A comprehensive review of the successor to Trillian Astra: Trilian 5. Sporting a simplistic GUI revamped for Windows Vista/7, optimized plugins, and a variety of new features; Trillian 5 proves to be a strong competitor in the field of Instant Messengers, and a potential leader in the industry.
Trillian 5 – Pros
Free version VS Pro version
Just like its predecessor, Trillian 5 has two versions. A free version, which lacks some desired features for most. As well as a Pro version, which grants you all features. Right now, the Pro version is $15 with a special sale, $10 to upgrade from Trillian Astra 4.x Pro. Pro users get quick technical support via e-mail from Cerulean Studios as well. When you purchase a Pro subscription, that subscription lasts the entire 5.x lifetime.
Free users get the use of the basic features. Changing the color scheme, activity history syncing, free users will not be able to use them. Among other features. Still, even as a basic program it is still better then what other competitors have to offer.
Ability to use Multiple IM Services
As of now, Trillian supports the following services – Astra, AIM, Bonjour, Facebook, Google Talk, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, Mail, MySpaceIM, Skype, Twitter, Windows Live, Yahoo!
New Trillian Accounts Get a Free 30 Day Subscription to Pro
When you create a new user account with Cerulean Studios, you get to use Pro features for 30 days. You can continue to use Pro after those 30 days are over if you pay the $25 ($15 right now, on sale!) fee for Pro, or let it run out and continue using the free version.
Simplified User Interface
Ever since Trillian Astra 4.0, a lot of users complained about the default user interface. With responses such as “Its to bloated!” or “Its ugly!!!”. Cerulean Studios listened and took a new approach with Trillian 5. A comparison below shows the remarkable differences between the two version.
Trillian 5 – Cons
Lack of Webcam/Microphone support for Windows Live
This was a promised feature in Trillian Astra 4.2, still has yet to be delivered as promised. I’m very disappointed to see this feature not implemented yet.
All users must pay for pro features in the Beta
I’m all for supporting Cerulean Studios and paying them for features, but if they want an accurate beta test they should allow/permit all users or at least Trillian AStra Pro users use of Pro features in Trillian 5, this is another disappointment.
Cerulean Studios has made a great start with Trillian 5, while I’m still disappointed with lack of Windows Live Audio/Video support. I’m sure it is something they will sort out in future revisions of Trillian 5. If you choose to use the free version, or the pro version. I’m sure you’ll love this program.
(Comparison of 4.x (left) vs 5.x (right))