well. Currently Verbs only supports local notifications, meaning if you close out the app from multitasking, you won't receive notifications. This is what's keeping me from using it on a daily basis. If they can issue updates to better the app in a timely manner, I think they'll acquire a pretty good sized user base. It's also a bit cheaper than some of the other options.

Verbs currently supports the following IM clients -

  • AIM/MobileMe
  • Google Talk

[$2.99 - iTunes Link]

Kik Messenger

Kik Messenger has an extremely easy to use interface and push is extremely quick. But there's a catch. Kik is proprietary. The other user must be using Kik messenger also. They provide cross-platform support for iOS, Android, and Blackberry. The downside is that you won't be able to link AIM and some other popular messaging clients. If your messaging needs are small and the few people you need to talk to have Kik (or you can get them to download it), this will work just fine. Apps like Whatsapp Messenger and Ping! also offer the same proprietary system as well. It'll really come down to which you prefer to use the most (and probably which one your friends use).

[Free - iTunes Link]

Bonus: Official IM apps

If you only use one IM/chat service and for some reason really want the "official" iPhone app for that service, you're in luck -- there are several in the app store:

  • AIM AOL Instant Messenger comes in 2 versions, free with adds and cheap without adds. [Free - iTunes link] and [$2.99 - iTunes link]
  • Facebook has built-in chat as well as feed, messages, places, groups, events, photos, and more. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Myspace gives you access to chat as well as updates, photos, comments, messages and more. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Skype not only lets you use Skype chat but also make VoIP and even video calls. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Twitter is technically less IM and more DM (Direct Message) but if you want to chat in 140 characters this is the app. [Free - iTunes link]
  • Windows Live Messenger with support for Windows Live, Y!, and Facebook, as well as social feeds for Facebook, Flickr, and Myspace, and access to Hotmail. [Free - iTunes link]

Your top apps?

So there you have them, our top 5 best iPhone IM instant messenger apps to get you going. Be sure to check out our Picks of the Week and iPhone App and Games Forum for more recommendations, and if we missed any of your favorites leave them in the comments below!