Trillian: the customizable IM client

trillian.jpgTrillian is an exciting and innovative Messenger application ideal for those who are connected to multiple IM networks and like to customize their programs.

The installation process is a bit lengthy, but once set up, Trillian loads quickly. A set-up wizard guides you through the installation process, like choosing your picture, typing an alias and selecting the different networks you will connect to. One of the most versatile IM clients out there, Trillian allows you to connect to Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, ICQ, AIM and mIRC. To manage your status on each different network you have little round icons at the bottom of the messenger. You can set different states of availability for different accounts. Your IM chats are made secure so you don’t have to worry about anybody eavesdropping on your conversations.

Like most IM clients out there, Trillian serves up videoconferencing, but it uses the QuickTime player to handle your videos. If you and your buddies have webcams, it’s a good way of communicating with each other. The time travel function allows you to replay parts of your webcam chats. Trillian separates contact lists according to the different IM networks you are connected to. You can also choose to create different identities for each of your IM services.

The program has server-less IM to connect with other people in your office or home and send quick messages. The “Instant Lookup” feature is really handy and something we hope to see more of in all IM clients. Right-click on any word in your chats to look up for its definition on the web or Wikipedia.

Trillian is part of the VoIP revolution and lets you make international calls to other VoIP services like AIM, MSN and Yahoo but you won’t be able to make PC-to-phone calls. You can send away messages and SMS to your friends and join a chat room in a click. The “global reconnect” function is useful to reload your connection settings on all of your networks. The “contact message history” function is extremely useful to catch up on what you said to your buddies.

One of the big strengths of Trillian is the wealth of customization tools on hand. You can personalize the interface, change the emoticons and even add new sound packs. With the “Biography” section you can even edit AIM profiles in html. We weren’t too impressed with the default selection of skins and other plug-ins and were furthermore disappointed to learn that you have go to the Trillian site to download new ones. However, there’s a large selection of extra customization tools available online and they’re sorted by popularity for easy browsing.

Versatility and customization are Trillian’s defining aspects. Packed with recent innovations such as videoconferencing and VoIP, and original add-ons like “Instant Lookup” or “global reconnect”, Trillian is a great choice for those of you who want to nest all your IM services into one solid application.

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