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Old 10-16-2007, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best Chat Software: JiveTalk 1.0.2 versus IM+ 5.0.9 -- NO CONTEST

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I am amazed at how good JiveTalk is, so this comparision may compel both IM vendors to improve both products even more. After just 30 minutes, it was obvious that JiveTalk was better and I will probably do a paid registration before its 30 day trial is up.

I am also a computer programmer, and have been programming since 1986, as well as I have lots of beta testing and QA/QC knowledge, and therefore, my comments tend to carry fairly heavy weight among people who rely on me for software quality.

I realize IM+ 5.0.9 is a beta, but let's recognize that JiveTalk is still at only Version 1.0.2. I would like to argue that Version 1 products should be much more buggy than Version 5 products, so I will consider both a fair apples-to-apples "beta-to-beta" comparision. Mind you, JiveTalk hasn't been around for very long and they did have the advantage of looking at competition and starting with an amazing clean bug-free codebase, while it seems like IM+ is still trying to mop up Version 5 bugs from what is now probably a legacy codebase. (That's a frequent cause of bugs).

So now here goes...

JiveTalk strengths over IM+
  • Starts up directly to buddy list. I like this, it embeds the IM network list and the buddies list as separate 'categories' so I don't have to switch between screens like I have to on IM+. When I go back to the BlackBerry main menu, I like how it instantly shows my buddy list again when I go back into it.
  • MUCH better battery life. No contest here, when you have big buddy lists of 200 people. I was able to stay logged in for 2 days nonstop without recharging! I used to do that, almost, with IM+ v4.0 sometimes, but IM+ v5 tends to use a lot more battery power with big buddy lists. I think JiveTalk has the lowest battery consumption for big buddy lists, that I have ever tried in any mobile chat software.
  • Very fast startup, even with buddy list of 200 people. After downloading, it only takes a short moment and the whole 200 people list instantly appears - rather than slowly appearing one by one.
  • Really good and FAST chat theme engine You got the flexibility of several different themes INCLUDING simple looks (like IM+ v4) which I have a strong preference for. And at the same time, you can configure it to look like iPhone balloon chat stuff. Hate the balloons? No problem - switch themes. IM+ v5 can do this too, but it's only a checkbox while JiveTalk gives you a bigger choice of different chat looks. Want it IRC style? or balloon style? or desktop style? or compact text? You can do it with JiveTalk! And the icing on the cake -- the pretty graphics don't give you the performance penalty like it does on IM+ v5.
  • Much more intuitive context-sensitivity
    Things like being able to end chat from buddy list. Things like the pop-up email address that shows when I hover over an MSN buddy. Things like clearing popups faster when I spin the scrollwheel because I obviously want to view a different contact, rather than encumbering or throwing obstacles or disabling my hotkeys while they're displayed (like IM+'s v5 unread message notifications -- very poor UI design.)
  • I can logon multiple MSN accounts concurrently. I have two accounts, one for personal, and one for business. This comes in handy. I can log into one or the other, or both at the same time, in an intuitive fashion. Very good! I haven't had this ability since I had VeriChat. You can add and remove multiple chat accounts of any major chat networks, and log onto some or all of them at once!
  • I can switch conversations easily The ALT+ALT and ENTER+ENTER doubletap is a pretty cool feature. I can even ALT+ALT followed by a number key to switch to a specific chat. ALT+ALT also has the popup context sensitivity too. You can switch to the next chat in IM+ too by ENTER+ENTER. (Alt+Space in IM+ if you enable hotkeys). I just double tap ENTER to see the next chat window. Pretty easy to do with one hand. (BeeJive, add extra keyperss shortcuts anyway - see the 'shortcomings' section below)
  • Much better conversation history I can view yesterday's or last week's conversation very easily, it automatically remembers all the last several conversations I've ever had with somebody. I can easily erase this, disable this feature (privacy), or archive by emailing this history. And scrolling through the log history is very fast, and it has the same much better "Select Text" mode for copy and paste. IM+ v5 is getting better at remembering conversations than v4, but I still usually completely lose conversations anyway.
  • Much better copy, paste, email abilities It has a special "Select Mode" where I am easily to copy large blocks of text much more easily. I can much more easily email myself conversations too, much more reliably, even in problem situations, even after I forget to email myself conversation. Works everywhere there's a conversation or was ever a conversation in the past - old and new - even get my previous conversation from before I changed the BlackBerry battery - even while disconnected from server - active chats, history, etc.
  • Chat transmission success indicator When I type my chats, any untransmitted chats (above the splitscreen line) is briefly in grey color. Once the message successfully reaches the JiveTalk server, the text becomes normal black. That way, I know if a message transmission is slow due to poor cellphone reception or server problems. Much like BlackBerry Messenger's or BlackBerry's Google Talk clock symbol. Good move!
  • Less delays in user interface Everything seems to respond with a slightly shorter lag. Background operations happen much faster than IM+ and thus lag my software less.
  • File Transfer! Never before I've ever seen this done on cellphone. You can transfer files between your PC and BlackBerry over an AIM conversation just like between two computers running AIM! It has a surprisingly good unintended emergency use: I'm at a computer in another city, and I need to transfer a file wirelessly from that Internet connected computer to be stored on my BlackBerry. I won't need this feature much, but it's great to know it's there when I need it. My company use chat software pretty extensively for collaboration between workers, it may be another market for JiveTalk to focus on. (Note: See 'shortcomings', there's a bug in file transfer on certain devices)
  • I don't lose chats when I logout/disconnect JiveTalk keeps chats open, even if I intentionally disconnect from the chat network. I can even read and save the chat (to an queued email) when the whole phone network is down. Good feature to have, I no longer worry about lost chats with JiveTalk anymore.
  • Clever use of chat indicator icons All buddies that I currently have a conversation with, has a very clear "chat active" icon next to them. IM+ does this, but moves the buddy to the top rather than simply making a copy of the same buddy in an "Active Chats" section at top, while keeping the same buddy in the "Buddies" section. So I don't wonder why a buddy dissappeared, when it turns out I had just chatted to him an hour ago and the buddy was simply at the top of my 200-person buddy list in IM+. IM+ is way too clumsy for 200 person buddy lists.
  • Great tree view performance I could improve things with IM+ tree view, but then performance in IM+ becomes worse (and it uses battery faster -- because slow performance = more CPU power = more battery power = shorter battery life!). I'm forced to use the simple list view just to get better performance in IM+. But JiveTalk did this properly from the start, it's 100% fast, no matter what I am doing in JiveTalk - I'm amazed that a Version 1.0.x product is this good and fast performance, totally and embarassingly blowing away a competitor's 5.x product. (P.S. BeeJive, please don't lay off the Java programmer you currently have. If he's idling doing nothing after such a good nearly-bug-free client, put him on new BlackBerry project so you can keep him/her in your company. You got yourself a gem of a programmer)
  • Active chats are ACTUALLY active chats When I start a chat in IM+ but don't type anything, the buddy is added to my active chats. He dissappears from my IM+ buddy list and I have to scroll several screenfuls to the top, and END the chat I accidentally started. Since there's no way to end the chat while outside of the chat, I have to actually go IN the chat before I can end the chat. (Mind you, I often use the "next chat" hotkey in IM+ to more quickly solve this - IM+ excellent hotkeys are its only saving grace for this terrible IM+ user interface design). But still, JiveTalk does this properly, chats are not added to active chat lists unless either ME or THEM actually types something. That's the proper way to do it, and that's how all other chat clients have worked.
  • Notifications integrates into regular BlackBerry Profiles This is great because I can customize notifications using the same system for phone and email. Though it does come with some limitations such as lack of IM+'s blue LED blink feature.
  • It was easy to install the best version on an 8700 running OS 4.2. I can't say the same for IM+ version 5 betas. I download IM+ wirelessly normally, then IM+ repeatedly complains I need to upgrade to the OS 4.2 version, I try to download again, and it complains again. It's hard to download IM+ for OS 4.2 on a 8700. ShapeServices like to assume that if you have an 8700 (browser content-type detection), you are running only OS 4.1. However, people like me, the geeks, the people who refer people about software recommendations, are often more bleeding edge. ShapeServices need to redesign it so that I have a choice of downloading the OS 4.2 version. Even some model 7130's (the 200Mhz ARM CPU version) can be upgraded from 4.1 to version 4.2 too.
  • Better BlackBerry main-screen icon It has a color-coded method of telling whether it's in online, away, or offline mode, and whether there are messages waiting. IM+ can only tell you whether or not messages are waiting. Plain simply, more contextual information obtained by a quick glance at the icon on the BlackBerry main screen ribbon.
  • Simple! Feels more capable, yet feels much less cluttered. IM+ v5 became much more "cluttered feeling" than IM v4 with all the little nitpicks I've covered so far. The way JiveTalk was designed, it does most things very well without clutter or obstacles. Advanced features are so streamlined within the software.
  • Much better at staying connected ... Without needing disconnect-reconnect cycle. It feels as good as IM+ v4 now which was always very reliable staying online. Many versions of IM+ v5 has a tendancy to disconnect spontaneously ("Reconnecting..." happens often, especially when I am trying to chat to multiple people on my 200 buddy list).
  • I can easily end conversation multiple ways
    - While in chat with them
    - While in buddy list screen, select contact in "Conversation" tree area
    - While in buddy list screen, select contact in "Buddies" tree area
Weaknesses
(not many, but let's be fair.)
  • Custom color LED notification - IM+ (v5 on OS4.2) blinks my incoming message notifications in blue color, so I know it's an incoming instant message rather than an email. 71XX and 8XXX BlackBerries have multicolor LED's, so applications need to use custom LED colors more often - take advantage of this cool BlackBerry feature. It could function concurrently with the regular BlackBerry profiles system by running as a separate LED-only notifier code built into JiveTalk, with a hardcoded 1 second delay, so that the custom color flash comes 1 second after the regular BlackBerry notification's red light flash (handled by BlackBerry OS). Have the cake and eat it too, essentially, by letting BlackBerryOS generate the first red flash (because of the Profiles system), then JiveTalk generate the second custom-color flash. (hint, hint, BeeJive). This would only work on OS 4.2 and later.
  • Lack of Shortcut Keys While I love the ALT-ALT tap of JiveTalk, there were many more keypress shortcuts available in IM+. And the keypress shortcuts was configurable in IM+. Such RightShift+Backspace to end chat, etc. I'd like JiveTalk to design-in more keypress shortcuts.
  • No Buddy Search With a buddy list of 200 people, it's useful to be able to type a letter (A, B, C) and have the buddy list immediately jump to the first buddy matching the name. However, this feature in IM+ is so slow with a big buddy list, that I don't use this feature, and it behaves in a way I don't like (I prefer the selection bar to move to the matching contact, not see the buddy list become smaller, when I start typing a search).
    Suggestion to BeeJive: If a Buddy Search is added to JiveTalk, it should be fast performance ("binary search" style fast, preferably). Bonus points if this can be made an intelligent search, so that it can catch last names and catch names surrounded by fancy punctuation such as -=~CoDeMaStEr~=- ... And basically make a textfield automatically appear at the top when starting to type an alphabetic letter while viewing the buddy list, and match the first alphanumeric character in the buddy. (and other words in the title, depending on how the 'search' is implemented) maybe a "Search Results" tree right above the "Buddies" tree and below "Networks" tree.). Hitting the Esc button would clear the search and close the Search Results tree automatically, while scrolling the wheel down out of the textfield would allow selection of the search results contacts. More bonus points if search can be instantaneous, or at least not cause the UI to lag and be fully interruptible via Esc button or scrollwheel spin. i.e. I type something and it begins searching in the background (re-populating the "Search Results" tree automatically with every keypress of mine or after a 1 second delay to prevent lagging between keypresses) but decide to hit Esc immediately, there should be no lag when I press Esc or scroll the wheel - even if it was still searching. (i.e. search occurs in background thread and self-interruptible via hitting Esc). BeeJive's wonderful programmer could probably design something better than my idea, but this should be a minimum.
  • File Transfer Issues On my BlackBerry 8700 running OS 4.2, trying select "File Transfer" crashes the BlackBerry. It has no problems on a BlackBerry with a media card slot, at least when a card is inserted. I'd still like to send/receive pictures from my BlackBerry's main flash memory, though. Fix this for 8700's - I'm still using an 8700 running OS 4.2 for now! ... This is the single ONLY real bug I have ever seen in JiveTalk so far.

And the NUMBER ONE Advantage is...
  • MUCH better battery life. No contest here, when you have big buddy lists of 200 people. I was able to stay logged in for 2 days nonstop without recharging! I used to do that, almost, with IM+ v4.0 sometimes, but IM+ v5 tends to use a lot more battery power with big buddy lists. I think JiveTalk has the lowest battery consumption for big buddy lists, that I have ever tried in any mobile chat software.

The runner-up advantage was stability. But when you go from charging your BlackBerry TWO TIMES A DAY ..... into ..... ONCE EVERY TWO DAYS - it's a big leap in battery miser for massive buddy lists logged 24/7 on multiple chat networks. Then the convenient battery life wins over stability! The fact that JiveTalk is so stable, is icing on the cake.

Now, more about battery consumption. The programmers of BeeJive apparently did so much performance optimization, the JiveTalk software uses so little CPU, and idling CPU saves bettery power. It even seems to intelligently go into a low-power online mode while running idle, which is the key to JiveTalk's wonderfully long battery life with huge buddy lists.

Conclusion...

Due to the overwhelming superiority of JiveTalk, I have to declare it "NO CONTEST" at this time. With the large number of Version 5 issues (especially subtle bugs and usability issues, even in 5.0.9), I have to say that these are three winners on my BlackBerry. None of RIM's in-house offerings is at the top -- the Google Talk in JiveTalk is even much more reliable than the Google Talk made by RIM. As both chat software vendors visit these forums, I know Shape Services WILL improve Version 5. I hope Shape Services reads this message and decides to rewrite the software from scratch for Version 6 with a star programmer, to get the "clean-room" feel of JiveTalk. BeeJive, should continue to stay at the top - and don't get complacent because competition may eventually catch up - you've got a huge time margin because of software development cycles, but keep improving the BeeJive product without turning it to mobile bloatware like certain competitor clients are.

#1 - JiveTalk 1.0.2 (by a huge margin)
#2 - IM+ Version 4.x (very stable)
#3 - RIM chat clients (Google Talk and BB Messenger)

(Not even in my top 3: IM+ Version 5, still in beta)
We have 3 BlackBerries here, and some of them have all the above installed.


IM+ - ShapeServices Website
JiveTalk - BeeJive Website
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Programmer comments

(technical notes, skip this if you're not a programmer). There is a "Battery Save Mode While Idle" in JiveTalk. These optimizations to run very well with battery power may go down to a simple matter of minimizing CPU and network use intelligently. Let me speculate it's probably batching up transmissions into more infrequent transmissions: It often takes the same amount of power to transmit one 512-byte packet as a 10-byte packet. Instead of transmitting 50 packets, it transmits one packet, and when running in background, it could ignore transmitting unnecessary idle/active/away/etc transmissions and batches them up into more occasional, intermittent prioritized transmissions while JiveTalk is running in background mode, while pushing incoming messages quickly in more immediate transmissions. (especially if there's a tiny delay between packets, that might prevent the OS from batching then together automatically - and even so, one could save the OS the CPU trouble of doing so). For old WebMessenger software which I used a lot in the past, it automatically went into a battery miser mode while running in background (skipped contact list updates such as signons/signoffs, and probably used a server-side pounce signalling since those require immediate notifications) and updated them when the chat client was brought to foreground. I think JiveTalk goes into a similiar battery miser mode when it's idling for 5 minutes, but instead of forcing a list update, it probably intermittently updates it and probably requests an immediate update when stopping idling. This is probably the best way, as I haven't seen the list "suddenly catch up" in JiveTalk so it must be doing it even more intelligently than WebMessenger did. For a big buddy list of 200 people, this makes a huge difference because all those contact list updates require transmissions, which requires large amounts of battery power when 200 people sign on and off all day long. (Remember it takes up to 2 watts of electricity from cellphone battery to transmit a packet in a weak-reception area on a GSM850 or GSM900 network) to transmit a data packet. It is possible to make a chat software waste less power in data transmissions, simply by mere optimization of merging as many chat-signalling messages as possible into more infrequent packets while idling, and running all chat networks over a single socket connection. Theoretically, you could transmit low-priority buddy list updates only once every few minutes while in background, and bringing software to foreground automatically forces a quick update of low-priority online/offline/away/back notifications. Server can even be designed to "push" the incoming chat messages. Even if it's non-push, an idling EDGE / GPRS connection actually uses fairly little power, and it's possible for a modern BlackBerry have a nonstop idling connection for a long period of time - it's the transmissions that gobble power. While I don't know how JiveTalk optimized for low battery power usage, the improved performance is one of them - because it's spending less CPU time trying to render the user interface. A startling example is when IM+ logs onto a chat network - it adds the buddies one by one, while JiveTalk adds all 200 buddies nearly instantaneously to the list (after a very short pause on a blank buddy screen). JiveTalk uses a lot less CPU per buddy status change away/online/offline. Whereas, IM+ tends to use a fraction of a second worth of CPU when this happen. This isn't a problem for small buddy lists, but when you've got 200 buddies logged on 24/7, one really need to optimize the low priority stuff such as signon/signoff/away/busy/etc signalling to use as little CPU and network bandwidth as possible. It seems JiveTalk does this better, and probably batch-processing plays a role. For example, comparing a Pounce list with Buddy list, would require a battery-efficient search algorithm, and a signon/signoff notification probably shouldn't update the graphics if the software is running in the background, and so on. JiveTalk probably uses a lot of techniques to improve efficiency by optimization to reduce as much CPU and network use as possible, while making high-priority stuff (i.e. incoming messages) immediate. Most developers of mobile chat software do not test with large buddy lists often enough, but JiveTalk clearly designed the software to be efficient with big buddy lists. And clearly programmed by programmers that obviously love their BlackBerries, and have BlackBerries as their personal non-work phones from even before they got hired by BeeJive (or started BeeJive).
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Discovered something new and cool -- I can doubletap ENTER to switch to the next chat. So I don't have to doubletap ALT unless I want to switch to a specific buddy.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I sometimes feel like a broken record or a BeeJive employee or something when recommending JiveTalk to everyone. I uninstalled all the BRAND NEW RIM IM apps from my 8320 because JiveTalk simply can't be beat.

It is just the best. Good advice, though, to BeeJive. I haven't seen much from them lately on improvements or updates. I hope they read this, too.


You left out one very important strength of JiveTalk....it's $20 cheaper than IM+

And one important strength (to some) of IM+....IM+ supports MySpace chat.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Very nice review, yea I agree. I've been a jivetalk beta tester and they really stepped it up. They took mobile IM messaging into another level.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thx, good read. I have to agree!
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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a lot of work, cool job


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Old 10-17-2007, 08:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I paid for a IM+ myself, and then switched to JiveTalk. I agree on all points. JiveTalk has a simplicity going for it, and battery life is something I watch. Some applications can destroy it. Some applications have memory leaks. Some applications are just harder than they need to be. JiveTalk is one of those apps where using it for week will make anyone love it. Great app. The only IM client I use.

-Alex
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i have one question... how do i access in beejive.com/download but it said you dont have access rights to this site....how can i get through it ?
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullmetal03 View Post
i have one question... how do i access in beejive.com/download but it said you dont have access rights to this site....how can i get through it ?
from your BB browser on your BB.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon View Post
Discovered something new and cool -- I can doubletap ENTER to switch to the next chat. So I don't have to doubletap ALT unless I want to switch to a specific buddy.
Another shortcut I noticed was that if I press NUM and SYM keys on my 8700g, it will bring up the list of emoticons. I thought that was useful.
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Best Chat Software: JiveTalk 1.0.2 versus IM+ 5.0.9 -- NO CONTEST

I know this is a thread specific to JiveTalk and IM+, but can anyone offer feedback on JiveTalk and GoogleTalk for BB? I have GoogleTalk setup using transports, which gives me all my ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, AIM and open Jabber users in one buddy list. I do also like the level of integration that Google Talk has on the device, but I am always looking to upgrade to something better.
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Old 10-20-2007, 07:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forums, shaun.

i could only advise you to try the free trial from JT and make your own comparison.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the welcome!

Downloaded installed and setup...

I'll compare over the next few weeks and post a thread with what I find.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default JiveTalk myspace?

I installed it, but there is no myspace account available. Is that only a 4.2OS option?

Im on an 8700c 4.1X
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SyrSabreFan View Post
I installed it, but there is no myspace account available. Is that only a 4.2OS option?

Im on an 8700c 4.1X
Sorry for the confusion. Our MySpace support is actually currently in beta, though it's been pretty stable for a while. The release has been delayed a bit because we decided to bundle it with buddy icon support (for AIM, which is really unrelated).

The links below will get you the latest stable "public" beta builds including MySpace support. Currently the builds are available for OS 4.2 or 4.1.0.309 and above only (check your OS to make sure that it qualifies, the old default OS for 8700C was 4.1.0.192 or something like that, so you would have needed to upgrade your OS.)

4.2 OS and above:

http://www.beejive.com/jt_beta/dev/J...erry-pearl.jad

4.1.0.309 and above (for 4.1)

http://www.beejive.com/jt_beta/dev/J...erry-midp2.jad
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks! The MySpace thing was the only negative I can find with JiveTalk
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have been using JiveTalk since my post above, and I was faced with the decision on what to stick with GTalk(+Transports) or JiveTalk.

Now there are some things that GTalk does that I wish JiveTalk had. If they were added to JiveTalk, I would be very happy.

1.) Icon Indicator in top bar for new chat message received
2.) Address Book integration - option menu includes "IM [Contact Name]"
3.) Display Chats in the Message List (on/off option in settings)
4.) ** Display an Avatar to other users (especially in MSN)

** I know this is not available in GTalk or any other BB IM app, but it would be nice.


Final verdict: JiveTalk over GTalk easily
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Not bad features if they can be added. There is a long thread in here in Aftermarket which the developers used to check for comments/ideas. You might post there, as well email them.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Messages always delivered?

If I lose service for any reason (e.g. on an elevator, battery dead, out of service area) will the messages sent to me during that time be lost with JiveTalk or IM+, or will they be delivered when the phone returns to service? If they are held for later delievery, is there any time limit?
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