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Adium 1.4.1

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Adium Editor's Review

Adium X is a Open Source Instant Messaging client.

Adium X is a IM client that's based on another Open Source project for Linux/Windows: Pidgin, a client that is formerly known as GAIM. Adium X uses Pidgin's core under a Mac style (Unified) user interface.

The client supports various IM networks like: AIM, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, ICQ, Jabber, Apple Bonjour, Google Talk, Apple .Mac, Lotus SameTime, Novell Groupwise, QQ, Gadu-Gadu, Live Journal Talk, and more. The only thing that's really missing from this client is the support for the IRC protocol. It also supports to be logged in on multiple networks or on multiple accounts at the same time. In this case the contact list is unified between all your accounts.

The group list of the contacts looks like the one from Yahoo! Messenger for Mac. The chat interface gives you quick access to the usual features that a chat window offers. It is well designed and pretty ergonomic.

A great feature of the chat interface is the usage of a tabular design. Instead of having lots of windows around your desktop, you can get all your IMs into a single one.

A feature that you won't find in most of the IM clients, is the possibility to encrypt the conversation. The chat interface offers you a button that controls this functionality.

The 'Preferences' panel has a lot of useful features that won't make you to miss that much your default IM chat client in case you would like to switch to Adium X. It lacks the support for video and audio calls though. The file transfer works just in certain conditions that depend on the client that's used by your contact, but it has a well structured IM history.

The speed of this application is quite good. Unlike Yahoo! Messenger for Mac or Windows Messenger, Adium X has a fast startup and login speed. It is one of the best IM clients for Mac OS X from this point of view.

Adium X is extensible. The producer offers some plugins for this client. You can also add new emoticons, dock icons, sounds, service icons, Apple Scripts, etc.

The notifications when a contact of yours signs in or out, or when he/she sends a message to you, is made by a Growl, a 3rd party application that comes in the same distribution package as Adium X. You can chose if you would like to use it or not, and it can be disabled at any time.

Pluses: it has support for multiple chat protocols, it supports multiple logins at the same time, it is very fast, it is a well designed application, it has chat encryption functionality, it is extensible, it can use Growl for notifications.

Drawbacks / flaws: it can't make video or audio calls, the file transfer won't work flawlessly.

In conclusion: if you start to add the pluses and subtract the drawbacks, you can have a pretty good IM client for Mac OS X. If you aren't interested by the features it lacks, then you can easily consider this client as one of the best and use it as your default application for this purpose.

version reviewed: 1.0.2

What's Required in Version 1.4.1 of Adium

Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

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