As more and more technologies are born to help us connect with our friends, we often have some friends who use one service while others use another. This is great for people because they have a choice of what they’d like to use, but it’s a hassle to cross lines and connect with friends from one service to another.
The simple answer is to be present on all the services your friends are on so you don’t leave anyone out, but keeping up with multiple services isn’t always fun. Unless you use Trillian, that is.
Trillian is an IM client that connects to all of the most popular networks around. That list includes but isn’t limited to Facebook, Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, and MySpace. Yes, even MySpace is still supported for the few who still use the network. We’ve covered Trillian in the past, but that was a couple of years ago and Trillian has gotten a major face lift in version 5. Trillian adds other useful features that makes the program more usable compared to other multi-network IM clients.
You can download Trillian for their website here. They offer Trillian for Windows and Mac, as well as all major mobile operating systems (although that’s an entirely different article). Simply pick your operating system and go through the regular installation path. In no time you’ll be ready to launch the application and get started.
When you first launch Trillian, you’ll want to add your accounts. This can be easily done by clicking on the menu (“Trillian” button), then Manage Accounts. Then just choose your desired service(s) and enter your credentials. If you cannot find a service that you’d like to connect to, you can check the Customizations –> Plugins section of the Preferences to check if you can enable some more plugins that allow you to connect to more services. Some of these aren’t enabled by default because they take up more memory or they may not be quite as reliable as the ones enabled by default. However, I’ve had absolutely no issues so far, so I doubt you’ll have any either.
Speaking of preferences, Trillian offers plenty of settings that you can fiddle around with, from skins to fonts to notifications and beyond. Trillian is one of those IM clients that is more easily configured so you feel as comfortable as possible with your IM chats.
The chatting experience is quite simplified, without a lot of visible bells and whistles out-of-the-box. This is something that other clients, especially the official clients for some services, can learn from. It’s easy on the eyes, but still quite functional through buttons that are hidden away in the More button.
A Social Attitude
In case you didn’t see it in an earlier screenshot, Trillian tries to be your one place for everything social. Therefore, not only does it connect to your IM services, but you can also connect to Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, LinkedIn, and more so you can get updates from those sites right in Trillian. It’s a nice added convenience that a good number of people will enjoy.
Overall, I like using Trillian because it works and tries to take care of its users through many possibilities. Users can also login to a Trillian account and use its own Astra IM network, as well as sync settings so you won’t have to add your IM accounts again on a new computer or a reinstall. I do like it a little better than Pidgin, but Pidgin has the advantage of being open source. If that distinction doesn’t matter to you, go ahead and give Trillian a shot!
Which is your favorite IM client? Do you like all-in-ones better or the official clients? Let us know in the comments!