I reviewed the first release a few weeks ago, so here’s a followup.
- New ad format is rather nice having it in the window (and scrolls away), much less intrusive. Provided no flash or java ads are used (slow for scrolling, and sound).
- Address Book feature isn’t all over the place anymore. I, like many don’t want AIM as my PIM. It’s not prompting for info all over the place. That’s good.
- Get Buddy Info just shows away message and profile… much better. Would like to see status, online time, idle time, and Capabilities.
- Buddy alerts are back. Wouldn’t mind selecting my own wav file though.
- UI even slower (sometimes artifacts when windows do something, like when you click the invite button in an IM window). No idea why. But it kinda stinks.
- UI will occasionally freeze for up to 1 minute at a time.
- Sign on is extremely slow. Over 30 seconds for 3 screennames.
- Easy access to add Name or Nickname without so many clicks (going into the address card). Aliasing should be easy to get to.
- If your going to have this whole address card thing. At least use info from the profiles where available, and let the user override it if they so desire. No point in typing in what a buddy already gave. Perhaps make it permission based, so if I’m on my buddy’s buddy list (say that 5 times fast), I get their full info. If I’m not on their list, I get more anonymous info (name, country for example).
- Still no ability to merge screennames rather than display 1 buddy list on top of another. IMHO if a group exists in multiple SN’s, smush them together in the UI. If a buddy appears in there twice, only show it once.
- GIF buddy icons are rendering with all sorts of uglyness right now.
- Font size should be +/- (point size is rather silly except in document usage). IMHO the only reason to change size is emphasis. +/- is more practical.
- Buddy events popups are too big and ugly. The old 5.9 ones were much more candid. IMHO this is even a place for transparancy to play in. They are distracting, and in the way. “Buddy FooBar Signed On” is only a few characters, no need for all that space.
- Still no secure IM support.
- Still no auto sign on, remember password stuff.
Is it usable? IMHO not really. It’s a demo at best. There are some improvements (congrats to Justin and co-workers), but it’s going to take more before it’s usable. Then more to be good. In a short time some things have resolved, so they are improving. But it’s not at the point where I would pick it as my default client. It’s still GAIM, AIM 5.9 well before. But again, it did improve, so perhaps not all hope is lost ;-).