Preview of New AIM - Out On Mac OS X, Coming to iOS Devices Soon
Earlier today, AOL launched a preview of its new chat client, which will be offered as a free native application on the Mac OS X, on Windows, and as a web app. Mac OS X users have been able to add and exchange instant messages with AIM users via iChat for quite some time, which supports AIM and comes built in with the Mac OS X. There are quite a bit of changes in the new AIM app.
The most noticeable difference is the change in its appearance. The new AIM seems to have a new and more appealing graphical user interface, one which bears resemblance to the GUI of the Twitter for iPad app. Another big change is the new ability AIM has to save chat messages while offline, which is a feature that has been long awaited by many. The new AIM even goes as far as storing entire chat sessions in the cloud.
Video chatting will also be supported but with limitations. More specifically, group video chatting will not be supported. Users will now have the ability to exchange messages with Facebook Chat and Google Talk users though along with other AIM users. Group chatting will support the aforementioned offline functionality along with the ability to show images and videos all while a separate pane will support incoming Facebook and Twitter updates. The separate pane will be replacing the Lifestream pane which ended up being more annoying than anything else in the current version of the app.
Last but not least, AOL will be tying AIM with its other properties such as Engadget, the Huffington Post, and TechCrunch, so you can expect to being seeing news content from each. Luckily this feature will be an opt-in so you can choose to skip out on the feature if you would like to. Along with upgrading the Mac OS X client, AOL will also be updating the Android app as well as the iPad and iPhone app (which should be available in the App Store “soon”).
I previously used AIM but over the years as the client seemed to get cluttered with unwanted content, I saw myself using other clients more often, such as Skype. With all the changes mentioned in the preview and the ability to have organized Facebook and Twitter updates, I can see myself possibly revisiting the possibility of using AIM more often once again.
How do you feel about the update? Are you excited for it? Share any thoughts below!