Adium LogoInstant messaging is one of the quickest and easiest ways to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers. Whether you’re using it to collaborate with classmates on a paper or discussing deliverables with your project team, it is incredibly important for our communication and productivity.

OS X comes with iChat, but it just does not offer access to all the chat networks you may use. If that is the case, Adium is the perfect instant messaging application for you.

Get started with the Adium IM client

Easy to Use

Even though instant messaging has been around for a while, the easier it is to use a client, the better the chances that you will use it. Fortunately, Adium is exceedingly easy to use. After you download and install it, you just add your IM accounts, and you’re off and running.

Phenomenal List of Protocols

Adium has one of the most comprehensive lists of IM protocols. Aside from Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo, and MSN, you can also connect to Facebook Chat, Jabber, ICQ, IRC and Bonjour. The sheer number of available protocols surpasses what is available in iChat by far. Just choose a protocol from the list, enter your login credentials, and you’re off and running.

Networks

Controls for Everything

If you use IM for school or work, you know how important it can be to log conversations. Adium allows you to log chats including secure chats

General Settings

Adium gives you complete control of the look and feel of the application. You can change the icon sets, emoticons, dock icon, and application themes. You can also control the opacity of your chat windows incase you need to keep an eye on other applications while you’re chatting.

Appearance Settings

If some of your chat partners has interesting tastes in fonts and color schemes, you also have the ability to ignore their style settings in your chats with them. You can ensure that the font and color scheme is readable.

Messages Settings

Organize Your Contacts

If you use several chat networks and have a lot of contacts, it can be a pain to scroll through a ton of people to see who is online. Adium can group your offline contacts together, and collapse them so you do not have to see them.

Contact List

You also have the ability to sort your contacts how you want to. You can sort them Automatically, By Status, or Manually if you choose. You have a great deal of control over how your contact list is organized.

Extensions and Plugins

Adium has been around for a while and has a big following, therefore there are a lot of Plugins, Icons, Message Styles and Sound Sets. If you use Skype, OK Cupid, or YouTube, you can install the plugins, and use those services through Adium, which is a huge time saver and convenience.

What Adium Does Not Do

Adium does a lot of things very well, and has an enormous list of available protocols, but there are still a few things that Adium does not do. Currently there is no native video or audio/phone functionality on Adium. You will still need to rely on iChat or Google Chat to video or audio chat with your contacts.

Fast, Free, and Feature Rich

Adium is a well thought out easy-to-use application. It is very quick, and will not bog down your system. It will allow you to connect to several IM networks from one application, and gives you a great deal of control over how your chats appear, and how you organize your contacts. Even though it lacks video and audio chat capability right now, Adium has so much else to offer that it makes up for the few features it lacks.

Best of all, Adium is free and still actively being developed. There is a good chance that audio and video capability may be introduced in future updates.

Go ahead, Download Adium