What happened to Adium, the great messaging client everyone had installed on their Macs?

Years ago there was a time when smartphones didn’t exist, no matter how hard it is for the younger generation to believe such a reality. iPhones were still drawn on schematic plans, and if we wanted to chat with our friends via instant messaging, we had to Wait until we get home to connect to the internet and use the computer.

Back then there was no WhatsApp, no Telegram, no Facebook Messenger: we relied on services designed only for computers, and some with a level of sophistication that we would find unacceptable today. And there were quite a few of them, so we ended up with a fairly large compendium of messaging apps. But there was an app that managed to simplify that experience on macOS.

A messaging program for (almost) all services

Many veterans will remember them: Adium, or the green ducklingwas a free, open-source application that allowed you to log into various messaging services of the time. Google Talk, XMPP, IRC, ICQ, yesterday’s iChat, integrated with AOL and several other services focused on other countries like Gadu-Gadu.

Back then it was a pleasure to have all these services concentrated in a single application. Even more so, when Adium was open source and completely free, a real gift at a time when multiple applications were running simultaneously, Mac performance had a greater impact. Here is a window of what the application looked like in 2010:


In addition, Adium had the detail of using a minimal interface: a small window for the list of services and contacts and another window for the conversations that we could organize by tabs. Today we might do everything in one window with a sidebar, but twenty years ago this configuration was considered the best.

And for those of us who like to modify the macOS interface, we might as well Show floating contacts on wallpaper without window. Art portals like DeviantArt were full of them desk modder Sport their mods with transparent or translucent windows.

At the personalization level it was also possible to show a dynamic connection status: in 2011 my colleague Pedro Aznar taught us how to customize it with the song we were listening to on Spotify:

Adium Spotify

I remember the only bug was that it didn’t support MSN Messenger as Microsoft kept that protocol closed. Anyway, that very fact and the passing of the years has made Google Talk a golden age based on people moving to it. And on the Mac, Adium was the perfect app to chat with those users.

Adium isn’t dead, but he’s not exactly alive either

Every golden age ends and for Adium that moment was the arrival of the iPhone. Suddenly the “apps” industry took over and services like WhatsApp (and later Telegram) became the queens of instant messaging. And since all of these services are proprietary, Adium has slowly become irrelevant.

Services like XMPP or Google Talk fell behind sharply compared to services that were updated more frequently and focused entirely on mobile devices: developers focused their attention entirely on the development of these services, and not on the open ones. What has Adium done about it? Nothing.

In 2012 the developers released a final update after a long break and from then on Adium went unnoticed until everyone forgot about it. The program itself has not died: you can still download and install it from its official website. But once you’ve installed it, there’s little you can do: the services it offers you to sign up no longer exist or are obsolete:

adium mac

Adium Mac Services

There’s some nostalgia to see how it offers you to connect to MobileMe (as iCloud used to be called) or Livejournal. If that There is an option to connect your Twitter account, but don’t worry: it won’t work. API changes a few years ago disabled this option.

So we can’t say Adium died because it continues to exist, but it does so as a zombie. We can install the application, but it’s useless unless you’re one of those users closely associated with the old ones and have your own IRC channel, or tinker with old protocols like Jabber on their own servers.

Here's how to put WhatsApp on your Apple Watch to reply to messages from your wrist

Adium remains as a reminder for all of us who used a Mac in the pre-iPhone era. A reminder so we don’t forget how to talk to our friends when the offline status still existed and we had the excuse of not being home to reply to messages late.

Source : www.applesfera.com