Only two months after going into beta, AOL has released AIM for Mac 1.0. Unfortunately, not a whole lot has been changed since our review of the beta. There is still no option for video or audio chats, and beyond the addition of AIM Expressions (a library of Buddy sounds, wallpaper and animated Buddy Icons), it’s really no different than iChat. With the more advanced option of Adium for those who find iChat lacking and iChat being built right into OS X, it’s hard to see where AOL is positioning this app.
Not to be left out, AOL also updated the native client for their portal, AOL Desktop for Mac, to version 1.5. This update adds a new Parental Controls Assistant that “works with Mac OS X to turn off Internet browsers and other applications and deliver age-appropriate content via the AOL Desktop for Mac browser.” This, however, is a bit more redundancy on AOL’s part as OS X has its own — and much more robust, I might add — parental controls built-in.
While it’s good to have options, I can’t help but feel that AOL’s Mac offerings are way too little way too late and I think the appeal only lies within those who have a bit of nostalgia for their dial-up days. If you, however, do decide to venture the “official” route and pick up AIM for Mac, note that to disable its annoying habit of opening the “AIM Dashboard” in your browser every time you sign-on, un-check the “Show AIM start page when I sign in” option under the “General” tabs in settings.