Download of the Week: Trillian Astra

By on June 11, 2009, 6:38 PM
Its been a long time coming but Cerulean Studios has finally released albeit in public beta form the next major version of its multi-protocol instant messaging client, Trillian Astra. It supports the usual IM networks (Yahoo, Google, ICQ, Windows Live, AOL, Jabber/XMPP) as well as other services like MySpace, Facebook, Skype, and Twitter, and you can even use the program to stay on top of your various email accounts.


Installation was quick and easy it comes bundled with the Ask toolbar but you can uncheck that option during the process. For those still using the long-abandoned version 3.1 of the client, all settings are imported without hiccups, while menus and options remain familiar although with a few additions and a fresh look. Admittedly, the first thing I did was change that hideous ultramodern default skin for the much cleaner and simpler Trillian Cobalt; it's a matter of taste, so your experience may vary.


On the features front, Trillian comes as packed as ever, but some are available in the Pro version only (included as a 30-day trial), such as advanced video chat and an integrated activity history viewer. Unlike previous versions of Trillian, the basic version includes plug-in support. My IM needs are pretty simple, so in terms of functionality, Ive had no problems switching (temporarily?) from Pidgin two days ago. That said, I wonder if after three years in development its just too little, too late for Cerulean Studios now that free, open source and even web based rival clients have caught up.

Trillian Astra is nonetheless a solid multi-protocol IM client, so its refreshed looks, smart notifications, and plentiful configuration options might still win back some of their old fans.




User Comments: 4

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kodrutz kodrutz said:

A few years back, I was using Trillian and it was a pleasure. In the meantime, I realized I simply don't need most of its features, and I switched to Pidgin. While Astra won't make me turn back to Trillian, I may give it a try, when the final version arrives (I hope there will be some free trial available).

polidiotic said:

kodrutz said:

A few years back, I was using Trillian and it was a pleasure. In the meantime, I realized I simply don't need most of its features, and I switched to Pidgin. While Astra won't make me turn back to Trillian, I may give it a try, when the final version arrives (I hope there will be some free trial available).

Ditto to that. Limited IM functionality is basically all I need, these days: the ability to chat and send/receive files. =/ I've been using Pidgin for the last couple of years, but I did use Trillian in its hay day.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I'm sticking to Trillian myself (version 3 and now the 4 beta). I know Pidgin and Miranda are good and I know many users swear by them, but for me their interfaces keep lacking polish and even when extensible, I find Trillian offering just about what I need from a simple, configurable IM client out of the box.

Again, I don't use any advanced features but the overall package fits me well, even despite of the multiple delays and near abandonment of Trillian 3.

Guest said:

I downloaded Astra this weekend. I have been using Trillian 3.1 for a while now. Astra seems to force you to create an account (presumably with Cerulean) before you can enter the information for your chat accounts. Getting part way through this procedure I decided I really didn't like the idea of layering yet another account I have to maintain so I removed Astra and gave Pidgin a try. I think I like it better than Trillian and it seems to start a little quicker on my netbook.

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