While Messenger tends to be the preferred choice of most people when it comes to chatting online, AIM or .Mac users are also lucky to have the iChat application already installed on their Macs. iChat is a pretty good program to use for chatting with your buddies. Not only can you stick to the traditional text chats but you can also initiate video conferences, that is if you have iSight or a webcam set up. The application looks nice and clean, like any Apple program, and offers most features you’d expect of such an app, like emoticons, ordering contacts by lists or sharing files. Video and audio playback are generally of a very good quality and you can even use the program to share a screen with another user.
Like Messenger, iChat seems to be popular enough that many developers have created all sorts of software which improve your iChat experience. If you’re the kind of person that likes customizing their apps, I suggest taking a look at these ten programs that can bring more functionalities to iChat:
- Emotimaker – Create your own packs of smileys and emoticons.
- MoreIchatEffects – 48 original effects to spice up your video chats.
- Chat Transcript Manager – Save and manage transcripts of all conversations.
- iModz – Display a custom message and the iTunes song you’re playing in iChat.
- ShowMacs – Show pictures and live captures in any iChat conversation.
- More iChat Smileys – 120 cool emoticons to use in iChat.
- Chax – Customize things like the user list or message window.
- ChatFX – A plugin to add video effects to the Mac messaging app.
- iTwist n’Go – One click control of every function in iChat. Great for messaging addicts.
- iChat Borderless – Give a streamline iTunes look to the Apple messenger.