AIM for Mac Beta3

On Tuesday we posted the latest AIM for Mac client, Beta3, on our beta website.  AIM for Mac was first released a month ago, and in that time we have made a bunch of changes.  The application is built on top of the Open AIM Cocoa framework that is available as part of the Open AIM Mac SDK.  Here are some highlighted changes in Beta 3:

  • Redesigned Buddy List header area and added Quick Status and Away toggle
  • Find Buddy search box is now toggled using the magnifying glass icon
  • Will now auto-format phone numbers so users can send IMs to SMS text message capable phones**
  • Fixed issue for Tiger users to correctly display status messages on the Buddy List
  • Preference window will now remember size/screen position
  • Fixed auto-accept file transfer preferences when user closes and reopens application

You can download AIM for Mac Beta 3 here.

As always we appreciate feedback on how this client is coming along.

** – I find it interesting that Google Talk launched IM to SMS as a very very burried feature in GTalk today.  It will be 5 years on December 17th this year that we released IM to SMS for AIM.  I along with our mobile team in Seattle and our AIM Host team in Dulles brought this great feature to the client oh so many years ago.

Get out and Vote on AIM

If it was up to you, who would you and your friends vote for? AIM Vote 2008 lets you cast a virtual ballot for Obama or McCain and then view how the other buddies on your buddylist with this plugin are voting right now.

This morning we published AIM Vote ’08 to the gallery, so get out there and make it known who you are voting for.  The vote total dynamically updates, so you can see in real time the results.

Download AIM Vote ’08 here.

And next week go from the virtual AIM voting booth to the real voting booth, make your voice count.

AIM 6.9 Beta 2

Last week we launched the latest AIM 6.9 beta, so I am a week late posting on this, as I was away last week.  We have changed the UI to be more graphical in nature and given users back some space on their buddy list.

But in the better late than never category, here is the change log:

  • Sign in as invisible: Sign into AIM without letting your buddies know. You can see your buddies online, but they won’t be able to see you. As always, you can IM them at anytime to give up your secret. To become available to all your buddies, click the closed eyeball icon on your Buddy List®.
  • New sleek, light weight design: Let us know what you think of the new colors, new buttons and overall look and feel. We’ve been busy removing those menus you don’t use too.
  • Manage your Buddy List: We’re giving you back more Buddy List® real estate. Find buddies in your list is now collapsed. Reveal it when you need it by selecting the keyboard keys Ctrl + f.

You can download AIM 6.9 Beta 2 here.

As always feedback is appreciated.

Open AIM 1.68 SDK

We have refreshed the Open AIM SDK, now the latest version is 1.68.  The SDK allows developers on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Win Mobile to build your own AIM client, AIM plugins as well as AIM Bots.  The SDK supports C++, C-Sharp, VB, and Java.  We have the full change log on the Open AIM developer website, but I want to highlight a few additions here:

  • Added IAccBuddyFeedManager and IAccBuddyFeed for uploading buddy feed data.
    • This allows developers to inject custom items into the buddy feed for each user.
  • On Linux, changed to look for DLLs in system path if not found in working directory
  • Cannot sign on if computer clock is significantly off.

In addition to these and many more features and bug fixes we added a full sample C-Sharp GUI based client called awshbuddy.  This reference application hopefully makes life easier for developers looking to do more with both C-Sharp as well as Visual Basic.

As with any SDK refresh we have updated all our samples and documentation on the developer website.

Tim O’Reilly waxes philosophical about beer apps and sheep

Last week while I spoke at the Future of Web Apps in London, Tim O’Reilly decided to throw out a challenge to developers to get serious about software.  I guess the timing of this fits with the state of the economy as well as the numerous “silly” apps we are seeing pop up around the web and mobile spaces.  (The “I Am Rich” app for iPhone probably holds the top prize at this moment.)

O’Reilly is never one to beat around the bush, and in this case the challenge to developers is pretty direct:

“O’Reilly argues that Silicon Valley has strayed from the passion and idealism that fuel innovation to instead follow what he calls the “mad pursuit of the buck with stupider and stupider ideas.”

I appreciate what he is asking, but Twitter, one of the sites he mentions for doing good innovation, did not start out as a place where first responders can go for information updates, it was merely a way for friends to connect with short status updates.  The other issue with all of this is the fact people are paying for beer applications and other useless apps.  As long as that happens developers will keep making them.

Over the years AIM has contributed to connecting people separated by continents as well as becoming a way to instantly communicate with people.  During 9/11 when all phone lines were tied up in the New York and DC metro areas, AIM was one of the best tools to use to communicate with friends and family since the internet was still up and running.

Tim’s passion toward developing applications that change the world is important, but sometimes the applications that are most impactful do not necessarily start out that way.  YouTube has broken down barriers of information sharing and gathering and come November 4th, we will see the results of the influence of the internet and social networks had on the election here in the United States.