Trillian 5.0

I’ve been using Trillian 5.0 since the beta was available, I forget how long ago that was. Since the final version of it was released just yesterday I decided to write a review about it now.

Trillian is a multi-protocol Instant Messaging client created by the software company Cerulean Studios. It current supports multiple platforms which include: Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and the Browser. Trillian supports the following Chatting services from Facebook, Skype, AIM/ICQ, Yahoo, Windows Live Messenger, MySpaceIM, XMPP support for services such as Jabber, Google Talk, VZ and more. Also includes news feed support from Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace. And it also notifies you for incoming emails from POP3, IMAP, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail

As of the release of Trillian version 5 the company has changed it’s business approach. It is now a subscription based service instead of charging customers to purchase the software based on the device.

Trillian for Windows/Mac used to be about $15, ~$5 for each of the mobile platform(iOS, Android and Blackberry). It is now an annual fee of $12 a year. The software itself is free to download and use. The downside is that the free version is ad supported and the Pro features cloud message history. If you want to access your message from any device and not be restricted to one device then you’ll probably want to opt into the subscription service. People who purchased Trillian 5 prior to the launch are lucky enough to bypass this subscription base service and continue to use the software without the ads ever appearing and make full use of the pro features such as cloud history for life (I am guessing until Trillian 6 comes out?)

I’ve been using Trillian almost exclusively, whether it’s on my Mac, or Windows, or even my Xoom tablet and Blackberry. I’ve given up on all the other clients as Trillian combines them all into one easy to use program with a very clean interface. Unlike their previous version Astra which looked good for a short while, then got old fast. It was more eye candy than functional in my opinion. Which is why I opt to skip that version.

The neat feature about Trillian 5 is that it supports concurrent sessions. This is the first multi protocol client that allows this to work seamlessly across multiple different platforms. Windows Live Messenger supports something similar, but all the clients must be running WLM version 10 or higher otherwise it will disconnect the inactive computer. And since the messages are stored in the cloud (I hope Cerulean Studios will do a better job at security than Sony has.. lol) the messages are automatically synced between the different devices.

The only concern I have with this is how it detects which computer to send incoming file transfer to.. I am guessing it can detect which “resource” is active and directs the transfer there. I am not sure.

Trillian has opt into using tabbed based windows management which is useful for managing the different chats. Instead of having multiple windows opened. There is only one opened and the conversations are organized in that one windows as tabs. Everything seems to be going tabbed based these days. Of course this feature can be turned off if you want to go back to the old style.

The notification is just your standard window that pops up in the lower right of the screen when certain activities occur such as user signing in, user signing out, new message, incoming news feed etc etc.

Overall, while I was using the beta software I did encounter performance issues, but it seems like it’s been resolved with the final version. I have to use it a little longer to be sure. It could also just be the computer I’m using it on that’s causing the issue. But I hope not. I’ll still use Trillian as I paid for the windows, blackberry and trillian client anyway. :p And I like the concurrent session function and is something I’ve been wanting in an IM client that can sync the messages I sent from different device to be easily accessible on the non originating device. Thank you Trillian for including that feature when no other IM clients have. But I am sure this will make other client developers to implement something like this to their own version since I think it’s a feature everyone would want to take advantage of.

I use the Trillian extensively on my windows and blackberry, with the occasional use on the xoom tablet and my mac. but I’ve found the experience to be about the same across all platforms. Of course the mobile version would be more limited than on the desktop side, but that is to be expected since mobile devices can’t be resource intensive.. I haven’t tried the video chat function on Trillian so I can’t touch on that feature since I don’t webcam chat with anyone

My rating with this application would be a 4/5 stars. They lost a star for the minor glitches I had to endure during the beta period.. -.- And I don’t give perfect scores as nothing is perfect. There is always room for improvement and bugs to be fixed. But I highly recommend this client for anyone looking for an all in one IM client, Social News Feed manager and Email checker. The $12 a month is worth it.

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