Trillian Astra

I’ve been a Trillian user for quite some time, having used one of the first versions in beta form. Sadly, the current version has been showing its age and late last year I was forced to stop using it because it had become unreliable on the Windows Live Messenger platform, which I use for work.  I felt I had held out long enough and the next version was nowhere to be found (well, it has been under development seemingly forever), so I gave in and went back to using multiple chat clients.

Fast forward to last week when it was brought to my attention that the next version of Trillian, called Astra, was available in a limited beta.  I quickly signed up and have been very pleased since.

Kudos to Cerulean Studios for all of their hard work, it is very clear they have put alot of thought into this “chat client”.  I won’t go into the laundry list of features, but will mention a few that I really like:

  • Settings are tied to a single Trillian account, so I don’t have to redefine connections between the 3 computers I use. 
  • iPhone support coming!
  • Twitter integration – tweets are listed in the main window where contacts are.
  • Facebook integration – near-immediate updates without having to login to the website.
  • A very well designed logging and log searching system.  I rely heavily on this for work, and being able to search by date in a nice UI is great.  AIM, Live, and past versions of Trillian have been lacking here.

I mention that it seems very well thought out, here’s an example.  When alerts of some kind happen, there’s a small unobtrusive “popup” window that appears for a few moments and then goes away.  Yeah, nothing new there.  BUT I have noticed that birthday alerts from Facebook don’t just go away – you have to close them yourself.  There’s a decent chance that if it just stayed visible for just a few seconds, you’d miss it completely.  Good design, I like it.

I used the beta all of 2 days before deciding to purchase.  Thanks for bringing my chat client back, Cerulean!

I have 4 beta invites remaining, let me know if you want to give it a try.