December 15, 2010 | by Michael Heller
Those of you out there who were children of the AOL/Compuserve days might remember Trillian, one of the first and best multi-protocol IM chat clients. Unfortunately, time has moved on and many other services have come by that do the same thing, while Trillian disappeared for a long stretch, and then took its sweet time porting to new platforms. Trillian has finally come to Android, but is it worth the $4.99 price tag?
There is no shortage of multi-protocol IM clients on the market these days including Meebo, eBuddy, imo, and IMEasy, but Trillian is trying to distinguish itself in a couple of ways. First, Trillian has built a proprietary IM network, so Trillian to Trillian messages can include pictures and effectively replace SMS for a one time cost rather than a monthly fee. Second, most similar clients will sync your buddy lists to the cloud, but Trillian is looking to be a multi-platform solution by having your contacts and message history in sync across mobile, desktop and web. So, if you are a heavy Trillian user already, the price tag may be worth it to add your Android device to the mix. Otherwise, I’m not sure there is enough value there.
Like the rest, Trillian offers connections to: AIM, Windows Live, Gtalk, Yahoo, Facebook, Myspace, ICQ, and Jabber. The app also looks great. It’s got a nice dark theme (great for AMOLED screens out there,) and the UI is intuitive. I would have liked the option to combine contacts from different networks as the same person, but unfortunately that wasn’t there. There were some nice options, including:
- Keep WiFi connected when the device sleeps
- Battery saving mode
- Away message set timer
- Custom LED light notification color
Trillian is a great first offering from Cerulean Studios, and definitely adds a couple nice options over the competition, but I don’t know that those additions are worth $5.