Adium

Adium 1.3

Free
Adium is a native multi-protocol instant messenger.
4.1  (86 votes)
1.5.10.4 (See all)

Adium is a native multi-protocol instant messenger. Sadly, the worst part of switching to the Mac was letting go of Microsoft Live Messenger. Microsoft does have a messenger for Mac, but it is no good. Adium was, and still is, the best alternative on Mac.

It can connect to a variety of instant messaging services like: MSN, AIM, Jabber, Yahoo, Facebook, and more. Adium consists of a single window, where all your contacts are grouped. When you only have a single service enabled, Adium will use your contact folders to group your contacts, so you end up with categories like Friends, Work, etc, just like in Live Messenger. Double-clicking one of your contacts will bring up a new window, where you can type and receive messages. There is support for emoticons, but most of them will only be viewed by other Adium users. At the top of this chat window there is a toolbar with icons that allow you to show the person's photo, to block the contact, change the font properties and more: insert active browser link and bookmark current chat. The first one allows you to easily paste a website that you have opened in your browser. The second creates a bookmark on the chat history. By default, Adium records all your conversations, and you can later access them via the Chat Transcript Viewer, from where you can search for any text. This is way better than browsing for the .xml files that Live Messenger creates.

Adium does not natively support video chat. Live Messenger has supported video chat for years, and that is one of the features that I miss most of all. There are workarounds for that, but none work like they are supposed to or how you would expect them to.

Performance-wise, Adium is very responsive and it rarely crashes. There is no support for games either, so less worries that something can crash your messenger. Adium feels faster than Live Messenger for Windows and it can connect to a ton of other IM protocols and all of them will be accessible from a single window. It gives you many ways to organize your contacts and the look of the interface can be somewhat changed. The dock icon is very cute as well.

José Fernández
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Very stable
  • Quick and responsive
  • Good chat transcript system
  • Supports a variety of platforms

Cons

  • Missing videochat and some other advanced IM features
Info updated on:

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