Atlassian’s cross-platform group messaging HipChat app launched in January 2010 following a one-month beta period. The Mac app, originally developed using Adobe AIR and in beta since Valentine’s Day, is now finally ready for prime time.
If you hate AIR as much as I do, you’ll be delighted that the team has now dropped Adobe’s sluggish technology (good riddance) in favor of the native OS X experience.
And in addition to the rebuilt HipChat 2.0 for Mac, the company has also given its iOS client some much-needed love, pushing a major 2.0 update that’s leaner, faster and includes many new features. Here’s what’s new in both HipChat for Mac and iOS…
HipChat 2.0 for iOS has been re-built from the ground up for speed and consistency.
It features a cleaner look, a new lefthand sidebar for quick switching between chat rooms, a righthand sidebar for file, link and chat history, in-app notifications for a new chat or @mention while you’re chatting in another room, faster picture sharing and support for swipe gestures to access the left and right sidebars.
As for the latest Mac build, Atlassian explains it has improved performance with faster signing in, loading conversations, sending messages, scrolling and even typing.
Open chats are now stacked vertically in a new left-sidebar so you can keep more than three times as many chats open at once. There are also some nice native OS X features, like full-screen chatting and support for Retina graphics and Mountain Lion’s Notification Center.
Check out the promo clip.
The native HipChat app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad can be downloaded free from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store for Android. By the way, the team will soon bring the improvements from this iOS release back to the Android edition.
The Mac version of HipChat can be found here.
Versions for Windows and Linux are available, too.
Over 2,500 teams have signed up for HipChat thus far and they recently opened up a free trial tier for teams of up to five users. Co-founder Pete Curley told TechCrunch that Netflix has “switched almost entirely” to HipChat.
If you prefer your chats to be platform-agnostic and Google’s recently launched unified messaging Hangouts app feels too rough around the edges, you should definitely give HipChat a try.