Keeping in touch via IM a Trillian times easier

by Tim McLain

If you're a fan of online chatting via one or more instant messaging channels, Trillian has long been the king of the desktop. Now Cerulean Studios offers Droid users access to the latest beta (prerelease) version of its mobile Trillian client. And as you'd expect, the app makes it easy to keep in touch with your contacts via AIM, Facebook Chat, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ and many others.

All of your contacts and accounts are automatically carried over to your Droid via the "cloud." My AIM and ICQ accounts took all of 30 seconds to set up, and I was instantly chatting with colleagues via my phone.

The more I use the app, the more I appreciate the attention to detail. According to its web site, Trillian for Android was specifically designed for Android, not just hastily ported from the PC version or another phone (iPhone?). Plus, devices as far back as 1.6 can run Trillian for Android, which means G1 users are still in the mix. At the same time, users with the latest and greatest phones can enjoy shiny high-res graphics.

Tabbed chat makes it easy to switch between simultaneous chat sessions by tapping the tabs. Landscape mode is also seamlessly integrated into the latest build, along with native support for your sliding keyboard.

Sharing photos taken with your Droid is a snap, along with the usual massive collection of emoticons. Plus, the developers threw in a "buzz" feature so you can put an extra exclamation point on any IM you send, making the recipients Droid buzz.

Bug fixes and new versions are released every few days. You'll need to download the app directly from this link (http://www.trillian.im/get/android/) to get up and running, with a full-release version coming this fall.