Microsoft has launched an official Windows Live Messenger app for iPhone: it’s live on the App Store this morning. The app is free, and uses iPhone’s push notification system to ping you new chat alerts when the app is closed.
However, that’s slightly curious, since today sees the debut of Apple’s new iOS 4 software, which includes multi-tasking as one of its key features. Instant messaging apps will now be able to run in the background on iPhones and iPod touches, so we can’t help wondering why Microsoft didn’t include that feature in its app.
Still, if you’re a heavy user of WLM, the app sounds like it’ll make you happy. It supports multiple chats, emoticons, links and photo sharing, as well as built-in access to Hotmail.
It can also tie into updates from Facebook, Flickr and MySpace, among other social networks. Presumably an iOS 4 friendly update will be along in the near future. UPDATE: We may owe Microsoft some kind words – background IM isn’t one of the core multi-tasking features in iOS 4. That said, it would be nice for this kind of app to support fast app switching, which is.