Trillian is currently one of the most versatile chat clients available and its primary goal is to make your life easier. Supporting multiple IM services such as Skype, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, MSN, ICQ and IRC as well as social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace, Trillian is an all-in-one IM app that enables its users to keep their online social life under control.
Trillian managed to store its heavy bundle of features into a small installer (only 20 MB in size) while the installed folder gets up to 35 MB so there is no need to worry about disk space. The installation is the typical routine for such a small program but as a result of its freeware status you will come across 2 adware windows: one will attempt to also install VID Saver an application for saving streaming videos on your computer and another comes with options to install the Trillian Toolbar, make Ask your default search engine and set Ask.com as your homepage. Fortunately, you can skip/uncheck all of them from the respective windows. Other than that, the install process is fast and you’ll be using Trillian in no time.
Trillian’s system requirements should definitely not be an issue for the vast majority of people (read this as “not having an ancient relic instead of a computer”): 64 MB of RAM, 30 MB free hard disk space and of course…an Internet connection. Concerning OS support, there is plenty, including for mobile devices: Trillian has versions available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
The interface is polished but simple, resembling most other chat clients. However, this is not a bad thing as usually Trillian users are migrating from similar programs and will quickly get used to it.
In Trillian’s main window you will see all your e-mails, social networks, instant messaging services and status as well as access to its preferences. The Preferences menu is one of Trillian’s best features: it is designed in Windows Explorer style and all the categories are represented by relevant icons. When you choose one, all the other categories will be listed as a tree in the left column so you don’t have to return to the home page if you wish to access another one. And just like in Explorer, at the top of the Preferences menu you have navigation buttons, Help access and a search bar. There are really no cons here: Trillian’s settings are easy to browse and understand despite the fact there are quite a few of them.
The list of features is extensive, including pretty much everything other instant messengers have to offer such as tabbed IM windows, file transfers, emoticons, chat history, audio/video chat and many others so people that wish to keep their online social services and accounts in one place won’t miss out on anything. Also, you should know that this free version of Trillian may contain adware (although except for the install process I didn’t get the chance to see any). The only way to get rid of adware is to upgrade to the Pro version but if this doesn’t bother you, it’s ok to use the free version as the commercial one will only add cloud storage for chat history and tech support priority.
- Small, lightweight program.
- Available for multiple platforms.
- Chat history sync function between all supported devices and operating systems.
- Supports most popular IM services, e-mail protocols and social networks.
- Clean, polished and user-friendly interface.
- Support for a large number of languages is included.
- Comprehensive “Help” section on the official website (also accessible via the program’s Preferences).
- The installer attempts to download/install additional programs and features that are not required for Trillian to function.
- Ad-banners are present during the application’s runtime.
Using a multinetwork IM application is currently an increasing trend so there are quite a few similar programs to choose from. From the “popular” category we’d like to mention: Digsby and Miranda IM as Windows only applications and Pidgin that has extendable functionality via plugins – available for Windows but also for Linux and other UNIX operating systems.
Through its simple design and vast array of features, Trillian is a good alternative to replace only a single IM client and a life saver when it comes to managing a pile of social networks, chat programs and e-mail accounts. Yes, the competition is out there…..but even so, Trillian remains one of the uncontestable leaders in the related industry and for good reason.