Trillian is the grandaddy of multi-protocal chat applications. Want to talk to your friends on AIM, Windows Live, Yahoo, Google Talk, and Facebook without installing half a dozen different programs? There are Trillian apps for Windows, Mac, and iPhone which let you do just that. The company also has a BlackBerry beta client, and this week Trillian launched a public beta of its upcoming Android app.
When you first launch Trillian for Android you’ll be asked to either sign in with a Trillian ID or register for an account. Once that’s done you can sign into all of your instant messaging services. Your contacts will show up on a single page, with current conversations at the top and the rest of your contacts sorted by whatever categories you’ve set up (Buddies, family, etc).
Overall Trillian beta seems to get the job done. If you’re logged into Trillian but the app isn’t open, a notification will pop up in the Android status bar when a new message comes in. When you’re in the chat window you can see tabs at the top of the screen with a list of current chats, allowing you to easily flip between conversations.
But I did find the way that Trillian displays conversations a little disconcerting. For the most part, messages are shown in the middle of the display. But the speech bubble for messages I compose comes from the right side of the screen while my contacts’ comments spring from the left. But where they overlap, Trillian actually allows the speech bubbles to overlap, which is a bit funny looking — although in my test run it didn’t actually lead to any words becoming illegible.
Still, this is just beta software and there’s time for Trillian to work out the kinks.
Trillian for Android is free while in beta, but it’s likely that the company will begin charging for the software after the beta period expires. Trillian’s iPhone app runs $4.99.
You can download Trillian Beta for Android from the Trillian web site.