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Thread: Skype - Instant Messaging alternative sought.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Skype - Instant Messaging alternative sought.

    Yes, I want to ditch the now emasculated and defeatured Skype for something better.
    Better: something that has all the features Skype used to have - for nothing.

    First to go "Premium" - ie, to be paid for - was screen swapping. Next was ... I've forgotten,
    and the final "enhancements" to "your Skype experience" are:
    - whacko interface style;
    - no more drag and drop to send an image - now have to send as a file;
    - no more local time displayed for contacts - now have to look up "world clock" to check time abroad.

    (I'll) say no more, lest I begin to rant.

    So what else is there? I had Yahoo Messenger - and found it cumbersome - but I now have no contacts on that.

    Ideas eagerly awaited.

    Am.
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    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular
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    Ta. Q now is: Who has used/uses any of these?

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    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
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    I've used Trillian and Digsby before, but that was way in the past - not sure what they're like now; do they even have video chat?
    They're the same as MSN, AIM messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, so if you've ever used those before, Trillian and Digsby is just that, but just all your accounts in one, which is very handy, so you only need to open one program rather than 10. Though, things like drag and drop, I don't know.

    One I haven't tried extensively yet, is Viber. Although that's more phone based, it has a computer version - but both contacts must have the phone app as it uses your mobile as ID, so that can be a problem.
    Only reason I suggest Viber is because it uses VERY little bandwidth when video chatting, and the call quality is still decent.
    I like this because if I'm capped, or talking to someone overseas who has a slower internet, the low bandwidth connection really helps, with quality that's still decent.

    I currently use VSee (because my wife only has a regular phone at the moment) which uses usernames like Skype. However, it doesn't have drag and drop. VSee is purely a chat and video chat (group video chat is supported) that uses very little bandwidth (a little more compared to Viber).

    If you're cool with online platform, there's Vyew, http://vyew.com/s/, which is a browser based chat which supports video and chatting, multiple people - it's a classroom interface, so you can share screen, play a YouTube clip for everyone to see, draw and write on the whiteboard, etc. I'm not sure what it's bandwidth usage, and depending on your connections, lag time between each other is decent - very similar to VSee and Viber quality. The free version online will just nag you each time you log on about how free accounts won't keep room history, so each time you start a room to chat, it's new.

    If you have unlimited high speed internet, Google Hangouts is an option. It's biggest issue is the fact that it eats up your data within seconds - it's a hog - not sure if Google has fixed that yet or not.

    Anyways, that's my list.
    Last edited by bitsnpieces; 31-01-2015 at 11:54am.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I use Trillian, which although not a messenger system in itself, lets you add accounts from a heap of different messenger systems and emails. It then aggregates them and you run the lot via the Trillian interface. So rather than have several messenger/email apps all running and using all the different interfaces, Trillian takes over and you use one system to run them all.

    I have yahoo/msn/skype/facebook messenger all running out of it, along with 6 email accounts. All being managed in the one application. Cause trillian offers such a big range of integration it can be a bit cumbersome till you learn it. But then that is no different to learning Photoshop or any other software really.
    Last edited by ricktas; 31-01-2015 at 11:47am.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I once used Trillian.
    Haven't used messaging systems in years tho.

    One word of caution about Viber.
    it may look great on the face of it, but be warned it may create a situation where you could be a marked man.

    One of it's major flaws, is that when you sign up to it, it requires that you allow it access to all your contacts.
    In doing this, it catalogs all your contacts and creates accounts for those contacts in it's database.

    So(as an example), if you have me as a contact, and I specifically don't want to be a user or known to this Viber conspiracy .. the mere fact that I'm a contact in your system then creates an account on my behalf on Viber just because I'm a contact on your system!

    There needs to be laws against this, and I recently recommended to my daughter not to join this Viber network simply for this reason alone.

    So you may already be plugged into the Viber system and not even know it if someone you know has joined up and has you as a contact.
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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    Google Talk if you have a gmail account, but I've only occassionally used it, and then for basic messaging. I used Pidgin for years, because it handled most chat clients, and it kept them all together for me. I used it for my Google Talk, Yahoo, and MSN Messager chat. When MSN went to Skype, I gave up using MSN. Skype is only used for people wanting to ring me.

    I wish they wouldn't keep changing things and chasing large dollars. I just get used to one piece of software when it gets upgraded, made better, too expensive, too complicated and loaded with features I don't want.

    Have a look at the clients Pidgin now supports and see if any of them are of use to you.

    You could take a vow of silence, then you won't need a chat client at all

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    Ta for the info, guys. This Trillian sounds interesting.

    I have IDed ONE MAJOR IRK with Skype: you CAN'T GIVE any feedback - or in my case BRICKBATS - to the authors.
    There's only a (dare I say) vapid forum that doesn't give you much info.

    Will look into these more.
    Am.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hmm! Looking down in the description of how Trillian encrypts on THIS PAGE
    I'm wondering: 1) is it as shaky as it sounds? 2) Is Skype any better?

    Last edited by ameerat42; 01-02-2015 at 8:21am.

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