Trillian Astra Instant Messaging Alpha Preview

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Have your meeting online, with GoToMeeting. You can get a free 45-day trial at GoToMeeting.com/ChrisPirillo.

During the GoToMeeting, racedude showed us the Alpha version of the new Trillian Astra. There are some very cool new features and enhancements.

Trillian Astra is a free program that integrates all your instant messaging applications into one program. It cuts out the need to have several different programs running all at once. Not only does Trillian Astra integrate your instant messengers, it also provides instant access from anywhere, and allows you to showcase the real “you”… via a dynamically updated instant profile.

So what’s new in Trillian? For starters, the skin and colors are completely different. The look and feel of the application itself is just unlike any previous version. There are many themes and color schemes to choose from, and now they can be changed inside of the program without having to restart it!

The contact list is much more organized and detailed. You can easily manage your contacts and widgets using the easy interface, instead of having to use a wizard like the old versions.

The message window has dramatic changes to it. There is a drawing mode, pause during file transfer capability, instant knowledge bar, and much more.

Lastly (but NOT least), the overall performance has improved. Between loading multiple plugins, parsing and initializing XML-driven skins, and establishing connections to your IM accounts, the time it takes to fully load Trillian has a tendency to decay over time. We’ve improved performance across the board when loading Trillian to eliminate the needless “wait time” between launching the application and actually using it.

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37 thoughts on “Trillian Astra Instant Messaging Alpha Preview”

  1. Pingback: Tyler S. Miller
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  3. Looking nice.. but I don’t really see any worthwhile features over Miranda or Pidgin. I’d like to see someone step in and add some of the functionality from iChat – desktop sharing, video conferencing.

  4. anyone know how much ram it uses? if it doesn’t use alot i wouldn’t mind switching because having windows live messenger and gtalk running at the same time isn’t exactly resource friendly ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Looking nice.. but I don’t really see any worthwhile features over Miranda or Pidgin. I’d like to see someone step in and add some of the functionality from iChat – desktop sharing, video conferencing.

  6. anyone know how much ram it uses? if it doesn’t use alot i wouldn’t mind switching because having windows live messenger and gtalk running at the same time isn’t exactly resource friendly ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Skins are so 1990.

    These days it’s better and more professional-looking to use the native OS look and feel so that when the use skins the rest of the OS, every program changes and they don’t have to independently track down a skin that matches it just because one particular app decided it wanted to use a different skinning framework.

  8. While I would agree with you most of the time, Trejkaz, the Astra system is actually fairly nice, and the overhead used in rendering its own UI seems to be fairly low. This in comparison to when I tried out Safari not long ago. Then again, I have been a Trillian Pro user for several years now, so this may just be slight fanboyism.

    Of course, part of the idea for Astra is to hold against the Vista theming as well. We’ll have to see how the OSX, Web and iPhone clients hold up, of course.

    My main complaint is that no ‘performance considerations’ are yet being made. What does that mean? My system locks up for half a minute whenever I shutdown Astra. This is actually an extreme improvement with Build 60, though. Before that, it would take over a minute.

    Finally: to anybody that’s used Trillian, Pro or not, I wonder what they would actually think of this blog post. Besides the in-program skin switching, I don’t see anything all that big in difference between 3.1 and Astra. A lot of what I see is actually implementing the stuff that’s been in other clients for a few years, except for the little nag that we can’t individually change MSN account display names.

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