Testing Trillian Astra

trillian_astraSo, I’ve been testing out the latest version of Trillian, Trillian Astra (v4), and I’m digging it so far. The interface is probably the most significant thing I’ve noticed, but I know there are lots and lots of other changes under the hood. Here are some of the key things that stand out to me so far:

  • You can change skins without restarting the app AND you can modify the color of skins, if supported by the skin, without restarting. Most people don’t change themes all that often, but this addition will end up saving users time AND save current chat sessions without any interruptions at all.
  • It’s much more stable than what I remember Trillian 3 Pro being. I stopped using it because it would crash everytime I got an IM from anyone who would IM from iChat. (You would think it wouldn’t matter… but it would crash Trillian nearly every time for me…)
  • It’s gorgeous. Seriously. The two default GUIs are slick without being obnoxious.
  • It has a fairly small memory footprint. I have been using AIM Lite and Google Talk, but both of them use about 13-15 Mb of memory at any given time. Trillian uses the same amount of memory as ONE of those clients and lets me stay connected to MSN, AIM, and Google Talk at the same time. I’d say that’s a win, wouldn’t you?

Obviously, there are still some downsides…

  • It’s still in Alpha. Invites are limited. And they aren’t giving current testers invites to hand out to friends.
  • It doesn’t auto-update itself yet. (This is a planned feature, though.)
  • I have no clue when it’ll be available to the general public, either in a Beta or Final version. Your best bet is to check out information on the Cerulean Studios Blog for status updates and development news.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the new version. Once the final version is released, I’ll be sure to post something here.

Speaking of Google…

Speaking of Google… Whatever happened to the promised instant messaging interoperability between AOL and Google Talk? Google released a press release on the matter on December 20, 2005 and to this day nothing has happened on either side. What gives? I know there are other applications, such as Trillian that already support multiple IM protocols/connections, but none have worked quite as well for me as GoogleTalk has on the PC. If I could, I’d stop using AIM altogether, but half of my coworkers insist on using it as their default IM client.