Adium, the popular Mac IM client that lets users chat across multiple services at once, issued a major new release last night that is sure to please users old and new. Highlights include the addition of Facebook chat to the list of options and a new search bar that lets you quickly find anyone on a long list of contacts.
This incredibly customizable program lets you chat seamlessly across almost every IM network you can think of - the absence of interoperability becomes almost inconsequential after you sign up for an account on each service and tell Adium to log in to each. We are very excited about the upgrade.
We're not sure how likely to use Facebook chat we are, but we know that a lot of people do use it. We'll now be reachable that way too. By telling Adium to connect to social networking status messages, we're also now seeing peoples' Facebook status in Growl notification. That's pretty nice. Not something we'd want for Twitter, but for the less frequently updated Facebook messages that makes sense.
Effective interoperability with Facebook IM makes us think we should take our friend accepting a little more seriously there. Unfortunately, one known issue is that Facebook doesn't want to keep you logged in when you're also logged in via Adium. We hope that can be solved quickly.
One of the most frustrating things about Adium has been that by tying together contacts lists across multiple services, it creates a very long aggregate list. It can be hard to find anyone in particular when you want to initiate a chat. No longer! The new version of Adium solves this UI scaling problem by bringing up a nice search bar when you hit the command-F keys.
There's So Much to Do With Adium!
Seven months in the making, this update to Adium is a big one. There's sure to be more on the way soon (many people are hoping that video and audio chat will be enabled someday) but in the meantime, check out AdiumXtras, the site where you can find all kinds of skins, plug-ins and other Adium fun.