We are all familiar with IChat, and don’t get me wrong, it is great. But IChat does have its limitations.
When I switched from Windows to Mac just a few years ago, I was used to using an all-in-one IM application. I had never used the AIM standalone. And the last time I used IChat was when it was a chat room client. So when I switched over I wanted the same feel as I had on Trillian.
At that time Trillian for the Mac didn’t exist, But now it does, Kind of. Trillian Astra is in private alpha right now! It is being written from scratch for OS X. So they are not just porting the code over. I am excited to see what may come of this when it is released.
One of the most popular IChat alternatives though, is Adium. Adium is a all-in-one messenger that you can use with your Yahoo, AIM, GTalk, .Mac/MobileMe, MSN, Jabber and other accounts. It is fantastic and keeps you organized. There is nothing I hate more than having 3 or more IM Clients open on my desktop. What makes Adium even better is the ability to install plugins. Currently as of this posting Adium does not have built in support for Video Chat, but there is a plugin available to use video chat. They are saying that it will be native in a future release at some point. Adium is available as a free download at www.adiumx.com
My last alternate IM Client is Palringo. I first heard of Palringo in the Itunes App store. I decided to give it a try and it is not bad, Very simple design and very straight forward. The best part is, they do have a desktop client that is in open alpha, Now it is only for OS X Leopard, Windows, Blackberry, and Iphone. It is very much worth a try and once again it is an all-in-one messenger. It is a little buggy and takes some time to get used to if you are used to using Adium already or IChat, but it does offer a pretty good experience. I am currently running it on both my IMac and Macbook and my IPhone. It has made using an IM Client on the IPhone easy since I can have all my accounts linked up. You do have to sign up for their account though, But other than that there is no hassle at all. I highly recommend checking it out. Palringo is available for free download at www.palringo.com