AOL releases AIM for Mac 1.0 beta; world asks, "why?"

AOL hasn’t really been a household name on the Mac for quite a while. Since the ISP-cum-media-company’s Mac download section began collecting dust long ago, Apple took up the task of building its own (great) AIM client that became a staple for Mac OS X’s no-fuss integration of audio and video chat, iChat.

So, who wants to try out a beta of AIM for Mac 1.0?

No joke. Despite the existence of iChat, and even AIM 4.7 for Macintosh that hasn’t been touched in over four years, AOL has apparently gone back to the drawing board with AIM for Mac 1.0 beta 1.

The new Leopard-scented client brings customization for things like AIM Expressions, sounds, wallpaper, and emoticons (we know, you’ve already stopped reading this to go download a copyβ€”jerk). And, of course, it integrates with everyone’s favorite e-mail service: AOL Mail. It also features tabbed chatting, as well as wild fonts and text styles as far as the eye can see.

But seriously, though we power users who left AOL in the dust long ago poke fun at it from that perspective, AIM for Mac may very well serve its demographic well. It could very well be that Apple’s expanding horde of switchers are feeling lost without some of the features and service integration they were used to on Windows, and though iChat is nice and shiny, it just doesn’t have that familiar "You’ve Got Mail" feel.

From ARS Technica

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