Review: Trillian beta for BlackBerry

By Ryan Blundell on 10 Aug 2010 03:11 pm EDT
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Trillian

It wasn’t too long ago when we reviewed IM+; the all-in-one messenger. IM+ united various instant messengers/chat features from social networks and allowed users to manage their accounts from a single location. While it is a great solution for keeping in contact, there are also other options available out there. For example; there is Nimbuzz, which we have reviewed in the past as well; you can check it out here. These are welcome additions to any BlackBerry, especially since not everyone is a BB user; which means no access to BlackBerry Messenger. Don’t ask me why they don’t own a BlackBerry, that’s just silly talk if you ask me.

Trillian is a multi-platform application that “lets you chat everywhere” and has other 450 features available (not all of the features are available for the BlackBerry). The application is currently in public beta for BlackBerry users. From your BlackBerry, you can connect to Windows Live, Yahoo!, Jabber, Google Talk, MySpaceIM, Facebook, ICQ, AIM and Astra (allows you to connect and share with other Trillian Astra users). Let’s see if Trillian can prove that it’s the “Ultimate Instant Messenger”

About Trillian

Trillian was developed by Cerulean Studios; as I mentioned before it is currently in beta. Trillian is also available for the iPhone, Windows (7, Vista and XP) and through your browser on your computer (such as IE, Firefox or Safari). Cerulean Studios is also currently working on a Mac version, which is currently in Alpha. Trillian is available for BlackBerrys running OS 4.3 or higher. The current version is 1.0.0.220 and has a file size of 864.8KB.

Before you can start chatting away with Trillian, you need to set up a free account. This can be done from the website, or directly from the application. I found that the ability to manage multiple Trillian accounts very useful. At the end of the day, I could sign out of my account for my work contacts and sign into my account for friends and family. That’s one way to keep one life from blending into the other. Trillian integrates nicely into your BlackBerry; users are notified with a home screen new message notifier, the LED indicator and speech bubble generated on top of the Trillian home screen icon. With Trillian, you can change the LED colour from red, green, blue or white. You can also hit up your profiles to edit the alert sounds for new messages.

trillian new account
create new account
Trillian account details
enter new account details

As I said before, Trillian gives you access to Facebook chat, MySpaceIM, Google Talk, Windows Live AIM/Mobile Me, ICQ, Jabber, Yahoo! and Trillian Astra.

Trillian choose service
various services to choose from

Set up for these accounts was fairly easy. When I set up Facebook, I initially saw a connection failure that seemed to fix itself within a second or two. After that, I was up and running; receiving instant messages, well, instantly. Your current conversations are displayed nicely in speech bubbles. You can actually see when the other person is typing (displayed as “…”). While you are chatting, you can also choose to send a photo. Without leaving Trillian, you can browse through your images or snap one yourself.

Trillian chat
yackity yack

The main menu of Trillian is where all of the action takes place. At the top, you can see your ugly mug (I mean your current avatar), your display name, status, as well as your battery level, signal strength and current time. Next to this, you will see small icons that indicate which IM accounts you are currently signed into. Below this, you can scroll up and down through contacts which are initially divided into active chats and online contacts. Trillian has your contacts grouped by account; Google Talk, Facebook, etc, but you can create and manage your own groups. For the sake of ease-of-use, Trillian hides offline contacts, but allows you to see them if you want to. Each contact also has an IM account icon, display name, avatar and status. For statuses, you can see if they are online or away. You can also set your own to away, invisible or create a personalized status.

trillian main menu
main menu

Now while it may not be necessarily fair to compare an officially released app to a beta app, let’s see how it stacks up against the recently reviewed IM+. Looking at the number of accounts the BlackBerry applications have access to, IM+ trumps Trillian with access to Twitter and Skype. Please note that the Windows version does support both Skype and Twitter, so hopefully we can see these included with the BlackBerry version in the future. I found the response time of Trillian to be slightly quicker. This, coupled with the simplified navigation options, makes for faster, more efficient access to chats. While IM+ seemed to be the more power hungry out of the two, Trillian appeared to be more memory hungry; within the past 30 minutes, I seemed to lose 3MB or so. As far as cost goes, I can’t honestly say how much the official version of Trillian will go for, but the iPhone version is currently $4.99, if that’s any indication.

Conclusion

For a beta application, Trillian was fairly solid and looks to offer some competition when it becomes official. I’m not sure what features we will see, but it currently is more than able to handle your instant messaging. Its layout makes account management very easy and helps user quickly search through contacts. If I were you, I would give Trillian a whirl, especially while it’s currently free.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and navigate
  • Send and snap photos within chats
  • Set your avatar, display name and status

Cons

  • Nom noms the memory
  • No support (yet?) for Twitter or Skype with the BlackBerry version

More Info

47 comments

flyingspatula

Really enjoy Trillian for blackberry - except for one thing.

Profile pictures are stored with the pictures from my camera. With hundreds of contacts flooding this directory, the camera pictures become lost.

Highly annoying, extremely agitating and just poorly thought out. I'm certain they can create a separate directory and quell my concerns quickly. Until then, I have to choose either my camera or Trillian - and Trillian is a distant second place.

andy3000

This has been fixed; are you running the latest build 220?

Can you check to see if this is still happening?

flyingspatula

fixed - thank you for the information.

Glad to see the team is responsive and working through reported issues.

Trillian is back to being my #1 im app (behind bbm)

DeathNoltz

I've been a trillian user for awhile, its awesome I like it

HollyDolly

I've had it on multiple PC's since its early days and currently have it on my Windows 7 laptop. It's on BBerry now? W00t!

UnityDivides

I'm surprised the ability to "close" the Trillian client and have it push notifications to your messages wasn't mentioned. This is a cool feature, because it allows you to conserve memory/battery and yet still know when your Trillian friends IM you. And it can remain signed in in the background for up to seven days, which is pretty awesome.

TekWarren

I have been using Trillian beta and I really like the interface and how stable it is. More importantly I love the "close" feature which suspends your session and pushes IM's to you via email (when configured). I love this since its not running down my battery all day and I can fire up Trillian when necessary on my phone or reply from the desktop client if I am at a computer.

I basically start my day by firing up Trillian letting it run for a few minutes to establish connections and then using the close function and relying on PUSH.

sunnyd71

Definitely the clients 'killer feature.' I wouldn't use it otherwise.

mr. go_iLL

i set it up and how do you know "pushed" I opened it and found 3 new messages but they were not "pushed" to my email.. thanks!

coffee-turtle

Fast and Neat.

Preserves my contacts from all my multi-mediums with one log-on! No need to set each medium/account up when I switch devices or upgrade client, unlike BeeJive.

Would like avatars to appear with chat bubbles.
Hope to see other enhancements as it becomes more official.

Great start for a Beta! Since I use Trillian (from version 3, 4 and 5) on all of my machines, the BB version makes it all complete! :o) (yeah, I'm partial).

Excellent points made by UnityDivides!

MILLYBLICK

downloading and testing for the first time.

nsx1164

have been running this since last week. Have been using PC versions of Trillian for past 5 years, and am glad to see a BB version out.

Initial comments
- memory hog - a leak somewhere
- unable to map "all" accounts - 1 per supported type causes errors - only map FB and MSN-Live (use native apps for Google and Yahoo)
- FB does not show ALL online friends, only some subset - could be a memory issue ?
- once on, FB chat works great !! only mobile option I've found so far

Detective M Downs

but will wait for final version because, when I tried it I couldn't log into FB or Yahoo. I'm very interested in a TOTAL side-by-side review of Beejive, Trillian, Nimbuzz and IM+..

sameer.majithia

true all IMs has to be compare side by side. some feature like you are chatting with and other one send message it flashes in on chat session only, that makes more sense. i found beejive bit upper side. but look wise trillian is good.

wx27

It might actually be just the log files that are being created for the beta version so the engineers can troubleshoot. Or an actual memory leak. Or both...

MILLYBLICK

I've tested this app and it looks great and useful as far as facebook chat and others. Only problem i had was connected to my accounts. But then it appeared when i went back so, I don't know. That needs to be fixed.

XWolf

Another one for the Cons section. The other versions have IRC support. Not BB. BB is perfect due to having an actual keyboard!

Mr One 2

is a free messenger client you sign in with on your pc or Mac. You can than use your yahoo im, or gtalk and wlm for lag free group chat on your BB !!! If you sign up do a search for BB Nation and we'll add you to our group!!!!! 45 members strong so far!!!!

Mr One 2

is a free messenger client you sign in with on your pc or Mac. You can than use your yahoo im, or gtalk and wlm for lag free group chat on your BB !!! If you sign up do a search for BB Nation and we'll add you to our group!!!!! 45 members strong so far!!!!

Strakerc

Facebook actually works with this! I love it!!

doublerc

This app should really include chat for skype and it will be the ultimate application.

Another small bug it seems i'm getting: when I receive messages from a yahoo messenger contact, each msg has "" added to the end of it.

Keep it up!

deloreancowboy

One way to stop Trillian from "Nom nom noming" your memory is to set your trillian preferences etc to the SD card. This is the ONLY app I have ever seen that lets you do that.

Also, as for IRC, No current version of Trillian supports IRC at this time. (Only Trillian Astra for the PC does) And honestly, TRC would KILL your batery life and nom nom nom your memory even more.

I'd love to see Skype chat and the ability to update (ONLY UPDATE) your Twitter status.

niceday2

I currently use jmIRC a lot and while the battery life does suffer it's not as much as you'd think.

A decent IRC client would be very very welcome...

artie

Will you ever do a comparison?

zensen

I really enjoy these tests on IM clients. Looking forward to checking them out for myself :)

RezaBerry

Is there any provision to include Skype in this app? then it would be a killer app!

madamemonday

going to try this out, thanks for the app review!

DarthHideous

How do I add Facebook chat???

Connor83

I had the same problem. Just keep trying it click it over eventually.

nyjedi

Trillian is great for the BB. It still sucks down my memory to much but the biggest thing is I need landscape more. When will that be be added?

jeaton

I've been beta testing for them for a some time now. This current build 220 has been out for some time. I use it on my Bold (9000) and it hangs some times for no reason. Other than that it works great. Much better than Palringo becuase it uses BB input.

hunoosh

in the past I've used all in ones and they ask for fb user name. There is no such thing with fb. It's ur email and you have a password. How does trillian work to add fb chatting?

silinthar

It seems to be a decent all-in-one, but is there any way us with a Storm are going to get support for our fat thumbs or maybe SureType?

Xopher

I've been using the beta fr a while now and it is probably my favorite of the IM clients. The fact that it can be completely closed and push notifications still come in makes it the easiest to use (in stand-by/push mode). There are a few quirks, and hopefully they are working on making it even better for the official release.

cribble2k

I have never had good luck with FB chat on Trillian. Infact, I have only bEen able to connect to FB chat twice on Trillian.

I got pretty annoyed considering I use Trillian on all my PCs at work and home. Ah well, I will use BeejiveIM untill Trillian on BlackBerry is decent.

Connor83

I love it. I use it all the time. The only thing I should note is that my trillian indicator on the home screen doesn't show how many conversations have started. If 1 person from facebook messages me and then one from yahoo or AIM it only shows up as 1 on the home screen. That's all that needs to be fixed IMHO. Also what's up with the old school phones. Lol. I was trying to figure out the phone on the other page too. Lol.

baggito

Like it so far. Only complaint is it wouldn't let me go into landscape mode.

renovator

its the best universal IM client on pc and its amazing on blackberry. i have it running on my 8900 with 4 different accounts: aim, fb, google and astra. fb works brilliantly but from time to time google will slow down. the fact that you can set up push notifications to email and save app data to the sd card are a huge plus.

suz458

I installed, set up my accounts and was unable to get the program to let me chat. I received a message but never could figure out how to send a message back. After deleting the program, now my Bold takes 17 minutes to reboot, UGH! Guess I won't be using this program anytime soon. . .

blueyestm

I can't and won't use it anymore until they upgrade and fix the friggin issue a lot of us complain about which is when it runs in the background it gives out an error and the program itself is then stalled and then takes forever to shut it down and multiple reboots to get it working again to which the same thing happens all over again.

mirren

but the notification light will not shutdown after reading messages (and closing chats). I went into profiles and made sure both instances of Trillian had "No" in LED notifications. It did, however, change the notification LED in the app after I went in to see what else I could do. This is a beta, so I'm not trippin'. It would be nice to see a "no" LED option in the next or final version.

Waited till this morning and it's happening again after I did a few BPs last night. Suggestions and solutions (besides uninstalling, lol) are welcome.

Edit: Problem solved.

mr. go_iLL

i set it up and how do you know "pushed" I opened it and found 3 new messages but they were not "pushed" to my email.. thanks!

mi3x

Too bad I spent 15€ yesterday on beejive, Î fell in love with trillian after 5 mins of yahoo-ing

osutuba

Why not compare it to other apps other than just IM+ (i.e., BeeJive, Nimbuzz, etc.)?

3G.BoldBerry

on the torch could be a bug i have tried many times same problem.