Adium X 1.0.5 Review

Yahoo, MSN, Google, ICQ, AIM, Jabber... There are so many messaging protocols on the web these days that you need several different clients to keep track of all your friends. Or, of course, you could just use Adium, the Mac based instant messenger that supports all those standards and a few more.

You won’t get all the same features that you would from the individual clients, but you do get solid, simple instant messaging that works with a variety of accounts that you can switch between effortlessly. The program remembers all your contact settings, including who you’ve blocked.

Once you’ve added an account, Adium logs into it automatically, so you’re connected to all your messaging contacts at the same time. On top of that, Adium’s highly configurable, with a deeper set of layout tools and Mac integration features than you’ll find in any of the ‘official’ clients. Preferences allow you to change colour themes, emoticons, and chat styles.

Mac compatibility goes beyond iTunes integration and a bundled Aqua colour scheme. Xtras let you customise many aspects of Adium so that it looks and works exactly how you’d like it to. You can expand the program with free icons, sound sets, AppleScripts and plugins.

The only real disappointment with Adium is the lack of support for video and audio chat. Of course, Mac users have iChat for that and Skype as an alternative. Which reminds us, Adium doesn’t support Skype messaging – a notable omission considering how comprehensive it is otherwise.

OUR VERDICT

As a cross platform, instant messaging tool, Adium’s free and hard to beat. If you need voice or video though, you might be better off looking at Skype.

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