Pidgin 2.0 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Pidgin

CNET Editors' review

Your mother uses AOL Instant Messenger. Your spouse prefers MSN. Your office insists on Yahoo. What are you going to do? You could run all those chat clients at once, or you could use Gaim, now renamed Pidgin. Like Trillian, Fire, and other third-party IM clients, this open-source messaging application lets you access multiple IM networks from one window, including lesser-known protocols such as Jabber and Gadu-Gadu.

Pidgin's biggest change is the redesigned interface. The Buddy List can be viewed in Basic or Advanced mode, and the most important features, including the Plug-in List, have been graduated from the Preferences window into their own panes. Twenty-two plug-ins come prepackaged as Pidgin repositions itself as a highly extensible chat client.

The IM features are unimpeachable: smileys (you can find tons of emoticons on the developer's site), file transfers, and multiperson chats. The Buddy Pounce feature lets you automatically perform certain actions (play a sound, execute a command, open an IM window) when a contact signs on or off. Pidgin also gets lots of intangibles right: logging and time-stamping, for instance, are well-executed and easy to access. However, it lacks IP telephony and video conferencing, and there are still some bugs--most notably in the Help menu. Still, Pidgin remains a highly recommended messenging app.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 282 votes

    • 5 star: 126
    • 4 star: 87
    • 3 star: 35
    • 2 star: 12
    • 1 star: 22
  • Current version:

    4.1 stars

    out of 18 votes

    • 5 star: 9
    • 4 star: 4
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 1
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 15

  • 3.0 stars

    "An appealing interface marred by spotty performance"

    August 31, 2007  |   By wcforan

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    Pidgin looks pretty slick and it's both intuitive and simple to use. It offers access to many IM services and I didn't have any problems with the basic chat operations. There is dictionary/spelling support and some other neat-in-concept features that, for me, would make this one to watch, but not necessarily one to use right now, because...

    Cons

    Unfortunately for an app that seems to have a lot of potential, I ran into a number of annoying little problems that don't seem to plague the more robust-feeling Trillian. Specifically, the software occasionally got stuck and would not shut down; sounds did not always function; changes made to contacts would sometimes take and sometime disappear; among other such annoyances. If competitors such as Trillian were not so solid, these nags might be worth enduring for this generally competent little IM client.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best option out there right now..."

    August 30, 2007  |   By Kqdsoccer

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    Easy on slower CPU's. Makes talking with multiple people on multiple clients easy. Great tabbed interface. Excellent. NO ADS!!! Best client out there for now.

    Cons

    No skins, but that is fine because the interface is great by itself. People just like to have choice.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Simple, no-Ads, more mature than AIM"

    August 25, 2007  |   By ostateclarett13

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    It is simple, pidgin allows me to basically keep my aim account, but I dont have to have all that goofy stuff that comes along with AIM. No extra windows when i am away, no funky sounds (unless you want them), just good.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "cheaper than trillian!"

    August 18, 2007  |   By daraghfi

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    works, lots of updates, simple, FREE

    Cons

    not as complete functionality as the pure-IMs or trillian

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Best for anyone who needs more than one IM network."

    August 10, 2007  |   By Qwerty Cake

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    Pidgin supports a huge amount of IM networks. All the ones I use and many I've never heard of (To list them all: AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, Novell GroupWise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Nullprpl, QQ, SILC, SIMPLE, Sametime, XMPP [also known as Jabber], and Yahoo!). It does a good job with the drag and drop buddy icon changing, buddy stacking (you can compile the same person's AIM, Yahoo!, and Jabber account all into one buddy for example), and away message saving and changing. Pidgin also has it's famous Buddy Pounces which can be useful if you're using a Meebo Me widget. Pidgin comes with a variety of plugins to customize it that can be turned on and off. Pidgin has shown tons of improvement in a short amount of time, so I can expect it will make up for it's few blunders soon enough.

    Cons

    Pidgin's main problem is lack of video and voice support. It also doesn't support certain extra goodies like MSN winks (good in my opinion, I hate those winks). There's a little file transfer trouble every once in a while, and MSN multiple person chat doesn't work well, but these are all the problems I can think of.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Didn't like it at all"

    August 3, 2007  |   By robsgirl10706

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    It didn't take long to download.

    Cons

    Almost soon after I downloaded it I got rid of it. I couldn't figure out how to use some of it's features & I couldn't even find it on my computer at first. I didn't like it at all.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Perfect"

    July 30, 2007  |   By kpmwrestler

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    Fast, small, and yet powerful. Very easy to use.

    Cons

    Sometimes has problems sending files.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "It has a cool name"

    July 2, 2007  |   By xobasketballrox0

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Cons

    I thought it was wierd

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Pidgin is a great alternative to Trillian"

    June 22, 2007  |   By Jyakotu

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    Pidgin is a great multi-IM account client. I can use AOL, MSN, and Yahoo and it has many features and plug-ins. Also, it's fast and lightweight.

    Cons

    Doesn't have all the features of some IM clients, but it's a small price to pay.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Fast, Simple"

    June 20, 2007  |   By b00mstick

    Version: Pidgin 2.0

    Pros

    Starts up very fast, connects to many networks, is very stable and has a nice looking interface. Runs just as fast on windows as it does on linux. Very nice piece of software, large improvement over Gaim.

    Cons

    No Voice or Video, file transfers don't always work (Happens now and again with every multiprotical client though)

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Results 1-10 of 15

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