8 Comments

Summary:

I used iChat for a while and, although it’s a great program and has the ability to be used with most of the major chat interfaces, I got frustrated with the lack of built in customizable features very quickly. I never took the time to download […]

I used iChat for a while and, although it’s a great program and has the ability to be used with most of the major chat interfaces, I got frustrated with the lack of built in customizable features very quickly. I never took the time to download a new client or find a way to add features to iChat itself, but the other day I was reading a forum that mentioned Chax.

Chax is a freeware application that puts iChat on steriods without the added rage. The install is simple and clean and adds a new tab in the preferences window of iChat entitled “Chax.”

The added features are very similar to ones found in more robust chat clients like Trillian for Windows or Adium for OS X. Features include:

  • Unified contact list shows all contacts from all accounts in one window
  • Growl notifications for new messages and users changing status
  • Automatically resize the contact list to fit the number of visible users
  • Built-in log viewer
  • Activity log that displays your contacts’ status changes
  • Auto-accept file transfers, AV chats, and screen sharing requests
  • Toggle text status visibility of users
  • Always on top option for contact list, message windows and AV chats
  • Set font of names, status messages, and group separators
  • Option to auto-accept text chats, skipping new message notification window
  • Show status changes directly in the message window
  • Additional unread message notifications in the Dock
  • Automatically go away when the screensaver activates

Simply put, Chax adds features that iChat should have built-in and is a must have for anyone who uses iChat as your main chat client.

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  1. Wow, you JUST found out about Chax? This is a staple for anyone who uses iChat that has been around for some time. Great developer who is very responsive to feature requests and bug reports. This could easily be shareware that we all have to pay for, but instead we get all of this great stuff for free. I agree 100% though – these features should be built-in to iChat.

  2. yeah chax is great for ichat, though i still always end up installing adium for some reason. i’m curious if any of the other TAB readers are the same way. you have good intentions of just sticking with ichat+chax, but always go back to adium.

  3. Yeah I just use Adium, but if you like iChat Chax is a must

  4. @seth: Yeah. That’s exactly what I do. Something about iChat still just doesn’t feel quiet right even with Chax.

  5. “I agree 100% though – these features should be built-in to iChat.”

    People are hard to please. They gripe about Apple NOT including 3rd party features into their own apps. But the moment they do just that, people gripe about Apple being uncompetitive and squeeze out the “little guys”.

    Which is it?

  6. I would really like to use ichat, but stick with adium for the complete multi chat account experience… I wish that google chat had a good working client for mac, and they supported yahoo and msn (yes we can do the jabber hack, but not clean)…

    I have used chatx and it makes the ichat experience that less painful. Great work on the app, and I look forward to the day when the native app replaces the 3rd party apps… Until then though, I support the little guy, and appreciate the great work they are doing…

  7. Donations are accepted, and I for one have donated more than once. I recommend if you like it so much, you do as well…

  8. I would still vote for Adium.

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