Is Adium now officially the best IM client for Mac?

Adium iconIf you were to ask me to name one good reason to ditch MSN Messenger it wouldn’t be too difficult to come up with an answer. Adium. Time and time again, the open source chat client has proved to be the friendliest, more feature complete and flexible IM client for Mac. It looks good too and is heavily customizable. And did I fail to mention that the Adium developers very frequently deliver updates of the app?

The latest version, 1.3, comes with a number of significant improvements which should end up convincing you. The Contact Inspector, where all your contacts are stored, including those from your Apple Address Book, is fitted with a newly designed interface. Because Adium is a multi-protocol client, you could quickly drown in the endless lists of contacts. Luckily, there is now a search field in the contact list, making it easier to find contacts. Just press CMD+F to activate it. What you often get too is the same contacts but repeated in different networks. Their profiles are now shown in a uniformed way and you can easily expand them in the contact list to see their contents.

Facebook Chat, as expected, can now be used with Adium. Note though that logging into it will log you out of your Facebook account. MobileMe is also now handled by Adium.

In terms of user experience, you’ll now be able to see a ‘typing’ message when contacts are typing without a chat window open. Adium will also now let you drag and drop urls from your browser and tracks from your iTunes to send as file transfers.

There is now support for a number of AppleScripts relating to contact management, such as re-ordering, blocking or deleting.

These are but the most impressive of the new features, but a whole lot more have been added, not including all the bugs that have been fixed. Give it a try and see for yourself why I say it’s the best IM client for Mac.

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