Cerulean Studios have released a preview of Trillian Astra. This is the most that has been heard from the Trillian developers in a while and the largest release of information about the new messenger to date.
There is a nice flash movie preview to start. But the real gold is in the Trillian Sneak Peek Preview details. Here there are details covering the various new developments with the messenger client. The information is extensive and on face value we could have a killer application on our hands for messaging if they deliver half of what is promised.
The preview covers:
Notable items within these categories are many; if you are wanting the whole story they cover the lot over at the preview.
One of the great features that has been added is that your contact list is now managed by a server. Think the same way that Skype manages your contacts. Your contact list is downloaded every time you start Trillian. No more adding contacts every time you reinstall or rebuild your machine. This is part of a more socially based messaging client.
Trillian 4 will have better management of identities. You get your own Trillian web page. Your various identities and web pages that are associated with you are listed here. Create another blog then add the url. Get another messaging identity add it here as well. A virtual business card. Trillian Astra is becoming more than a messenger it is a central place for communication management. Your Trillian web page also gives people the ability to message you without having to use a client. Very nice. It also appears that your Trillian Web presence will incorporate widgets as well. Flickr and others are mentioned. Your status will also be shown here and updated in real time.
For all the developers out there, the Trillian protocols will be open. As is the case with the current client.
There are some new message window features that look very cool. What about image sharing with a drag and drop interface? Hand writing support for tablet PC’s. Viewing smaller versions of a contacts widgets in the chat window. RSS delivered straight to your IM client. Wow, the features are extensive and I can not wait for it to be released.
There are many more features and explanations than I have mentioned. Head over to the preview and check it out for yourself, it looks awesome. No point me repeating what they have said. These are just a few things that struck me as cool.
This is the announcement of the release of the Alpha version. However, before everyone goes off and searches for the download there is not one. It is invite only and they are looking for people to join in the testing. But the alpha is not yet fully featured, there is no support for audio or video as yet and they have warned that it will crash and be unreliable. However if this does not deter you then head over to the blog and express an interest. I can not see any other way to contact them.
As far as the final release, I think we are a long way off that. Current build is 21. They are hoping to add builds every 2-3 weeks. This is Alpha, see what I mean? It has taken the good part of 12 months to get this far. No dates mentioned but based on current performance definitely next year at the earliest and then it would not surprise me if it was mid 2007. Then if it is as good as they say I do not mind waiting.