Tweet from Trillian Astra
Tweet from Trillian Astra (Credit: Trillian (Cerulean Studios))

Don't let the small version update from Trillian 4.0 to Trillian Astra 4.1 for Windows fool you. Though the version may have bumped up one tiny integer, there are enough changes to this venerable multinetwork chat app to make it worth your notice; particularly if you're into social networking.

Trillian's maker, Cerulean Studios, has tightened the app's integration with Twitter, making it possible to now tweet from the buddy list. They've inserted a character counter so you can gauge how much space you have left to reach Twitter's 140 limit. Our favorite of the new additions is Trillian's integration with the Twitpic photo-tweeting service. Drag or copy an image into the Twitter field to automatically include the picture in your tweet. You can also follow searches and follow new Twitter users from within Trillian

As with Twitter, Trillian 4.1 draws e-mail closer. It lets you preview e-mail messages before opening them and you can mark a message read or as spam and delete it right from a context menu.

Trillian also pays attention to notifications, which, in this version, are now grouped by default into a single space you can digitally leaf through. Before, Trillian produced a single alert window per notification.

Whether you're a big social networker, Windows 7 users can still appreciate Trillian's new support for jump lists and other Windows 7 features--like your video chat streaming in the taskbar thumbnail, and seeing Windows 7's progress bar when you transfer files using Trillian.

Cerulean Studios boasts more than 100 new or improved features. You can get a deeper overview of the main points at Trillian's Web site, or check out the entire changelog (we're warning you, though--it ain't pretty.)

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.