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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Trillian Astra Beta – Everything In One Place?

May 14, 2009 by Jason Bean  
Filed under Computers

For the last couple of days I’ve been playing around with the newest version of the Trillian client coming from Cerulean Studios. The new version of Trillian is in beta and is code-named Astra.


Taking a quick look at the screen shot above, let me highlight the different areas I have numbered above.

  1. Twitter integration – the display of the timeline itself could be improved. I’d envision a panel that would slide out from behind the contact list that would display the timeline of events in a fashion similar to twhirl or other twitter client.
  2. E-mail Integration – each of the email accounts associated with my identities can be included and I can receive notifications of new emails to those accounts from within the interface.
  3. Google Talk Integration – as you can see my Google contacts are listed within the UI along with everything else. The only challenge I see here is that I receive the chat window in both Trillian and in my Gmail page as well.
  4. IM Client Integration – all my other contacts on the various networks included below the others.

The different segments and groups of contacts can be shifted and arranged as desired.

This newest version of the Trillian IM client has made great strides in bringing together a variety of new applications and services together into one package and manageable platform. With the new version of Trillian you can manage all of the following in one interface.

Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, IRC, Google Talk, Twitter, Facebook and even Skype.

That’s actually not all of them, but all of the big ones and ones that really make this outstanding.

The interface options could still use some improvements, or it could be that I’m still just not familiar with how to tweak everything like I like on the system. I like minimal interface options and wasted space, so I’m still trying to make changes to those areas.

In testing the product I’m supposed to be looking for bugs. The good news is I haven’t come across any yet, or at least nothing I’d call a bug. I’ll keep trying though and see what I can find.

Keep reading for a picture of the individual chat window and more of my thoughts.


You’ll have to excuse me IM talking to myself, but figured that was the easiest way to get a full view of the chat window without having to blur out any personal contact information from someone that doesn’t want their information shared.

As you can see, lots of space that I’d like to get rid of, but I’ll figure that out later. Some of it may be that there will need to be another skin created by someone for Astra that takes advantage of all the features now available, while minimizing the parts of the user interface that aren’t required. I also wonder when Trillian might make use of an interface like Adobe Air?

I think I’ve got a few invites I can share for people interested in participating in the beta testing of Trillian Astra. Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in taking it for a ride.

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4 Responses to “Trillian Astra Beta – Everything In One Place?”
  1. Justin says:

    I’d suggest you give the alternate skin that comes packaged with Astra a go. It’s called Cobalt. It’s not as flash as Cordonata, but it’s a lot more compact and there is a minimal version of the interface available.

    You could also try some of the other skins out there, just drop in on the Skins Forum on the Cerulean Studios site.

  2. andym says:

    You can shrink some controls simply by dragging them (like you would resize a column in Excel) but you can also go into Prefs > Skins > Advanced and change Cobalt’s interface to “Minimal” — i think that’s what you’re looking for.

  3. andym says:

    You can also add/change/delete the “Knowledge Bar” (showing a Thinkgeek feed in your example) by going into Prefs > Chat > Instant Lookup, where you can adjust the feeds used by it.

  4. bill says:

    Arrgh! I have to wait for a slot to open before I can test it. I used Trillian Pro for a couple of years. Very helpful app.

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