For a long time now I’ve been using Proteus and iChat for my instant messaging needs. It is a very good multi-protocol client with a lot of nice features and a interface I rather like.
But even so I started having some issues with it and it started bugging me enough to make me look at alternatives.
So last week I got Adium and I’ve been using it since then to really get the feel for it.
Of course since neither of these clients supported .MAC accounts I still had to use iChat for those contacts, but I was used to it so no problem there.
What I found was that Adium is also a very good multi-protocol client, with a set of features which paralleled those of Proteus and a bit more stable on the Jabber accounts (although still not perfect). The only feature I had on Proteus and lost on Adium which made a difference for me was the ability to group accounts under a single contact (an actual person) and have it decide which account or protocol to use to get in touch with that person without bothering me with the details.
This was the state of things until this morning when I found out there was a new version of Adium around. When I started reading the release notes (yes I actually do read them) I couldn’t believe my eyes: not only did it get the ability to group accounts under a single contact but it also now supports the .MAC protocol and Rendezvous-based messaging.
This means I can now group all the accounts I have for a person (Yahoo!, MSN, .MAC, Jabber, ICQ, etc.) on a single IM client and have only that client open, without the need for iChat as an extra icon on the dock.
Hurra! This looks like it will be my client of choice for the time to come. At least until iChat get Jabber support, that is, then I’ll have to re-evaluate.