I’ve been coming around full swing in the last 18 months and am now using a ton of Apple’s programs (mail, Safari, Address Book, iCal, etc…) to do my daily work and management as oppose to what I was using before (Entourage, Outlook Express, Camino, Palm Desktop, etc…), but the one thing I haven’t been able to move over to yet is iChat.
Now it definitely integrates with the Address Book nicely, full voice and video support, and has the whole Apple fluff look (which is way too much fluff if you ask me) going for it. The problem is how iChat decides to handle group management and viewing. There is no way to tell who is in what group at all and this is a major pain. You can say which groups can be seen and which are hidden, but that still doesn’t matter because it consolidates all of your buddies in one window and sorts it by name. Unacceptable. What is wrong with having a system like the collapsable groups that are in just about every other major chat client? It’s always worked well. You can add in the Apple fluff to it and make it color coded just like how you make different calendars in iCal.
Since I don’t see this being implemented into the current beta version of iChat AV before final release, I can think of only one fix that would be quick and make a hell of a lot of difference. Under the “View” menu where you can pick your different sorts, add in a “Sort by Group” option. Problem temporarily solved until you add in the color coded group in the next version (wink, wink).