AOL Releases AIM For OS X, Fire Updated Again

AOLis persistence in blocking the freeware IM client, Fire, made more sense late yesterday when they released AIM for OS X. If you have not been following the saga, Fire is an instant messaging client that supports a number of popular IM protocols, including AIM, Yahoo, and MSN. AOL, however, has been blocking access to their servers by users of Fire, forcing OS X user to use the classic version of AIM, or resort to the Java based AIM Express.

After having almost no options, OS X users can now choose between AOLis version of AIM for OS X, or an updated version of Fire using a new library, which should allow users access to AOLis servers without the problems that previous versions of the application were subject to.

While there are two options, all IM clients are not created equal. AOLis AIM for OS X is lacking some of the major features that AIM for OS 9 has, including Talk and file transfer. Of course Fire has never had these features, and still does not, but one would expect AIM to have these features or to add them shortly.

After a dayis worth of use, it is also worth nothing that AIM for X is far more demanding on the processor than is Fire. Fire runs almost in the background, with AIM for X seems to take an extremely high percentage of the CPUis cycles.

At this point, it is a matter of preference. AOLis AIM for OS X provides a familiar interface for AIM users, while Fire provides an outstanding alternative for AIM while also supporting a number of other popular instant messaging protocols.

You can find more information about Fire at the Epicware Web site, and more information about AOLis AIM for OS X at the AOL Web site.