Beejive IM is one of those mobile multinetwork chat clients that's a joy to use--it's fast, graphically rich, and just works. Pricewise, it's at the taller end of the scale, but the feature set and usability will appeal to serious chatters. Pronounced beehive, (believe it or not) Beejive has one of the best methods for handling multiple IM conversations across multiple chat networks that we've seen, from the badge alerts that appear in two places, to the hidden menu that has you switching among open conversations, sending picture and audio IMs, and e-mailing out an archive … Read more
Typing on the iPhone/iPod Touch's keyboard can be arduous. This is never more evident than when trying to bang out messages in several instant-messaging conversations at once. Shape Services, the makers of the popular IM+ instant-messaging app ($9.99 App Store link), have realized this, and are soon rolling out a new version of the app that includes speech-to-text, albeit at a price.
Taking advantage of Apple's recently released in-app payment system, 99 cents a month gets you the feature, meaning that the annual cost of continuing to use it is about $12 a year. Not bad … Read more
Trillian Astra has finally, officially replaced Trillian 3. Users who experienced the Astra beta will find the final version to be similar, with the biggest change being the features that are limited to the paid Pro version. If you're new to Trillian Astra, this update makes the multi-protocol chat client competitive again.
The differences between the two versions are enumerated here; the short of it is that the extras are nice--but they're merely extras. You'll still get the improved performance, and support for mainstream services like Yahoo, AOL, Google, and ICQ. MySpaceIM is supported, and Skype is … Read more
Updated Friday at 3:17 p.m. PDT with comments from Digsby.
When it comes to program installation, I'm a strong believer in caveat emptor. If a software publisher warns you during the installation process that it will install the Yahoo search bar or a Firefox extension along with its program, and makes it clear that you can opt out of it, then so be it. Nobody's forcing a gun to your head, and it's important to read each of the installation screens no matter which program you're installing--at the very least to make sure that … Read more
Multi-protocol messaging and VoIP communication client VoxOx is back with some new and impressive features amid claims of a more stable platform. Available for Windows and Mac, the freeware offers a robust Personal Assistant feature that includes call recording, call forwarding, call routing, and call screening, as well as expanded social-networking features and stronger back-end support to keep its multitude of services from getting disconnected.
VoxOx also has made a new-user sign-up bonus available to CNET Download.com users, which I'll explain at the bottom of this story.
The Personal Assistant feature introduced in the new version underlines VoxOx'… Read more
The Palm Pre is quickly becoming my lifeline. From posting to Twitter to checking my email, I'm doing more and more on the Pre. When I'm sitting outside enjoying the cool morning breeze I'm tackling my email inbox without having to drag out the laptop. While my kid is playing with the neighbor kids I'm conducting business just two feet away.
With all this technology at my fingertips, literally, I'm becoming more and more addicted to being connected. I can't decide if this is good or bad...
After unboxing the Pre I immediately installed … Read more
Good news on the IM front: AIM (Free Edition) and BeejiveIM 3.0 are among the first instant-messaging apps to support push notification, meaning you'll get alerted to new messages even when the apps aren't running.
If that sounds a bit familiar, it's because we reported on AIM's use in push-notification stress-testing about a week ago.
It also follows the news that uberpopular texting app TextFree was first out of the SMS gate with push support, allowing users to get new-message notifications while the iPhone is off or doing other things.
AIM offers a fairly robust … Read more
A variety of multiclient instant-messaging services have cropped up that allow users to communicate with each other over the Web. Some can be downloaded onto your desktop, while others can be accessed on the Internet. In either case, they're worth trying out, if you want to enjoy a fine experience communicating with your friends.Multiclient IM resources
Adium Adium is my favorite multiclient instant-messaging tool for a few reasons. It supports practically any IM platform around, including AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook, MySpace, Google Talk (via Jabber), and more. It even has a plug-in for Skype.
You'll rarely have any trouble communicating with friends in the service. But its most redeeming quality is that it's open source. So, if you want to modify the code to fit your own IM desires, that's possible. And those in the open-source community are constantly improving the product, whose updates typically install with ease.
When you download Adium (it's available forOS X), you'll have the option of choosing your IM service. By default, Adium takes on the same design as Mac OS X. But with the help of some plug-ins from Adium's site, called "Xtras," you can customize it as you see fit. Those add-ons include emoticons, dock icons, scripts, and more. I could go on about Adium, but I think that you get the point: if you're a Mac OS X user, it's worth trying out.
Digsby Digsby is a multifaceted tool that lets you communicate with friends over instant messaging, e-mail, or social networks. I recently took a look at its social-networking capabilities. After having the opportunity to use its IM services, I was just as impressed.
After installing Digsby on my Windows PC (Mac and Linux versions are reportedly on the way), I was able to log in to my accounts on AIM, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, and others. Digsby's app is designed well, with a more attractive interface than Adium's default skin. Digsby also gives you the option of sending an SMS text message from the application. Overall, I liked Digsby.… Read more
Yuuguu's approach to screen-sharing goes straight through your instant messaging clients, although they're not required to run the program. It's a multiprotocol messaging program that supports the biggest IM services--Yahoo, MSN, Google, AIM, ICQ, and Skype--in the hopes that rolling the services into one package will appeal to resource-conscience users.
When you want to initiate a sharing session, you click on the users' name and share the provided code. As with its competitors, both sides must agree to the share before it can begin. Unfortunately, Yuuguu doesn't support file-sharing, although you can transfer files via IM. … Read more
AOL continues its push to stay relevant with the latest upgrade to its chat program. In version 6.0, we saw the incorporation of tools that were mostly old hat to other chatware. This time around we get Twitter support, two built-in plug-ins, expanded mobile messaging, an easier way to switch skins, and a new Status message feature.
The two plug-ins are the biggest upgrades, with mixed results. Neither the QQ Games nor the AIM Tunes plug-ins worked in Vista, although they were fine on an XP machine. They both allow full control from the Buddy window, which is especially … Read more