There seems to have been a bit of confusion regarding exactly what Chax as an application means. All the Chax application does is serve as a gateway into iChat. It isn't a tricky reimplementation of iChat or anything wild, it just allows Chax to insert itself into iChat at launch time.

Since Chax now uses Sparkle, you should be able to upgrade from alpha 1 directly from iChat.

Changes from Chax 3.0 Alpha 1:

  • Added auto-accept options
  • Added activity window
  • Added DisableFocusRing hidden default
  • Fixed the unified contact list not remembering its position across launches
  • Fixed contacts from appearing stacked up on each other in the contact lists

Download Chax 3.0 Alpha 2


Alexis at 2009-08-29 17:45:10 -0400

Great work, Kent. Keep it up. One feature request: Re-add the ability to have previous conversations appear in a chat window. I forget exactly what it was named in 2.0, but it was just having a few lines of the previous conversation appear when a new chat window comes up. This was handy when I accidentally closed the chat window :) Thanks!

Scott at 2009-08-29 17:52:27 -0400

Thanks for the SL alpha build. iChat just isn't the same without Chax. The new build is working great and currently has all the features I require. (All Contacts window being the most important)

Ryan Sullivan at 2009-08-29 17:52:41 -0400

Looks like the "Check for updates" is NOT working because it thinks Im up to date, but I'm not. :( Screenshot:

Ryan Sullivan at 2009-08-29 17:55:33 -0400

@Alexis This feature is actually BUILT into iChat now: (Screenshot)

Brian at 2009-08-29 18:25:48 -0400

Glad to see the auto-accept. Thanks. My one issues I see is that opening old iChat transcripts of chats will open up a second instance of iChat if you already have launched iChat via Chax. It works fine if you "Open With" Chax, but there is no way to open all transcripts with Chax by default. (The Get Info doesn't work.) I hope that made sense.

Devin at 2009-08-29 18:47:41 -0400

Hey, I doubt there’s anything you can do about it at your end, but because of the way iChat has to be implemented now without Input Managers, it seems Quicksilver’s iChat commands no longer work with it. They just pop open the iChat icon in the dock, meaning with Chax, I have two iChat icons open and still no IM window. Oh well, I’d much rather use iChat with Chax than with QS.

Joey H at 2009-08-29 18:51:48 -0400

Found a bug with "Show Text Status"... Check it out: Also, I find the bandaid in the menus unnecessary - may I ask why they are included? I would think seamless integration would be desired. So I would like to request that they be removed. Other than that I'm loving this app. I just discovered it. Thanks!

TylerB at 2009-08-29 19:04:15 -0400

>Also, I find the bandaid in the menus unnecessary – may I ask why they are included? I would think seamless integration would be desired. So I would like to request that they be removed. Wow, these really annoy you enough to write in and complain ?? I don't mind them at all..

Kent Sutherland at 2009-08-29 19:06:14 -0400

The menu item badges are there because I've received countless emails from people unable to find a particular option that Chax adds. The badge makes the options that Chax adds stand out for some users who are unable to find them easily.

Devin at 2009-08-29 19:49:10 -0400

Two things: The first, a feature request from old Chax. I really liked how it would undim and prevent screen savers with new messages. The second, a bug I think? When I change my Jabber statuses (but not AIM), I get Growl notifications about myself.

Scott at 2009-08-29 20:40:38 -0400

I've noticed when i start that my MSN (through gmail and jabber transport) contacts and AIM contacts all appear in the All Contacts window. Then within seconds the AIM contacts disappear. (Switching to the AIM window they are still there and connected.) P.S. I like the icon beside chax features in the menus.

Ryan Sullivan at 2009-08-29 21:10:36 -0400

I like the icon in the menus, it allows me to see that Chax is working and allows me to see what its adding to my experience. Maybe if I'm lucky the next release will include status changes in chats :)

Scott at 2009-08-29 21:58:31 -0400

Disregard previous comment about missing contacts. (mix up on my part between gmail and AIM contact for same person)

sjk at 2009-08-29 22:38:10 -0400

Kent: The original Chax on Snow Leopard announcement post briefly mentions switching to an application loader has pros/cons. Would you (or anyone else) have some specific examples, especially any cons? A brief web search for that topic didn't reveal anything useful. Thanks!

Lori at 2009-08-29 23:49:29 -0400

Awesome! I'd have rather had "hide iChat when its not active" back first though since I never auto-accept anything anyway. :D

Stellarola at 2009-08-30 00:54:14 -0400

Thanks Kent for doing an implementation of Chax into Snow Leopard. I almost considered switching to Adium because I love the growl implementation so much.

Pete at 2009-08-30 01:02:48 -0400

The only feature I'm really still missing is the ability to mute iChat sounds when away. Otherwise, this is some pretty amazing work for such a short amount of time since 10.6 his been released.

Robert at 2009-08-30 04:07:29 -0400

Hi guys, great job. I'm so happy using working chax again. Big thank you. Anyway, I have not tried ICQ chat, so have no idea if html code is still there or not but as soon as it's fine $15 is yours ;-)

N3RD at 2009-08-30 04:25:16 -0400

Hey Kent, great work-around for missing InputManagers. I used old Chax alot but since I'm using SL I'm having problems with ICQ-HTML-describing-stuff. I tried alpha 1 and the newest - 2. I appreciate that you're developing pretty hard and fast (SL did release on friday and we're on sunday now) but I hope you might implement my ICQ issues into Chax :) Greets from Germany

Robert at 2009-08-30 05:54:28 -0400

Just get the ICQ chat tested and found the same as German friend. The annoying "html" code is still there. Please guys try to fix it in the next release, it would be very kind of you. Thanks.

Mike at 2009-08-30 08:34:10 -0400

how do I turn off growl notifications?

kolouker at 2009-08-30 12:22:12 -0400

Hello, Thanks for enabling Chax for SL users. One problem I have is when iChat is not running but only the iChat agent is used. When a text invitation comes iChat pens without Chax, is there any way to make iChat always open with Chax?

Jon Thompson at 2009-08-30 12:40:50 -0400

So I realized yesterday that Chax as an application is completely unusable to me in how I use iChat... - I _never_ click on the iChat icon in the Dock. In fact, I don't show it in the Dock at all. - I routinely quit iChat. - I'll start a chat from the iChat menu item, which opens vanilla iChat. - I'll receive an chat request, which opens vanilla iChat. Now, if you can figure out how to make those events launch Chax, I will be happy, but until then, I'm stuck with vanilla iChat. Oh, and growl support is my favorite Chax feature.

sjk at 2009-08-30 15:34:47 -0400

Mike, Open the Applications tab of Growl under System Preferences, double-click Chax, switch to the Notifications tab, and configure as you wish.

Benne at 2009-08-30 15:56:29 -0400

Yeah, if you add ICQ Support (so that it will not send the html) I will make a donation, because I urgently need this!

Josh Pyles at 2009-08-30 17:32:34 -0400

I'm with Jon Thompson above. I really need the menubar menu to open chats in Chax rather than popping up regular iChat. I don't know what's up. Anyone else having trouble with that?

modernistarchitect at 2009-08-30 22:03:56 -0400

how about a read me file, because no matter what i do, it isn't working for me!

Jon Thompson at 2009-08-31 00:38:16 -0400

Josh Pyles, I understand _why_ it doesn't work- you aren't double clicking on the Chax application. However, I am asking for some way to change the iChatAgent, so that anytime it opens iChat, it uses the Chax app rather than iChat proper.

Scott at 2009-08-31 09:58:21 -0400

When signing into AOL account from second machine (aka iPhone), get the customary "AOL account signed in at two locations", but no way to remove dock icon flashing the message from AOL System even after closing that chat window and even logging out of AIM. (Must restart ichat/chax totally)

Joseph McLaughlin at 2009-08-31 10:52:15 -0400

Great solution! (In fact, it's the same one Apple uses with WebKit) Great to have Chax back!

Alessio at 2009-08-31 11:29:09 -0400

GREAT JOB! Everybody donate!!!! (I did) - FEATURE REQUEST: in Mail there is a blue dot in new messages. Can you add a blue dot on the left of the contact name in tabbed view (meaning there is a new message in that thread)? I think that it's more direct than the truncated message in a baloon. Thanks, Alessio (Italy)

Hafan at 2009-08-31 11:33:30 -0400

Great job.Thank you, but is a problem remove html tag from ICQ?

Josh Pyles at 2009-08-31 13:28:00 -0400

@Jon Thompson: I 100% agree. My specific need is the menu bar but I think any sort of iChat call should be redirected to Chax for it to be fully integrated. It seems like there should be a way to make this work, whether it requires a hack of iChatAgent or otherwise.

Max Salzberg at 2009-08-31 13:42:34 -0400

@jon Thompson, @josh Pyles What if you set chax to be the default IM app in ichat prefrences....does that change how the ichat invites open?

Devin at 2009-08-31 14:27:27 -0400

@Max Salzberg That’s a good idea! Unfortunately, it didn’t work though :(

Robert at 2009-08-31 14:35:38 -0400

I dont understand what u r talking about. I've changed chax icon with iChat icon and then replaced iChat icon in the dock with chax. All works like if there is iChat with proper iChat menu bar + chax in iChat preferences.

Robert at 2009-08-31 14:38:54 -0400

Only thing I really miss (cos we all here in a heart of Europe use an ICQ) is proper ICQ chat without html code

Kent Sutherland at 2009-08-31 15:17:30 -0400

@sjk: Some of the cons have been mentioned in the comments already. Those include iChat launching instead of Chax when selecting a contact from the menu extra, or when iChat is closed and someone messages you. Since Chax is now just a loader for iChat, calls to open iChat will sometimes open iChat without going through the loader. The benefit to the loader is Chax isn't loading into every Cocoa application anymore. This didn't actually affect applications other than iChat since the operation was a complete no-op, but it resulted in Chax appearing as loaded into every application, which confused some people. It also allows people to use Chax without having to install something with an admin account, which is simpler in some ways. I'm still not 100% set on staying with this method, but it seems to be the best solution right now. @Josh Pyles, Jon Thompson: Regarding the problems with the menu extra and iChatAgent opening the wrong application, I'm working on fixing this issues next.

Gerald at 2009-08-31 15:36:14 -0400

Am I misiisng something or did you remove the logging feature. I used to be able to right click on a buddy name and choose View Logs, and I could search that log for some piece of information. All that seems to be gone now. I SO loved that feature... :-(

Kent Sutherland at 2009-08-31 15:37:28 -0400

@Gerald: The log viewer is still there, the view logs menu item hasn't made its way back yet. You can still get the log viewer from the Window menu and then search from there.

Robert at 2009-08-31 15:46:37 -0400

Hi Kent, you did not mention anything about ICQ html code. Are planing to do something with it? Thanks.

Kent Sutherland at 2009-08-31 15:48:21 -0400

@Robert: I'm looking into it. Apple has rewritten the entire message-generation backend in Snow Leopard, so pinning down exactly what needs to be changed could be tricky.

Robert at 2009-08-31 15:54:36 -0400

Thank you Kent, I appreciate it and as I mention before I'm gonna donate as soon as will be able to enjoy chatting to my ICQ friends ;-)

sjk at 2009-08-31 16:12:15 -0400

Thanks for the followup, Kent. I'd noticed those "cons" in comments after mine. Unless/until you find a superior method it looks like the application loader benefits mostly outweigh the negatives, at least for my usage.

Duane Williams at 2009-08-31 17:01:39 -0400

I am quite happy with this SL update. Also, check for updates worked just fine for me, going from A1 to A2. Thanks!

dgk at 2009-08-31 17:03:58 -0400

Kent, Another "thanks" for giving us Chax features under Snow Leopard--while appreciating it's still very much a work in progress. Possible bug: With View->Use Groups enabled, I can't drag a contact from one Group to another. While a duplicate of the contact does get dragged and as I move over another group that group is highlighted, when I "drop" the contact into that other group, nothing happens--the contact is still in its original group. (If I launch iChat directly, the move between groups with a drag and drop works.) David

Robert at 2009-08-31 18:28:29 -0400

Hi Kent, have just sent you some $ hopefully it will help fix the "ICQ problem" ;-)

Azee at 2009-08-31 20:19:28 -0400

Very nice, but Auto accept file transfers not work here...any more ppl have this problem? Thanks!

Josh Turse at 2009-08-31 21:28:55 -0400

I love Chax - the thing I like most (since people are mentioning this) is the single contact list (I have 4 chat accounts). I would love it if iChatAgent opened Chax when I open iChat from the menu bar (I don't have iChat or Chax in the dock).

joshh at 2009-08-31 22:06:26 -0400

Kent, you rock. iChat annoys me with your improvements. Keep up the great work man! Just installed it and will let you know of any bugs I come across. Thanks you very much!

Matty Boy at 2009-08-31 22:53:06 -0400

Auto-resizing works, but only if I uncheck, and then recheck after loading chax. Just thought you should know of the bug. ;)

joshh at 2009-08-31 23:27:05 -0400

Ha! Correction: "iChat annoys me >>WITHOUT<< your improvements". Keyword there. Sorry about that. To clarify, I like iChat by itself but I love iChat with Chax!

Devin at 2009-09-01 02:02:06 -0400

Hey, I coulda sworn this didn’t used to be a default, but now iChat seems to be remembering my open chat windows across sessions (and it is iChat, cuz it happens even when I don’t go through Chax). It would be nice if Chax was able to have an option to disable this!

Alexey at 2009-09-01 05:16:05 -0400

Please, include html bug fixing for icq messages!

albert at 2009-09-01 10:41:07 -0400

Is anyone else having problems with the "Current iTunes song" not showing as a status - I select it but it doesn't appear in Chax. When running iChat only it works...?

hahajojo at 2009-09-01 13:30:43 -0400

auto hide when not active is a big priority for me! thanks so much!

Chris at 2009-09-01 15:18:40 -0400

Hey Kent, thanks for the great work you did! I'm using chax the day i got my first Mac (unfortunately that was not that long ago, wasting to much time struggling with Windows) As mentioned before, ICQ is probably the most popular IM in Germany/Europe, for that you would make a lot of people happy if you could fix the html problem with ICQ. Keep up the good work ;)

Max Salzberg at 2009-09-01 15:21:54 -0400

Hey, I also noticed a small annoying aspect with SL new "minimize application to dock icon" feature. If I currently have the "all contatcts" window open (btw thank you so much for this!!) and then i click on the icon, it opens up the the first of my login (Jabber buddy list). If I close jabber, and click it again, it opens my aim buddy list. If I do this again, it opens jabber again. granted, I can just right click and open "chax" window, but it would be nice if the all accounts window was correctly registered to the dock. Thanks for Chax.

Benne at 2009-09-01 17:10:47 -0400

Hey Kent, thanks for the great work you did! I’m using chax the day i got my first Mac (unfortunately that was not that long ago, wasting to much time struggling with Windows) As mentioned before, ICQ is probably the most popular IM in Germany/Europe, for that you would make a lot of people happy if you could fix the html problem with ICQ. Keep up the good work ;) //Signed.

Dustin at 2009-09-01 17:56:36 -0400

I'm also having the issue where you cannot set the status to the current playing itunes song. Is there any new API apple put in for 64 bit plugins or something because honestly I like the old style MUCH more.

mistical at 2009-09-01 18:02:46 -0400

@Dustin I'm using Chax Alpha 2 with iTunes 8.2.1 and having no issues with status set as "Current iTunes Song". Yes, using Snow Leopard.

dgk at 2009-09-01 19:10:15 -0400

I didn't originally get my current iTunes (v8.2.1 under Snow Leopard 10.6) song as my status when I choose that option--something I had never done before in iChat, with or without Chax--but now I do. While I don't know whether what I did--which was to launch iChat directly, choose that iTunes-song green-status option, quit iChat, and then launch via Chax--"kicked" something, but now I can switch between all the green-status options and each behaves as labeled. (I've quit and relaunched via Chax several times and, so far, I can still switch between all the green-status options and each works.) David

dgk at 2009-09-01 19:47:19 -0400

And to second Matty Boy's input yesterday, I, too, find that I have to toggle the auto-resize for it to take effect, but in my case, the enabled auto-resize seems to persist, even across re-launches, if I haven't manually done anything to the size of the (in my case) AIM Buddy List window. If I do, say, reduce the vertical size, it remains that way until, it seems, the number of on-line contacts change--then it does the auto resize. Also, I just tried manually reducing the size of the window so only 1 of the 3 on-line contacts showed (without scrolling); there was no subsequent auto-resize; and then I quit that iChat that had been initiated via Chax. I quickly re-launched via Chax and the window, still with 3 on-line contacts, is still the smaller size only showing 1 without scrolling; however, after several minutes, the number of on-line contacts changed--it became 4--and the window was then auto-reized to show all 4. (All that was without ever toggling off and back on the auto-resize option.) David David

Atlas Cerise at 2009-09-01 20:12:12 -0400

Thanks for updating this to work with SL. I don't mind the separate app situation as long as all my buddy lists can be in one window :). Thanks very much for this app.