Thanks to a tip from Lifehacker I finally snagged an invite to the Trillian Astra beta program. It’s puzzling that the Cerulean Studios guys are just handing out the software now. I “applied” for the beta a long time ago (seems like years) and was never selected or notified. I’ve been a Trillian Pro user since May 2004 (and used Trillian Basic for a few years before that) so I thought for sure eventually I would be picked. Now today I apply again and within minutes I had the e-mail with the download link and my registration key.
The install/upgrade went smoothly: I created my new Astra account and linked it to my existing Trillian Pro account. The software found my existing settings and migrated them all into Astra (aka Trillian 4.0). All of my plugins (like POP3 Mail and Weather) were still there, including my contacts and contact groups. The only thing I seem to have lost was my custom names for my contacts so I had to go through the list and rename them. The new Cordonata skin is slick looking and I like how you can easily change the colors (I prefer darker themes, with transparency).
There are a lot of new features (that I will probably never use) focused on social networking: plugins and widgets for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. My primary use of Trillian is multi-service chat and that’s what it still does the best.
When released, the Pro version of Astra will cost $25, or $10 for upgrading users.