When I wrote about Trillian 3, I didn’t realise that the Pro version was actually available to all paid users already via the Members Area. Anyway, I’ve downloaded a copy and had a bit of a play with it.
Firstly it’s worth mentioning that this is still an ‘alpha’ and is likely to have bugs and crash. Indeed it did crash the first time I ran it but it’s been fine ever since. As far as bugs go it decided to pop up “X has just signed in” for every contact that was online when I connected to MSN – it connects automatically at startup but takes the longest to fully connect since I have over 60 people on my contact list for that network. So far that’s it though, which is a positive sign.
The UI has also changed, which is good as there was almost no change between Trillian Pro 1.0 and 2.0. While it is still very similar to the Whistler skin of previous Pro versions, there’s a new twist with more gradients which make it look a lot more cool and professional. The contact list windows has also changed with a new information panel at the time – again it looks nice but I’m sure some people will want to turn it off as it can take up some valuable screen real estate. Similarly by default the icons for contacts are now much bigger, which looks cute but means you have to do more scrolling if you have a lot of contacts (which, lets face it, most Trillian users do since they can use several networks).
In terms of performance, it seems to perform as well as TP did, and if anything it’s a little faster. I was worried that it would be a huge memory hog as the download file is over 9MB but with all windows minimised it’s using less than 4MB of RAM. When you consider that iTunes uses 35MB in the same state I think we can safely say that it has very efficient memory management, and the UI seems quite responsive. That said, I haven’t tested the audio or video chat functions yet.
This version ships with support for Jabber and Rendezvous, the latter being new to this release. Since it only works on your own network and both of my housemates are out, I couldn’t test this but it looks interesting. Jabber doesn’t appear to have any new features – no audio or video chat – which is a shame considering that Jabber is supposed to be extensible. You also can’t turn off Rendezvous like you can with the other networks – you can disconnect but then Trillian will say you’re only partially connected.
The new icons and smileys look really good and the instant lookup features looks interesting, although when I typed “I’ll take that as a no, then” to someone it wanted to tell me about the boyband Take That.
The new preferences window is very good and looks a lot nicer than the previous one which has remained largely unchanged since version 0.7. The new connection manager looks good although it takes a bit of getting used to.
Overall it’s a worthwhile update but you may want to wait a few weeks until it’s more stable.