Adium instant messenger is a quality alternative to Apple’s iChat. This free program which can be downloaded on Adium’s site offers all sorts of extras to download including different icons, sound sets, and even layouts.
One of the coolest things about Adium is the fact that you can customize almost any aspect of the messenger. They are easy to create and many are user submitted. This means that new extras are normally added daily, if not every other day. For example, I was able to make all the sounds that occur in Adium sound like the ones my Xbox 360 plays. You don’t have to register or anything for these extras, all are free and quickly downloadable.
Messaging in Adium is simple and easy on the eyes. When there are multiple chats going the messages are put into one screen as tabs. You can choose the layout you want for your messenger box or just leave it at default.
The big downside to Adium compared to iChat is the fact that it does not support video chat capabilities. This may be a big deal providing most Macs come with the built-in iSight camera specifically for this use. Other than that though, you still have many of the same solid features iChat does.
The biggest draws with Adium are the fact that you can customize almost any aspect of it and how it handles multiple instant messaging protocols. You can use Adium to chat with people using AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more. And it’s highly customizable, from the "status" dots next to a buddies name to the icon in your dock icon (I currently have a duck holding a guitar), to hearing a gunshot every time you get a message. It really is a great program for those out there that enjoy full customization of the programs they use on a daily basis.
With the exception of no video chat, Adium is far superior to iChat. It is actually fun to use because of the fact that there are so many extras. There’s always something new you can look at on your messenger. It’s a great program and for it being free, I think it is a much better choice compared to the basic iChat.