BlackBerry users are a loyal bunch--just ask rapper and producer will.i.am, who has two jewel-encrusted models. These days, BlackBerry-toters are just as often on the receiving end of a long wait time to get a popular service rolled out for their phones.
On Thursday, makers of the Trillian multinetwork instant messaging app uttered their first peep about a beta version of Trillian 1.0 for BlackBerry. The app is currently in a limited closed beta, which means that only a select group of testers has access to the app--and the bugs. The company predicts a short timeline of "a few weeks" before releasing the final version.
What the hordes of BlackBerry chatters can expect in Trillian's BlackBerry build? For a start, there's support for Yahoo, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, AIM, Facebook, MySpaceIM, and Jabber/XMPP chat networks. You'll be able to sync your Trillian details, including contacts and avatars, with Trillian on Windows, Mac, iPhone, and the Web.
So far the closed beta also handles tasks you'd expect, like updating your status, avatar, and display name, support for emoticons, copy/paste, and photo-sharing. As far as customization goes, there are also two themes: one black, one white.
The app doesn't look half bad from the screenshots we saw, but the real test will be how well we can wield it, particularly when transferring links and files, and switching between multiple open chats. CNET has confirmed that Trillian for BlackBerry will be a premium application when it comes to BlackBerry's App World; its price point and feature set will determine how it fares against other premium chat apps in the category, including Beejive IM, one of our favorites. Watch this space because we'll certainly be watching Trillian.
Trillian 1.0 for BlackBerry will at least work with the BlackBerry Bold, Storm, Curve, and Pearl, though publisher Cerulean Studio has not yet announced the complete list of compatible handsets. The chat app supports Wi-Fi and direct TCP connections, as well as the BlackBerry-specific BIS, BES.
If you'd like to be among the first to know when Trillian's BlackBerry chat app makes its next move, sign up for the beta here.