One of my hopes is that software companies view Mac OS X as a opportunity to enhance their offerings instead of merely porting the same old applications to the Unix-based OS.
The latest AIM client for Mac OS X, version 4.5.4, adds some features I’ve never seen before on a Mac, and brings back a couple of favorites. In the ReadMe for this version, the software team does a nice job of keeping users posted on what’s new and what’s coming down the pike.
My favorite new item is the enhanced Mail Status display that I can set up in the reconfigured My Account Settings dialogue box. Previously I was only notified when mail arrived in my AOL account. Now I can add any POP account that I want and set how often AIM checks those accounts.
AIM scans those e-mail accounts according to the parameters I establish, and when mail arrives in one, the flag goes up and the whistle sounds. There’s a drop-down arrow next to the mailbox, that if I click on it, shows me the subject, sender, and time stamp for the letter, so I don’t even have to switch to my e-mail client to see what’s arrived. Now that’s convenient.
In the My Account Settings dialogue box, I can indicate which e-mail client I want to use to open the letters displayed in the AIM Mail Status window. If a letter arrives that I want to read, then I simply click on my account and AIM sends me over to my preferred client.
Another new feature that I tested was the Send a File or Folder function. This still needs some refinement, but I sent several text documents and Jpegs to others through the AIM client. Very handy.
Now there’s AppleScript support too, and they provide a folder full of sample scripts to boot. Adding scriptability to this client is consistent with Apple’s renewed vigor toward AppleScript.
I haven’t covered all the features here, and more are on the way, including emoticons and file sharing. But clearly the software team for the Mac OS X AIM client are taking this opportunity to improve their product. And as a fan of Mac OS X, that’s exactly what I want to see.
Download the new client and let me know what you think.