Once upon a time, IRC was all the rage, allowing users to connect in real time across the world. It evolved into the instant messaging clients we know and love today, but there are still millions of people that communicate via IRC even today. To date, there really hasn't been much in the way of IRC clients for BlackBerry, and I have seen many requests for an app in the forums. I gave Chatmosphere a whirl the other day when it landed in my inbox, and I was pretty impressed with how well it works.
The home screen (seen above) gives you the option to select from various popular topics, search what you're interested in, or just hit up a random chatroom to start connecting. A quick search of "BlackBerry" yielded several results from different countries, and I was connected with a chatroom in France in no time. After spamming them with a few test messages, a quick click in the menu allowed my to change my nickname to one other than what was randomly generated for me. Surfing through several chatrooms was a breeze, and the chat itself was quick and seamless, with no lag on my 9700. The application even supports emoticons and font colors, just like you were sitting at a PC. Clicking someone's nickname opens a prompt where you can choose to private chat in a separate window, or ignore the user. Clicking the BB Key allows you to either go back to the Search page, leaving the chatroom, or to add another chatroom.
Chatrooms are tabbed at the top of the screen, allowing you to participate in multiple chats at the same time, switching with a click. A few shortfalls I noticed while using the application, there is no support for the BlackBerry typing shortcuts (ie: space twice for a period), and the application doesn't remember the nickname you set between sessions, instead randomly generating a handle for you each time. All in all a very good solution for those looking for a way to use IRC from their BlackBerry device, and hopefully future updates will resolve those minor issues.
Available in the CB store on sale for $4.99, it's regular $7.99. The app includes a 14 day trial, so I would suggest giving it a try to see if it's what you need before shelling out the cash. If you're a dedicated IRC user though, you'll likely find yourself considering purchasing the app.