Beginning to fulfill one of the most glaring voids left by Apple, user "Arminius2" has debuted a native application AOL instant messaging client for the iPhone dubbed ApolloIM. The application is listed and can be installed through Installer.app (see our Applications page for information in installing an using Installer.app), or can be manually downloaded and put on the iPhone using our 5-step process.
Once the application is installed, the process for setting up an AOL account for login purposes is fairly straightforward. The interface movements, login process, and other functions are all significantly quicker than any Web-based IM clients we've tested. However, there are some significant quirks in the interface and general operation. The text field is not automatically selected when you tap the "keyboard" function, for instance, requiring two steps every time you want to send an IM. Also, your IM name will not appear before you enter and type text, as is common with most clients, making for awkward viewing of conversations. The keyboard is placed slightly improperly, meaning it hangs off the bottom of the screen. Finally, incoming text doesn't scroll properly, meaning you'll need to move around a bit to properly view it.
Still, the application shows great promise, mainly thanks to the ease imparted by Installer.app on installing native iPhone applications. With a little more spit and polish, it could become the de facto IM client for the iPhone.