Adium X (Formerly Adium, a simple AIM clone) is an extremely nice multi-protocol instant messaging client for Mac OS X, supporting AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, and ICQ. If you're coming from the Windows platform, you can think of Adium as Trillian for Mac OS X. It is probably the most capable IM client for the Macintosh, with a huge number of available options to customize the application to your liking, and it's actively updated and free, to boot.
Versions 0.50 and later are the culmination of more than a year-long rewrite of Adium, which now utilizes libpurple (formerly libgaim, the core part of Pidgin) to connect to multiple protocols, and is also based on a new plugin architecture. Partial address book integration, "cool" looking tabs, multiple protocols for instant messaging, and a compact contact list are some of the many features of the new Adium X.
Version 1.3 made a positively huge number of changes - easily enough to merit a 2.0 badge, which, for some reason, the authors eschewed. The online release notes for version 1.3 have complete details.
Version 1.3.10 makes the following additional changes:
"I just started using Adium and I love it. Tabbed chat! I have a few accounts and some overlap with friends who have accounts on the same servers. I am getting used to how they all appear in the contact list. When the novelty wears off I will probably turn off the quacking or change the sound. I like programs with a transparency option. For context, I have been using PSI for jabber lately. Before that Exodus. I have not got Yahoo to work yet. Might have something to do with .Ca vs .Com. I will keep trying."
"Thank youuuu! I have been stressing over my MSN for ages! Having to use crappy online ones because my MSN for Mac stopped working suddenly. Then stumbled across this and it's great! So thanks for a great programme! And no need for any changes - it's great as it is and changes seem to confuse my computer ... So annoying!"
(Version 0.89.1) "A VERY NICE multi-service instant messaging client. I love the ability to download scripts, soundsets and UI extras and easily install and use them with zero hassle. I've found Adium quite stable and easy to use. It's certainly the most attractive IM client I've ever used and I like it's easy to use log viewer and file transfers a lot. The only thing I wish it did is Webcam support. I hate having to fire up Yahoo's awful OS X client just to use my Webcam. Yuck."
—Jamie Kahn Genet
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From the AOL Instant Messenger home page: "AOL Instant Messenger combines AOL's popular "Buddy List" and "Instant Message" features. The "Instant Message" feature lets users send and respond to messages immediately while the "Buddy List" feature lets users know instantly when friends are online. Previously only available to [AOL] members, AOL is now delivering these features to Internet users worldwide." Another nice feature of the AIM service is that it's accessible via a web browser no matter where you are. Versions 4.6 and later feature ICQ integration, "Mobile IM" and other new features. Version 4.7 adds "friendly name support," allowing you to view people's actual names rather than cryptic IM addresses, and "multi-point file sharing" that allows you to share the contents of more than one folder.
"AIM for Mac" is a modern rewrite of the AIM client for Mac OS X (version 1.0, released in 2008, was the first major update in nearly 5 years). This version was built from the ground up "by Mac users for Mac users." Highlights of the new software include:
Version 2.1.296 changed the following issues from version 2.0:
"The Instant Messenger is a must have for all non AOL users. It is very easy to set up and quick to send and receive messages. If you don't like waiting for replies with E-Mail, this is the best solution. It doesn't take up much memory or hard drive space, both of which are scarce on my Performa 550. So for low memory, and high expectations, I definitely suggest that you download this now."
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Version 2.1.299 beta (July 22, 2010) is available for Mac OS X (Cocoa / Universal), making the following enhancements:
See the release notes for more information.
Chax is a free collection of minor modifications and additions that make using Apple's iChat more enjoyable.
Chax comes in two versions - 1.5 for Mac OS X 10.4 (iChat 3), and 2.1.2 for Mac OS X 10.5 (iChat 4).
Features of version 1.5 for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger include:
A detailed feature list with screen shots will provide you with even more information on this very handy - and free - product.
Version 1.5 adds/changes the following:
Features of Chax 2.2 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard include:
Version 2.2.2 adds/changes the following from version 2.2.1:
Features of Chax 3.0 for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard include:
Version 3.0.2 adds/changes the following from version 3.0.1:
"Chax adds critical features to iChat - most notably tabbed chat windows and notifications of IMs with actual names over the iChat icon in the dock - that enable iChat to function much better, but there is still much to be done. iChat isn't going to change for a while and Chax has only made so much progress. Nevertheless, Chax is essential for iChat users that need a little more functionality out of their chat program."
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Colloquy is a free, open source IRC client based upon the Firetalk IRC engine for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later. Its customizable, Cocoa-based interface will feel familiar to users of Apple's iChat, making it quite friendly and approachable for an IRC application. It is also fully compatibe with mIRC coloring, aind includes full DCC support.
Version 2.3 (4617) adds/changes the following:
Webmaster, Inc. produces ConferenceRoom, a highly-regarded browser-enabled chat/conferencing server application that runs on Mac OS X's UNIX layer ("Darwin").
Version 4.0 is a minor release that adds/changes the following:
The software is available for purchase in various configurations, ranging in price from $995 to $4,995. The evaluation editions are limited to 10 simultaneous users and contain features from the Professional Edition of ConferenceRoom.
Conversation is a free IRC client with DCC and MP3 channels support for Mac OS X. Its Cocoa-based interface will feel familiar to users of Apple's iChat, making it quite friendly and approachable for an IRC application. Version 2.14 adds/changes the following:
"Conversation is by far the most Mac-like IRC client listed on The Mac Orchard. It's extremely easy and user-friendly. It is modeled on iChat, so the learning curve is almost zero. The interface is clean, simple, and easy. I can't speak to whether it compares to Snak or Ircle in functionality, but (at least) as a beginner's program, it's superb. Besides, you can't beat the price (free)!"
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Digi-Net Technologies, Inc. produces DigiChat, a Java-based client and server chat system for Web content providers. DigiChat and its sister product - DigiChat AV - feature a number of features that are summarized on the DigiChat Feature Set page.
Please note: Fire has officially been discontinued as of February 23, 2007. The authors note: "We are saddened to announce that there will be no future versions of Fire. There are several reasons for this end, but the most notable is the loss of developers. Fire's development had dwindled to few developers who do not wish to continue the project alone. In addition, another major contributing factor is the fact that all but one of Fire's IM libraries is no longer in active development. The good news is that two of Fire's developers have joined the Adium team and have written a transition path. Adium 1.0, upon first launch, will import your Fire accounts, away messages, groups, buddies, and logs into Adium. For future updates and IM needs, we suggest that you look at Adium." However, the latest released version of Fire will continue to be available. More...
Fire is a free, attractive, multi-protocol instant messaging service for Mac OS X (written in Cocoa, Mac OS X's native programming environment). Currently, Fire handles AIM, ICQ, MSN, IRC, Jabber, and Yahoo! Pager protocols. Fire benefits from all the work that has been done on Linux to support these protocols; the "services" Fire provides are built off of open source/GNU Public License software libraries written for Linux, and compiled into a nice, attractive OS X front end. This is among the first of many pieces of software that will undoubtedly be brought to the OS X platform this way. Version 1.5.6 (for Mac OS X 10.2 and later only) makes the following changes:
"One of the first native messaging clients for Mac OS X, this program - although still far from beta - fills the bill nicely. The best feature is that it is not another messaging standard; rather, it supports AOL IM, Yahoo, and ICQ messenger services in one program. That's right - chat with all of your contacts across three IM services with one program and one on-line buddy list. A must have for OS X users and it will only get better. MSN support is planned as well. Freeware."
"Being relatively new to Macintosh and to Macintosh applications, I was pleasantly surprised to find this one, Fire, an instant messaging client made specifically for Macintosh OS X. Fire is indeed an attractive program which allows the user to connect to all of the major networks, as well as import your contacts from lesser known programs (Adium, etc.). You can also use encryption for all your instant messaging if you so desire. I am absolutely thrilled with this program, though due to faults not of its own, sometimes connecting with "certain" networks is more difficult than others. It is an application that I use on a daily basis. I have never understood why people who use this application find time to find its faults...sure, it can be an inconvenience, but the creator of this program has it under active development, and it's FREE. I love this thing!."
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Centrinity produces the FirstClass email and workgroup communication/collaboration system. Server software includes FirstClass Business Edition and FirstClass Education Edition.
FirstClass Client 10.009 is primarily a bugfix release; version 10.0 added/changed the following:
FirstClass Server 10 also introduces a number of changes that are fully detailed in the online release notes.
FirstClass Client requires Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later; FirstClass Server requires Mac 10.5.4 or later running on a 64-bit Intel processor. More details are available.
You can find the latest version on FirstClass Online in the Conferences/Downloads/FirstClass Product Updates section of your software. Ensure that you review the Upgrade Instructions located there, and have your FirstClass upgrade license before proceeding with an upgrade. You should find the upgrade license in your FirstClass Online account mailbox or can complete an online request form for it.
See the online support page for more information.
Note: Gizmo5 has been acquired by Google and software is temporarily unavailable. Read more.
Similar to Skype (but based upon the comparatively open SIPphone protocol), Gizmo5 uses your Internet connection (broadband or dial-up) to make free calls to other computers. Inexpensive add-ons called "Call In" and "Call Out" enable you to talk to people on any mobile telephone or land line. Features include:
Version 22.214.171.1249 - the first release in over two (!) years - adds/changes the following:
ICQ is one of the most widely used chat "buddy" systems on the Net today, and this is a long-awaited port of the software to the Macintosh. ICQ informs you who's on-line at any time and enables you to contact them at will, alerting you in real time when they log on. ICQ, allows you to chat, send messages, files and URLs, play games, or just hang out with your fellow 'Netters' while still surfing the Net. Unfortunately, Mirabilis pays much less attention to its Mac development than its Windows development, so there are woeful differences in the capabilities of the two versions. Because of this, Gerry's ICQ, a privately-written alternative available above, has become quite popular. Version 3.4.23 - the latest non-beta release for Mac OS 9 & Mac OS X - adds/changes the following from version 3.2:
"Somehow, Mirabilis has managed to make a complete pig's ear of version 2.5. Problems include: common crashes, an astoundingly annoying tendency for it to turn on balloon help while in the background, incompatibility with many other clients (e.g., many clients get no acknowledgement when sending messages to me, file transfers often don't work, multi-person chats cause it to give in and quit), and many many other annoying "features". I know it's supposed to be a beta, but this is ridiculous. Stick to the previous version if you have it, and avoid this one like the plague."
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Icy Juice is a free, open source ICQ client for Mac OS X. The software is architected in such a way as to encourage support for many languages other than English. The author notes, "Icy Juice is still not feature-complete, and the current release is a preview and an invitation for users to express their needs and expectations from an ICQ client and for developers to take part in this open source project in one way or another."
Version 1.0.2 adds/changes the following:
ircII is an IRC and ICB client that runs under most UNIX platforms. It runs as a command-line application, comes in source form, and is completely free of any charges or fees. The ircII project is a group of people who maintain the source code, incorporating fixes and new features.
Version 20081115 adds/changes the following from the previous release (20060725):
Unfortunately, there is currently no pre-built version for Mac OS X, so using this release will require that you have the Mac OS X Developer Tools installed. But I have verified that ircII builds without modification on Mac OS X; just follow the instructions in the "INSTALL" file included in the download, and you'll be set. (You might want to make your object directory "obj-osx" rather than "obj-sparc" if it makes you feel better, though!)
The premiere Internet Relay Chat program for the Mac. I'm not much for IRC, but this is a client that really impresses me. It's rock solid, has a great interface, and is filled with features. From the Info-Mac abstract: Ircle takes less space (disk or RAM), is more stable, and responds faster than Homer. A must for slow Macs." While version the version 3.1 series has made a host of changes, version 3.1.2 specifically adds/changes the following:
"Ircle is the current reigning heavyweight champion of Macintosh IRC clients. Although the learning curve is a bit steeper than other IRC clients, the climb is more than worth it. Ircle is simply the most stable, most powerful IRC client available for Mac. The developer, "Onno," is always working on improvements, and can often be found on Undernet's "#macintosh" channel soliciting comments from users. Ircle features simple IRC macros, DCC Chat and file transfers, a "progress bar" type memory readout (so you don't open TOO many channels at once!) and the most recent 2.6 alpha even uses drag and drop (that's right, kick a troublesome user by dragging his name to the "Kick" button!) Too many other features to mention in a short space."
"I've only been using IRC for a few months now, and used Homer originally. I had so many problems with it--loss of connection and freezeups--that I was ready to quit trying to chat online entirely. One of my friends suggested I try Ircle. From the first time I tried it, I have had none of the freezeups and almost no "bumpoffs" that were driving me crazy with Homer. If I were to recommend an IRC program for the Mac, it would be Ircle, without a doubt."
"I have been using Ircle for about 6 months now, and let me tell you, I have had a lot of fun using it. You can adjust the background--and the text--to whatever colors you wish! And the DCC chat protocol is absolutely wonderful. You can chat privately with another user, and send files back and forth. It is fast and very stable. I am absolutely hooked on Ircle.... [It's the] very best chat client for Mac users! On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Ircle an 11!"
"I can only concur with the other praises listed in your user reviews site. Ircle is tops; add to it Wardawg's MacPack [and] AAirchat Font and you can leave even the most sophisticated Pirch for PC user behind in the dust. I *love* Ircle and can only thank Onno for the effort put into developing this wonderful application. It makes chat sessions a delight!"
"The other reviews are quite correct about Ircle's reliability and usability. As a user of other irc clients, I should like to point out that the normal irc II commands are a *strength* of this client. Unfortunately, ircle *still* does not support loading of ircII scripts, nor does it implement the /ignore feature correctly. If you wish to /ignore someone msging you, or if you only wish to /ignore tedious sound requests, you must ignore everything from that person."
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Version 3.5a6 for Mac OS X (Carbon / Universal, May 20, 2008) is now available, adding/changing the following:
The online release notes have more information.
IRCStep is a relatively mature (it's been under development since 1998) IRC client, originally written for NeXT OpenStep (Steve Jobs' prior effort at a usable Unix), and now ported to OS X (Cocoa). Since it is of Japanese origin, it is also seamlessly capable of working with Japanese (2-byte) Kanji. IRCStep is also compatible with SOCKS5 firewalls. IRCStep is distributed as freeware.
nanoCom Corporation produces the iSpQ VideoChat cross-platform video conferencing software, considered by many people to be one of the best videoconferencing systems available. The fully-functioning 21-day trial version features many improvements and additions.
Version 8.1 adds/changes the following:
iVisit LLC produces the iVisit multiparty, serverless videoconferencing software that is developed, in part, by Tim Dorcey, the original creator of CU-SeeMe.
Version 3.5.1 - the latest release for "Classic" Mac OS - adds/changes the following:
Version 3.7.2 - the latest release for Mac OS X - adds/changes the following from the previous release, 3.7.1:
iXQ is a new open source ICQ Client for Mac OS X. It is developed in Objective-C and it implements the new protocol of AOL, OSCAR (ICQv7). iXQ can import contact lists from Fire, Gerry's ICQ and ICQ; offers a fair number of preference settings, and has a very clean interface. Version V2 added/changed the following:
JabberFoX is a free Jabber client for Mac OS X whose name stands for "Jabber For OS X." Jabber is an open source instant messaging system fully based on XML. Thanks to the server-side Jabber Agents, Jabber clients can communicate with users of other instant messaging systems, like AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN, or IRC. JabberFoX is written in Objective-C using Apple's Cocoa API, and makes good use of Aqua, Mac OS X's cool new user interface system. It aims at implementing all of the standard Jabber features including chat, group chat, messages, the roster (buddylist), and agents. Eventually, the authors hope to incorporate all of the features of the Jabber protocol, including browsing, strong encryption and the new conferencing protocol. Version 0.4.1 adds/changes the following:
LimeChat is an modern, clean and simple IRC client for Mac OS X. Its features include one window for multiple servers, rich keyboard shortcuts, and fast and stable performance.
Version 2.15 adds/changes the following:
Linkinus is an advanced IRC client for Mac OS X whose main draw is a clean, modern interface that is simple to use. Features include:
While other Mac IRC clients may be:
. . . Linkinus aims to be none of these things, which is a worthy goal.
Linkinus 2.1.2 adds/changes the following:
"I just switched from X-Chat Aqua to Linkinus and I'm sold :-) This app is awesome! It's a killer app."
—Wim De Smet
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MacIrssi is a powerful, free, open source IRC client that is based on the *nix IRC client irssi (http://www.irssi.org/), combining the power of the irssi engine with an elegant and flexible GUI. MacIrsse supports all of the themes and scripts available at http://www.irssi.org/ without modification.
Version 0.8.6.6 adds/changes the following:
PeopleCube produces Meeting Maker, a cross-platform groupware calendaring product that supports Macs, Windows, DOS, Unix, and OS/2, and has concurrent support for TCP/IP and IPX, SMTP mail notification for non-users, data caching, and built-in proxy and resource capabilities.
Version 8.7 (available only to registered users) adds/changes the following:
Yet another Instant Messaging program, Microsoft Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) is Microsoft's equivalent to the AOL Instant Messenger product. However, Microsoft Messenger 6 and 7 are compatible with the Office Communications Server products used in many corporate environments.
Version 2.5 (for Mac OS 8.6-9.x) makes the following changes:
Version 6 - for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later only - brought the following major enhancements:
Version 6.0.3 makes the following additional changes:
Version 7 - for Mac OS X 10.4.9 and later only - brings the following major enhancements:
Messenger for Mac 7.0.2 improves overall quality and conversations with Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2.
Other versions are still available for Mac OS X 10.1.3 - 10.3.
[Classic version] "I haven't really had a chance to play much with the program, since not many folks I know are on the MSN chat network, but this seems to be one of the easier chat programs I've seen, on a par with AIM, and way ahead of the awful client ICQ has. The Hotmail alerts are great."
[Classic version] "While I've heard it's slightly more stable on OS 9, and the X-native version is reported to work well, it's terribly buggy and extremely crash-prone running through CarbonLib 1.6 on OS 8.6. As soon as another party sends you a message, the whole OS locks up. Under 1.5, it was at least partially usable; you could IM successfully for around half an hour before it would finally go down in flames. Under 1.4, it was even more stable, but still nowhere near perfect. Overall, I would not recommend this client for OS 8.6 under any circumstances."
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the Carbon version (2.5.1) for Mac OS 8.6 - 9.x.
the Carbon / Universal version (6.0.3) for Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
the Carbon / Universal version (7.0.2) for Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later.
to download an older version for Mac OS X 10.1.3 - 10.3.
Version 8.0 Beta (Carbon / Intel) for Mac OS X 10.5 and later provides real-time collaboration between people in different locations. You can use instant messaging and audio and video calls to communicate with your contacts. More information is available on the beta site.
ohphoneX (pronounced as "oh-fone-ten") is an H.323 compliant client application for video conferencing and IP telephony. It can be used to communicate with all sorts of H.323 software, including Microsoft NetMeeting. It uses the protocol stack developed by the OpenH323 Project. ohphoneX is the first application from the XMeeting Project, the goal is to bring standard based video conferencing and IP telephony application to Mac OS X. For more information about ohphoneX and the XMeeting project, please visit the XMeeting web site at http://xmeeting.sourceforge.net/.
ohphoneX is designed to be a simple application that does Mac-to-Mac and Mac-to-PC audio/video conferencing, as well as Mac-to-Phone voice only communication. Therefore, advanced features such as multi-party conferencing and answering machine are not included in this release. However, these feature will be included in other applications from the XMeeting project.
Version 0.4.3 adds/changes the following:
Proteus is a simple and attractive Mac OS X instant messaging application that supports the ICQ, MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Jabber and Yahoo! Messenger protocols. One distinctive feature of Proteus is that it separates the user interface from the actual services that interact with IM servers. These services run in self-contained daemon application that handles each connection independently. Some distinctive features include:
Version 4.2 adds bug fixes and new icons.
"I started off using Fire in OS X, then I found Proteus. Proteus is a neat, simple, easy to install chat client that picks up and handles all of my existing chat accounts in one simple interface. The message windows can be 'docked' so that only one message window takes up screen real-estate, and you can even broadcast messages among a list of users in your 'buddy' lists, so that it ends up acting like a pseudo-chat room. Neato."
(Version 4.1) "In my quest for a good, attractive and powerful multi-service IM client I tried Proteus, but after using Adium I was unimpressed. Adium does everything Proteus does, and far more. The fact that Adium does it for free sealed Proteus' fate. Proteus was dragged to the trash and I'll keep using Adium until Proteus improves. I simply couldn't find any advantages to using Proteus over Adium, and little advantage over Fire (Proteus is a wee bit more attractive than Fire - but that's all)."
—Jamie Kahn Genet
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Psi is a free, open source Jabber client for Mac OS X. (Jabber is an open source instant messaging system fully based on XML. Thanks to the server-side Jabber Agents, Jabber clients can communicate with users of other instant messaging systems, like AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN, or IRC.) Psi is small, fast and responsive. It uses a graphical toolkit called Qt, which takes on the appearance of whichever operating system you run it on. For this reason, Psi doesn't use 'skins'. We'd rather it blend with your desktop like any other application. Psi has full support for Unicode. Unicode allows Psi to send and receive messages in other languages, even ones that aren't based upon the English letterset. In fact, you are able to use Psi in your choice of eight different languages, with more on the way. Cross-platform compatibility is important to the Psi development team; they believe that you should be able to use whichever operating system you wish. In keeping with this belief, there is a version for each of the three major OS's: Microsoft Windows XP, Apple Mac OS X and GNU/Linux/KDE3.
Version 0.14 adds/changes the following:
Startly Technologies, LLC (formerly CE Software) produces QuickConference (formerly "Prairie"), an instant messaging system that is geared toward business use.
Servers are available for Windows and "Classic" Mac OS, and clients are available for Windows, "Classic" Mac OS, and Mac OS X. Pricing starts at $119.95 for a 5-user bundle. Downloads are in the form of 30-day demonstration versions.
(Formerly MacPopUp.) From the QuickPopup home page: "QuickPopup is a program that allows Mac users to exchange instant messages with other users on any local area network (LAN). With QuickPopup, you can send and receive messages from different operating systems such as Mac OS, Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows for Workgroups, Linux and other UNIX OSes. QuickPopup is compatible with the Microsoft WinPopup application and the similar clients in other operating systems." (Note: While QuickPopup is a TCP/IP-based application, it is geared for use on local area networks (LANs), not via the Internet.)
While no information is available regarding what's new in version 4.5 (other than the fact that the Mac OS X version is available as a Universal Binary that runs natively on Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs), version 4.1 added/changed the following:
Skype is a free program for Mac OS X (as well as Windows, Linux and Pocket PC) that lets you make free calls to your friends all over the world. After you download, register, and install, you plug in your headset, speakers or USB phone to start calling your friends. The calls have good sound quality and are secured with end-to-end encryption. The optional paid SkypeOut service lets you make calls to old-fashioned phone numbers all around the world. Additionally, Skype allows you to transfer files and participate in plain, old-fashioned instant messaging as well.
Version 126.96.36.1991 addresses the following:
Skype operates on a peer-to-peer model, wherein users of the Skype network help route other users' calls around the globe, which may consume your bandwidth unexpectedly if the conditions are right. See the Skype Wikipedia article for more information.
Snak is a spectacular (and actively updated) IRC client that shares top billing with Ircle as the most preferred IRC client for the Mac. Snak author Kent Sorensen has worked very hard in the last few years at making Snak into the finest experience possible. It is fairly simple (during the first run, a setup assistant walks you through the setup process), yet it's customizable, and it has a guardian feature that lets parents limit what channels a child can use. It's also powerfully scriptable.
Version 5.3.3, available (and optimized for) Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later, makes the following improvements:
"I've used "Ircle" and "Homer," and "Snak" seems much better to me. I've been using Kent Sorensen's "Snak" (Danish for Chat) version 4.5.2 for a little while now. "Snak" has a very easy interface. I like that everything is in the same window, but I've read where you can change this to your liking. It offers a lot of features that I haven't even used yet, and has some great documentation. "Snak" handles various IRC scripts (even from "Ircle"). I like using the PowerMac's built-in speech with it, but what I really like is that "Snak" is just a good, solid IRC client program that won't crash or freeze up like the other IRC clients. Give it a try."
"Without a doubt, Snak should be added to your Essential list. It is by far the BEST IRC client for the Mac, in feature set, and well as ease of use. Nothing even comes close to providing as stable and reliable of an IRC experience as Snak does. It also has all the power tools you might need as an admin to manage your channels. I strongly feel that this program is not getting the recognition that it deserves. I have used Ircle, I have used Snak . . . after a while, you will be using Snak only as well. Give this program the credit it deserves!! It is the best Mac IRC client there is; actually [it's] one of the best IRC clients of ANY platform. (No, I don't work for the guy who makes Snak, this program is just that good!)"
"Snak has emerged as the main competitor for Ircle. It is the only other full-featured, user-friendly IRC client for Mac OS. If you're not happy with Ircle, you must try out Snak. Although not as well established as Ircle, Snak has now been under very heavy development for many years, and has caught up to (and overtaken) Ircle in the feature race. Its interface is somewhat more streamlined, with more things contained in a single window per channel. It supports scripting using the classic ircII language as well as AppleScript such as for Ircle. There are many other smart features such as multiple servers per network so that if one server doesn't work, it automatically tries the next in a list. The help is excellent (both built in and separately in the user manual), which is more than you can say for Ircle."
—Joseph Lo, Ph.D., webmaster of http://www.irchelp.org/
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Glass Bead Software, LLC produces SnapTalk, a cross-platform (Windows & Mac) instant messaging system, which, like its SnapMail product, is a peer-to-peer system that doesn't require a server.
Pricing starts at $16/user for 1-9 users, and quantity pricing is available.
Version 5.1.1 adds/changes the following:
Trillian is one of the most beloved multi-protocol instant messaging clients for Windows. Now, after many years of waiting, there is finally a version (albeit an alpha) for the Macintosh. Whether Trillian becomes a worthy competitor to Adium remains to be seen, but it's nice to have some competition.
Trillian for Mac alpha currently supports the following protocols:
However, in its alpha phase, it's still missing a few protocols and other features of its Windows sibling, including support for:
Version 188.8.131.52 alpha adds/changes the following:
VChat is a CU-Seeme video conferencing client for use with Mac OS X. With VChat you can participate in group conferences by connecting to a CU-SeeMe reflector or you can also have one-on-one conferencing with another person.
Version 1.1a11 adds/changes the following:
Imagine a fusion of Skype (video conferencing and audio phone calls) and Adium (multi-protocol instant messaging), but add support for multi-protocol text messaging, social networking, file sharing and email, and you have VoxOx.
VoxOx is not a typical Mac OS X "Cocoa" or "Carbon" application, but rather it was written as a cross-platform application using the portable Qt/Mac framework, similar to Google Earth. That said, it functions quite well, and it's worth a download.
The software is now in a free beta cycle, but it is being developed by an corporate VoIP company (TelCentris), whose plan is to ultimately sell an expanded version of the product for professionals.
While VoxOx requires you to register with its service (which requires confirmation via an SMS messaging service), this only enables its advanced call routing and answering service functions. The other functions will still work with the software in unregistered form.
The latest version of 2.0.8 introduces the following new features:
Web Crossing, Inc. produces Web Crossing, a high-end, high performance news/chat/discussion server system that runs on many platforms, including Mac OS and Mac OS X. Web Crossing may be extended via a host of plugins that provide a great variety of additional functionality, from blogs to wikis, and beyond. Features include:
Web Crossing also produces bundled solution suites (groups of plugins forming a complete, integrated package) that provide the Web Crossing product in special configurations for three select environments:
Pricing depends upon the combination of users, page views, and features that you choose. See the official pricing page for more information.
The widely-used, cross-platform WebEx service provides powerful on-demand web conferencing capabilities for a subscription fee. Of all of the "big-name" online web-based conferencing services, however, only WebEx provides smooth-running, native support for the Macintosh. The free WebEx Meeting Center software requires Mac OS 10.2.x or later and runs in Internet Explorer 5.2 or Safari 1.1 or later.
From the X-Chat Aqua home page: "X-Chat Aqua is a Mac OS X IRC client. If you are familiar with XChat for UNIX/GTK+/X Windows, then you will be at home with X-Chat Aqua. X-Chat Aqua uses the IRC engine from XChat and has been designed to look and feel like XChat." The author expects to add additional Mac-only features in the future.
Version 0.16.0 adds/changes the following:
Note: As of March 22, 2008, the author is actively seeking Cocoa developers to take over this project.
From the Xirc home page: "Xirc for Mac OS X is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) application completely written in Cocoa / Objective C. It is compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.8 and later. With Xirc you are able to talk with other people in the world, and exchange files with them. Xirc supports Audio Chat, DCC transfer, proxy connections (HTTP, v4, v4a, v5) and secure connections (SSL v2,v3). It is fully customizable and scriptable via AppleScript or using the powerful 'C-like' internal scripting language."
Version 0.9.9 adds/changes the following:
Xirc operates as a fully functional trial for 30 days.
"[0.9.9 (212)] Will there be any more development to Xirc? I like the features that are there, such as the active chat feed for the channels open, as well as the ability to colourize your type. The scripts could be easier to use. It would be nice if the buddy list would auto set alphabetically and that the active buddy identifier would show if a buddy is on in the rooms user list. Also I think that Colloquy's "get info" of users and the Channel op controls are just pick and click, making it straightforward to use. If Xirc and Colloquy were combined that would be a great app. As it stands, if the development is not going forward or at all, who am I paying 24 dollars to and why? Final opinion - Xirc is worth the time/the money, [but] what else do you get for it ?."
—Victor Bentley, 4/9/2007
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Yet another Instant Messaging program, Yahoo! Messenger is the Yahoo's equivalent to the AOL Instant Messenger product, above. In addition to allowing you to chat, it also provides a very basic portal to your My Yahoo! news, stocks, sports and weather information. Yahoo! Messenger requires OS 8.5 or later. Although it's not clear what has changed in version 2.5.3 (although Yahoo! recently modified their protocols, and this update purportedly addresses this), version 2.5 added/changed the following:
"Has a promising outlook but not up to the Windows version. There is no Chat icon to access the Chat rooms and if that feature is built into the problem then you can't find it. [The] Mac version has a long way to go and must include access to the vast Yahoo Chat Room network to come up to the Windows version."
"Version 2.5.3 is awful. It's ugly, features like file transfer fail to work at all, if you're broadcasting your webcam and quit it crashes 99.9% of the time. It's slow, highly buggy. Just plain awful software with only one feature that will ever make anyone trouble themselves to use it - webcam support. On to version 3.0b1. A much nicer UI than 2.5.3 which is very welcome. Sadly it's EVEN slower, buggier and it freezes with the spinning beach ball of doom when someone tries to view your webcam. Thus the only redeeming feature of Yahoo Messenger doesn't work at all in the latest version. Why anyone would use Yahoo Messenger in favour of a solid, stable IM program like Adium or Fire is beyond me."
—Jamie Kahn Genet
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Version 3.0.1 Beta 7 Build 35554 (March 29, 2010; Cocoa / Universal) is the 14th release of the first major Yahoo! Messenger release for the Mac in since 2003. It's a complete rewrite that is a Universal Binary for PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.4 and later. New features in beta 7 include:
Previous changes in this beta series include:
See the blog for more information.
Yak Community Client is a free product from yak communications inc. that enables you to participate in its many Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service offerings, including the yakForFree service. yakForFree allows you to make free voice and video calls to anyone else on the Internet who is also using yakForFree.
To make calls to regular phones, be they landline or cellular phones anywhere in the world, you would need to upgrade to one of yak's three subscription services: yakToAnyone, yakBasic, or yakUnlimited. You can upgrade via the yak Community website or by clicking the upgrade button on the yak Virtual VideoPhone.
yakForFree includes all of the features of standard telephones, including hold and conferencing.
Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:
Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.
Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.
These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!