From the "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch Department," version 2.0 of AOL's Instant Messenger client for iPhones has been released. Actually, two versions: a free, ad-supported flavor (seen above) is available even as we speak, and a premium edition (rumored to be called "AIM Paid") is awaiting both App Store approval and a list price.
Both versions feature improvements such as location awareness and SMS alerts when you log out. (Note, these are NOT background IM's, just "You've got an IM" notification; you'll still have to log into AIM to respond to the actual IM.) Other new, non-iPhone-specific features include support for multiple
accounts and using AIM to send free SMSes to anyone in your iPhone's
Is the advert-supported version "worth the price?" A quick scan of recent comments on iTunes would suggest "nay." Early adapters are complaining, not only of the obtrusive ad popups, but repeated fatal crashes and, when it does work, a crippling lack of a landscape mode. Sounds like a bug fix is in order before anyone starts THINKING about charging for the app…
[Available from the App Store…if you're feeling lucky.]