Apr 27 2009
Way back when I took a look at free, multi-network chat applications. Now the scenery has changed, and there’s a bunch more including offerings from Apple and Microsoft. Since the big boys have finally caught on, it is time to take another look at the offerings.
What is a multi-network chat client? It is a chat application that supports more than one chat network, usually including AIM, Yahoo and Jabber. Jabber itself is a client side multi-network solution.
With the update to 10.4, Apple introduced support for Jabber in iChat. With your Jabber account you can reach your buddies on other networks. Panther users, it isn’t all bad news. With a recent iChat update you can enjoy video chat with AIM Windows users.
Messenger replaces MSN Messenger with a new brushed-metal look and support for Microsoft’s new enterprise chat network.
If you’re using Messenger on said network at work, you can connect to buddies on AIM/iChat, Yahoo and MSN chat networks. For those of you using Messenger at home, you’ll get multi-file transfer and tabbed chat.
This classic has stayed current to the chat networks’ best efforts to lock out third party chat apps, and supports AIM, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN and Yahoo. Updated just last month, this app is packet with features.
Adium is one of the most feature-rich and stable of the multi-network chat apps out there, and includes a lot of extras.
It, as well as Fire has been featured previously here on Freeloader. It uses some of the same code as the popular multi-network Gaim app for Windows and Linux.
If you’re a die-hard Open Sourcer and would rather go straight for Gaim, there’s an OS X port thanks to the darwinports project. Also,
Just to go for total overkill, here’s another chat app that will get you through to your buddies. This app has both Jabber and peer-to-peer chat capabilities including drawing and text formating.
Last one, I swear. This MSN, AOL and Yahoo compliant cat app also features a built-in news aggregator. It is an interesting combination of apps that just might be useful.
Now, no matter your chat network or OS X version, you can all enjoy a good chat with whomever you like.
Downloads provided by MacUpdate