Already available in one form or another for BlackBerry and iOS, Trillian launched the beta version of its multiprotocol instant-messaging client for Android on Thursday. Trillian for Android brings many of the desktop program's core features to Android 1.6 and above, including tabbed chats, emoticons, and support for a broad range of instant-messaging services.

To install the app, be sure that you've enabled installing from unknown sources under Settings, then Applications.

The app will work with AIM, Facebook Chat, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, WLM, and MySpaceIM, and because it natively supports Android 1.6, it will work with the original Android handset G1. People with phones running more recent versions will receive better resolution graphics, according to the company. Current Trillian users will be able to automatically load their accounts on the phone using Trillian's Astra syncing service.

Some of the app's more esoteric features include "buzzing" your friends as a way to demand attention from them and sharing photos via IM. The app also offers a smooth transition to landscape mode, and in hands-on tests worked just as well with a slide-out keyboard as it did with the soft keyboard.

Although only a first beta, brief tests with the app on a Motorola Droid running Android 2.2 revealed that sluggishness in loading graphics was more of an issue than anything else. Sending and receiving messages, and logging into and out of different accounts, occurred smoothly. Bugs will probably become more apparent as more users test the app, but initially it handled well and didn't cause any system instabilities. Cerulean Studios, the maker of Trillian, cautions users that the beta version of the app will expire between releases, and that manual updates will be necessary.