Apple has its fair share of success with its Mac machines. Among the softwares bundled with the Mac OS X, there are loads of free and paid apps available on the Mac App Store.
Now, talking about chatting clients for Mac, the default iChat does a fabulous job: from video chatting to text-based chatting with your friends, iChat is a convenient chat client from Apple; however, if you are looking for feature-rich clients, that are free, then check out these multi-protocol instant messenger clients.
What is a Multi-Protocol Instant Messenger
Simply put, a Multi-Protocol instant messaging connects your accounts with multiple IM networks. For instance, you don’t have to download separate apps to chat with your buddies. Most of the clients works perfectly with IM protocols like AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk.
Some of the well known Multi-protocol client for windows are Digsby, Trillian and Pidgin.
1. Adium — One of my favorite client which has a beautiful interface. Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X, and works with all version of Mac OS X including the latest Mac Lion.
Adium is released under the GNU GPl and is currently available with translation of over 20+ language. With the xtras section on its website, you can change the skin — there are some really beautiful skins, mind you — and tweak the settings from preference.
Adium Supports AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, Gtalk and more. Inarguably, my vote goes for Adium as the best IM client for Mac — and hey, it’s free!
2. Instant bird – The latest version of Instant bird Multi protocol client is available for download, and this is a cross platform IM client supporting Mac, Windows and Linux OS platform.
Instant bird is a free open-source software using the Mozilla rendering engine to display Instant messages, and the Pidgin libpurple to connect to the different networks. Instant Bird is another nifty addition to the set of Mac chat clients.
3. Proteus – Proteus works perfectly with Mac OS X by integrating Address Book, Cocoa and WebKit technologies — also it sports customizable toolbars, spell checking, system services, drag and drop of files and clipping of text.
Update: Fire website no longer works; not sure why.
Fire client – Fire Client is another useful addition to fuel the number of Mac IM clients. Although the developers of this client have stopped working on it, but you can always try out the older version by Googling yourself.
My safe bet is to either choose Adium, or try out Instant Bird. I never really tried the last two, but the reviews are great, I hear. If you have been using any Mac IM client, other than iChat and the ones listed above, then feel free to share them through your comments below!