Latest AIM Client for Mac OS X is Slick

by Derrick Story

One of my hopes is that software companies view Mac OS X as a opportunity to enhance their offerings instead of merely porting the same old applications to the Unix-based OS.



The latest AIM client for Mac OS X, version 4.5.4, adds some features I've never seen before on a Mac, and brings back a couple of favorites. In the ReadMe for this version, the software team does a nice job of keeping users posted on what's new and what's coming down the pike.



My favorite new item is the enhanced Mail Status display that I can set up in the reconfigured My Account Settings dialogue box. Previously I was only notified when mail arrived in my AOL account. Now I can add any POP account that I want and set how often AIM checks those accounts.



AIM scans those e-mail accounts according to the parameters I establish, and when mail arrives in one, the flag goes up and the whistle sounds. There's a drop-down arrow next to the mailbox, that if I click on it, shows me the subject, sender, and time stamp for the letter, so I don't even have to switch to my e-mail client to see what's arrived. Now that's convenient.



In the My Account Settings dialogue box, I can indicate which e-mail client I want to use to open the letters displayed in the AIM Mail Status window. If a letter arrives that I want to read, then I simply click on my account and AIM sends me over to my preferred client.



Another new feature that I tested was the Send a File or Folder function. This still needs some refinement, but I sent several text documents and Jpegs to others through the AIM client. Very handy.



Now there's AppleScript support too, and they provide a folder full of sample scripts to boot. Adding scriptability to this client is consistent with Apple's renewed vigor toward AppleScript.



I haven't covered all the features here, and more are on the way, including emoticons and file sharing. But clearly the software team for the Mac OS X AIM client are taking this opportunity to improve their product. And as a fan of Mac OS X, that's exactly what I want to see.



Download the new client and let me know what you think.


6 Comments

derrick
2001-12-31 12:20:39
Slick Alright, But at What Cost?
I received an interesting note from a reader who said he measured the CPU load for the new AIM client on his Pismo 400, and that it consistently used 25-30 percent of his CPU resources. I opened the CPU Monitor and took a look for myself. Even though I had not felt any performance impact from using the AIM client on my TiBook, AIM was indeed using about 30 percent of the clock cycles. Hmmmm ... What's a good alternative for Mac OS X users who want something more trim? Maybe Fire is just what the CPU doctor ordered.
morbus
2002-01-02 13:36:34
Slick Alright, But at What Cost?
I've used Fire, and from an AIM point of view, it works wonderfully. It does seem to have some problem with ICQ clients, mostly because of the difference in protocol.


I've also heard good things of Proteus, although the interface is just too ugly for me, and you can't delete contacts from auto-downloaded server lists.

apex
2002-01-16 19:41:57
Slick Alright, But at What Cost?
Try Adium, it is an amazing alternative to AIM which uses ~2% cpu on a g4 450. It's on versiontracker, in the osx section.
netjunky69
2002-04-23 09:08:22
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2004-12-21 08:01:40
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Dylan Orvell
2006-02-01 04:31:48
Adium is the best mac aim, yahoo and ANYTHING client. You can customize EVERY aspect of it. ANYthing you want do to with it you can. I rate is 100000x better than iChat, Aim, or anything else.
It's community site has adium fans submitting various addons and mods to adium