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Full user review
"Consistently the best"
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
How the hard-working folks at Adium manage to year-in and year-out keep the bar raised so high on such a wonderful "all under one roof" application like this and for free is a real head-scratcher.
Like so many Mac owners I know, iChat's video capabilities such as screen sharing and video chat are "consistently inconsistent" to the point of unreliability, that iChat is relegated to just a text chat utility anyway, so the video chat capability is not a feature missing from Adium. They're just wise not to jump in that pool yet.
Also, for an Apple feature, iChat is surprisingly uninspired and uncustomizable and offers no solution for the various IM protocols other than Google, AOL/AIM and Bonjour. So many of my IM buddies are spread all over the spectrum of IM protocols (MSN, Google, AIM/AOL, Yahoo etc.) that to have a bunch of ad-ware laden individual chat utilities cluttering things up would be such a pain.
Adium does all that and more. My own customization of Adium is even more clean as I have shrunk the buddy list down to just the images of my buddies--no text or surrounding box--just little square photos and I have them running down the right side of my screen beneath the Menu Bar--out of the way but enough of a visual cue who is online.
I have a list of must-have Apple/Mac applications and utilites and now with Snow Leopard, Adium has moved up from #2 to #1 because AppleJack still hasn't been ported to Snow Leopard. Even if AppleJack, the best ever maintenance and troubleshooting utility for the Mac OS does finally get a Snow Leopard version out, I think I'll let Adium stay #1. It's richly deserved.
Thank you to the folks at Adium for a consistently reliable, inspired, clean and customizable application and for supporting and developing it all these years since I've been using it (since Tiger).