Trillian's all-in-one instant messaging client made its name by offering chat-happy users a single account where they could connect with friends from all the major IM networks. While the popularity of some networks it supports has dwindled, Trillian has only improved.
Probably one of our favorites for chat programs on the iPhone, Heysan lets you sign in on three different popular networks. You'll be able to log in to MSN, AIM, and ICQ for instant access to your buddy lists and regular chat commands. Yahoo and GTalk are coming soon, according to the developer's Web site.
iPhone link: http://m.heysan.com/
Web site link: http://heysan.com/
It's unsettling to think of malware as cutting-edge technology, but its trickery has evolved alongside Internet trends like instant-messaging services Yahoo Messenger and AIM. Chris discovered this relationship when he clicked a faux-photo link in an IM message, letting loose a worm that instantly hijacked his buddy list. Would his friends now think he was perpetrating malware?
Find out Chris' defense and get the lowdown on IM spam (also called "spim") in this week's Spyware Horror Story.
If you're a social creature, Camfrog is a megapopular internationally-trafficked chat site that seamlessly integrates video and text chat, the Web 2.0 version of the old "party lines" that people used to call in to.
The schmoozing features include regular quizzes, as well as guitar instruction and deaf-specific chats, among others. Watch this First Look at Camfrog video to see if it's your kind of party.
This weekend has been a rather busy one for iPhone developers. Adobe Systems hosted the iPhoneDevCamp in its San Francisco offices, and the result is 50 new Web apps specifically designed for Apple's shiny new toy. Earlier today we wrote about some of our favorites, although one of the more important ones that didn't come out the developer's event was the new iPhone-optimized version of Trillian from Cerulean Studios. From the looks of the pictures on their blog, it looks a lot like iChat, and more important is finger- and eye-friendly, especially when compared to Meebo's current offerings.… Read more
When asked why, I usually reply that all of my friends use Yahoo Messenger, but the real answer is more embarrassing: emoticons. How could I live without "dancing guy," "big hug," "green vomit," "talk to the hand," or "laughing skull?"
For those of you who also like those goofy Yahoo emoticons, there's good news. Yahoo is planning to add 10 new emoticons to its instant messenger, and it's running a contest to let users submit their own entries and vote on their favorites.… Read more
Today, users of AOL Mail can start chatting from within their in-boxes, without having to open the AIM application. If you want to add this feature to your AOL Mail account, then visit beta.webmail.aol.com each time you log in, which will roll the new features into your existing AOL e-mail service. The changes are set to take effect later today. Gmail and Yahoo Mail beta both offer built-in chatting.
ooVoo is a free, standalone desktop chat application that has both a text and video chat capabilities. Its official launch is next week, but the beta has been available since mid April. I took it for a spin this morning and came away impressed.
There are a ton of chat clients out there, so one of the things it has done to differentiate itself is multiperson video chat. ooVoo can handle as many as six people in one video conference, which is two more than what iChat is capable of. Users can drop in and out of conversations, and the video windows will scale with a similar effect to iChat's "swoop." Along with video, users can chat among themselves with their computer's microphone or a headset. There are volume controls for both speakers and the microphone right in the chat window, a handy addition.
I found the video and audio to be fairly clear, even when topped off at six users. ooVoo's creators tell me that when running full six-user video, it will take up only half the bandwidth on a low-end DSL connection. Assuming you're not downloading or uploading large files in the background, your connection shouldn't drag to a halt.
In addition to live video and text chat, ooVoo doubles as a video e-mail service. Users can send each other video messages as long as a minute in length that are available right in the app or via e-mail. Users who get the e-mail are also provided a link that takes them to a live flash version of the video, so they can access it while away from their home machine.
For people interested in adding a quick way to be reached on their social networking profile or Web site, ooVoo gives users the option to embed a quick contact button that will automatically launch an ooVoo conversation if installed. I've posted an example image of this on the left side of this post.
ooVoo is not alone in the multiperson video chat space; competitor SightSpeed also offers a free video and text chat service. The main difference is that SightSpeed is aimed at businesses and limits video chat to four users at a time with a monthly subscription fee.
ooVoo is currently available only for Windows users, although the team is releasing a beta for Macs in about six weeks. Users on both platforms will be able to chat with one another using the same client.
Chat clients might be my favorite method for quick communication on my Mac at home or at work. Falling somewhere between the telephone and e-mail programs when it comes to communication, a good chat client offers advantages over both that make them unique and useful for anyone. They're especially helpful at work for sending links and files when the formality of an e-mail is too cumbersome for what you're trying to communicate.
BBC News is reporting that British Telecom (BT) is teaming up with Sony to develop a voice and video communication service (via VoIP) for the Playstation Portable. Riding on BT's 21 Century Network, users of the software will be able to communicate with other PSPs, as well as some BT phones, using their own Internet service or one of the 2,000 BT hot-spot locations scattered across the U.K.
BT says that more information about the software and service will be announced at the Leipzig Games Convention in August. The camera and microphone kit, dubbed the "Go … Read more