Macspiration 81
iChat Alternatives

So I’ve covered Safari alternatives and Thunderbird alternatives, so now it is time for iChat alternatives. These alternatives are chat clients that will communicate with iChat. With the exception of AIM, the main benefit of these programs is that they will allow you to talk to your friends on several services at once. Instead of opening Yahoo Messenger, iChat, Microsoft Messenger, and others at the same time, these programs will talk with most of the popular clients at the same time.

By the way, all of these programs are free.

AIM, or AOL Instant Messenger is the simplest iChat alternative. Before there was iChat many people (myself included) used AIM. The downside of AIM is that it has not been updated for the Mac since 2004, and with AIM comes ads.

Not only is Adium compatible with iChat, it allows you to chat with Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Jabber, Windows Messenger, and more. Adium is loaded with extra features, as well. My favorite is the ability to open the program and be invisible. This way you can see who is online chatting, but they can’t see you.

Fire is similar to Adium by being able to have chats with multiple chat clients at the same time. The downside of Fire is that it is no longer being developed. It is still available for download, but don’t look for any updates.

I don’t have too much experience with Proteus, but I figured I’d list it as an option to those who want to try it. Proteus will work with AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, and Jabber.

There you go, a list of four iChat alternatives. Now you have no reason to stay in touch with your friends and family.

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