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AOL releases public beta of iChat-like Instant Messenger client

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
On the heels of a successful launch of its AIM client for the iPhone, AOL on Tuesday announced a public beta of its next-generation AIM client for the Mac -- its first major update to the software in over four years.

AIM for Mac beta 1

The new version, built from the ground up, features a redesigned platinum interface akin to Apple's own instant message client, iChat. An availability menu, buddy search function, and visibility toggle are available from the new buddy list window.

Individual chats are now organized as tabs in a global "IM" window, similar to third-party clients like AdiumX and an option available to iChat users. Users can customize chat windows with something AOL is calling AIM Expressions, which lets users add custom sounds, wallpaper, emoticon sets or buddy icons.

The Mac beta also features one-click access to AOL mail, or other Mail clients like Apple's Mail.app. It also supports friendly buddy names, AIM Groups, and AIM Blast groups.

AIM for Mac beta 1 requires a PowerPC G4 or Intel Macintosh, Mac OS X Version 10.4.8 or higher, and at least 256 MB of physical RAM. It's available as a free download.



BeejiveIM for iPhone

Separately this week, Beejive Inc., developers of the popular Beejive for iPhone Web-based instant messenger client, has released a native version of the chat software for the iPhone.

The company promises that the new software will be "gentle" on your iPhone's battery and deliver reliable and efficient connections over EDGE, 3G and WiFi.

BeejiveIM is compatible with all major IM networks and supports background notification when the application is closed for users who have Mobile me or Exchange/Active Sync push email.

It also supports full landscape mode, SMS messages to mobile phones, buddy list management, and chat logs. Future versions will reportedly deliver group chats, emoticons, and full hyperlink support.

Though the software is steeply priced ($15.99 App Store), it has thus far been met by strong reviews.

post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The new version, built from the ground up, features a redesigned brushed metal aluminum interface akin to Apple's own instant message client, iChat. An availability menu, buddy search function, and visibility toggle are available from the new buddy list window.

This is the plastic theme, not brushed metal.
post #3 of 21
Wow, that is a HUGE ripoff of the iChat buddy list UI
post #4 of 21
Why code your own stuff, when you can rip off someone else's.
post #5 of 21
So long as the likes of Adium exist AOL will never be able to push its way back into the Apple IM market as a standalone app. Speaking of which - does anyone know if the Adium people are working on an iPhone app? That's the 1 biggest app I'm waiting for!
post #6 of 21
So what exactly are they offering that would make me switch and use their app?

Unless I'm missing something, their client offers nothing different from either adium or ichat--indeed, if it looks identical to ichat and can do exactly the same things, what exactly is the point? What can this AIM version do better than either ichat or adium?

Seems like a waste of resources on the part of AOL to me....unless they offer some major features not available in the aforementioned programs, there is nothing to see here.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisTheXIV View Post

So what exactly are they offering that would make me switch and use their app?

AOL have been mismanaged for years.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisTheXIV View Post

So what exactly are they offering that would make me switch and use their app?

Unless I'm missing something, their client offers nothing different from either adium or ichat--indeed, if it looks identical to ichat and can do exactly the same things, what exactly is the point? What can this AIM version do better than either ichat or adium?

Seems like a waste of resources on the part of AOL to me....unless they offer some major features not available in the aforementioned programs, there is nothing to see here.

The real interesting question about an AIM client on the Mac is not with regard to mere text IM, but audio/video. iChat and (Windoze-based) AIM *used* to interoperate in audio & video chat, but then AIM broke that in their more recent versions. (I believe AIM v5.9 was the last one where it could interwork with iChat for more than mere text.) So what about this one? Does it offer audio/video interoperability with AIM on Windoze? Oddly enough, the AOL download page makes no mention of audio or video capabilities. \

I've just downloaded the beta, but don't have any Windoze cohorts who are sophisticated enough to have a webcam to be able to try it out (alas) (even whilst surrounded by a major corporation full of employees mostly condemned to use Windoze). Anybody else?
post #9 of 21
Ya, the chat client isn't very interesting to me, I'm not even sure I'll go over and check it out, I'm perfectly satisfied with iChat and/or adium.

BeejiveIM on the other hand, I just went and bought that for my wife's iPhone right before I saw this posting. We prefer to communicate through messenger while she is at work since she is not at a computer. let me tell ya, Palringo and AIM act up a lot, many days she will get home and be frustrated that she has been messaging me all day and I have not received the messages. I waited for MobileChat to get it's act together, but decided to not wait any longer and went with Beejive. $16 may be considered a lot compared to the normal $.99 - 4.99 range of apps on the app store. But if this stays stable and does all that it should with constant long-in determined by the user up to 24 hours while the phone is off, email/sms push notifications of new messages, etc, then $16 is more then worth it.
post #10 of 21
I'm pretty interested in BeejiveIM. I've been waiting for a decent Instant Messenger on the iPhone since the App Store came out. $15 is pretty steep but if this turns out to be "the one" I will take the plunge. Has anyone else tried it yet?
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

Wow, that is a HUGE ripoff of the iChat buddy list UI

As is ichat itself a huge ripoff of AIM.
post #12 of 21
Does anyone actually use AIM? I've never met anyone who has, everyone I've ever known that uses instant messaging either used MSN Messanger or Skype.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Does anyone actually use AIM? I've never met anyone who has, everyone I've ever known that uses instant messaging either used MSN Messanger or Skype.

AIM and ICQ are de facto the same ... and everybody uses ICQ here in Germany
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Does anyone actually use AIM? I've never met anyone who has, everyone I've ever known that uses instant messaging either used MSN Messanger or Skype.

I've never met anyone who uses anything besides AIM. Anyone who uses ichat is using AIM....amirite?
post #15 of 21
Well, it's not surprising that AIM for Mac looks butt ugly. I don't know why I would have expected better.
post #16 of 21
I don't need all of that crap. iChat is working great and it's not a beta. AOL should be ashamed for waiting this long to release another AIM client for the Mac and still only release it in beta. This new version looks like it has all of the same useless crap that the Windows version has.
post #17 of 21
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
Reply
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

Most people in the US use either AIM or ICQ, most in China use QQ, and according to a chart I saw a while back on Ars, most of the rest of the world uses MSN/Windows Live or YIM.

Maybe its an age thing also. In my line of business almost everyone is 15-30 years old. I deal with people all over the world. Giving my buddylist's (5 screen names) a cursory look I would indicate the following. These numbers are rounded to the nearest 5, and are not exact as I only counted the people I know for sure, I actually have them divided into countries to help me remember who is who and also with the time zones difference.

175 U.S
95 Japan
60 U.K. or surrounding countries
55 Hong Kong
40 Taiwan
30 China (Mainland)
15 Russia and Eastern Bloc Countries
15 Singapore
10 Thailand
10 Australia
10 Puerto Rico (yea I know its not a country)
10 Central America
5 Vietnam
5 Indonesia
5 Brazil
5 South Korea
5 Middle East - All Countries

Now out of all these people the only ones who have ever asked if I had any other chat client besides AIM were the ones from Mainland China, asking if I had MSN messenger.
I would say 85% of my contacts are 30 or under.

I didn't realize you could use ichat with anything else but AIM, and I never heard of jabber before. But I recall when I add new accounts it says something about Bonjour, but I dont know what that is either.
post #19 of 21
Adium is the way to go, IMHO. Until voice and video are added to the official clients, then there is no reason for me to use them.
post #20 of 21
Nowadays Friendplay IM launching a new Instant Messenger that comes with MSN, AIM, Gtalk and YM connectivity, best part is you can also install it into your mobile phone and do instant messaging on your mobile phone. Download Friendplay IM for free from http://th.im.friendplay.com/
post #21 of 21
Wow, talk abut a resurrection.
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