What are some alternatives?
When comparing Apphitect IM and Firebase, you can also consider the following products
Mirrorfly - A Complete Chat, Video & Audio Calling Solution
Android Studio - Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA
Contus Fly - Contus Fly, an instant messaging solution for real-time mobile chat app development. Build 100% customizable mobile chat . be reachable at any given time.
Xcode - Xcode 4 is the new version of Apple’s powerful integrated development environment for creating great apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Xcode 4 includes the Xcode IDE, instruments, iOS Simulator, and the latest Mac OS X and iOS SDKs.
SendBird - SendBird is messaging-as-a-service.
PubNub - PubNub is a real-time messaging system for web and mobile apps that can handle API for all platforms and push messages to any device anywhere in the world in a fraction of a second without having to worry about proxies, firewalls or mobile drop-offs.