Sneak preview of the new Trillian Astra

t.jpgTrillian Astra is in the works and it’s looking like an exciting piece of software. For those of you that don’t know Trillian, it’s a standalone messenger client with which you can use ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger and AIM. What sets it apart from those popular chat clients is that it really lets you customize the interface with a huge amount of different skins and emoticons.

Let’s take a quick peek at what the new Trillian Astra will have on offer. According to its developers, performance has been improved and the client will use up much less CPU. With IMCore, Trillian hopes to avoid the little connection bugs that occur when you support more than 5 different IMs. Those of you with slow bandwidth will be glad to learn that it will also offer optimized connections to IM services. Trillian will support Google Talk and My Space IM and will bulk files into a ZIP file to speed up your transfer.

One of the real issues with multiple email and IM clients is being able to consult your contacts quickly and from anywhere. From what the preview says, it seems that Trillian Astra will resolve this issue. Apart from better encryption and identity verification, it will also automatically download your contact list every time you login to Trillian.

There’s talk of little social widgets, like one which will allow receiving offline messages as soon as you login. Another one will show you the weather and there’ll be one linking to your photos in Flickr. The code for the widgets is open source so it should mean a good amount of them will be available later on. You’ll be able to post your status on your different IM services online, so your friends can quickly find out if you’re there.

In a move to simplify your virtual life, Trillian will allow you to enter urls for your blogs and social networking sites into your Trillian profile, from which you will be able to manage them.

In the message window, you’ll be able to use the playful handwriting mode and to drag and drop images to quickly share with other users. A built-in RSS bar will appear at the top of every message window, something which I don’t believe is absolutely necessary.

And because skins are such an integral part of Trillian, the chat client has smoothed out and simplified its interface, giving it a sort of Windows Vista look. There’ll be even more skins to choose from and it’ll allow you to modify toolbars and buttons.

If this little summary has sparked your curiosity, check out the video preview.

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