AIM 2.0: free and paid versions plus new features

AOL introduces an update to its popular free AIM chat client and adds an enhanced ad free paid version of the same client.

In an attempt to capitalize on the success of the iTunes App Store AOL has decided to split its iPhone chat client AIM into a free, ad-supported download version called AIM Free (iTunes Link) and a paid version called AIM Paid.

Both versions of AIM have some new features, including the ability to use SMS notifications, multiple account support and access to the GPS for location services. Contacts from your iPhone address book can be accessed inside of AIM and then reached via IM or SMS text message. Login time for an account can last up to 24 hours, persisting even with the app is not running.

Interestingly, an SMS feature is in place due to the lack of push services for apps. Push Services were promised to by Apple last September, as we've discussed here and here. The SMS feature allows users to receive messages when the AIM app is not running, in lieu of push services.

The location services feature lets you share your location with your buddies, everyone or no one at all. The the first time I launched this feature, the app located me approximately five to eight miles north of my current location in a completely different town.

The paid version of this application is currently not available as it is still being reviewed by Apple, but its release is expected soon.