How is iChat "user friendly"???

At Apple, they're announcing some improvements to Mac OS X, many of which sound quite wonderful. But this iChat client looks ridiculous. Apple is having trouble distinguishing between "user friendly" and "user stupid."
On their Jaguar info page (Jaguar being the codename of the new version of OS X) you can see a screenshot of iChat, a new IM client that is compatible with AIM. Beyond the fact that it's kind of amazing they got AOL to even agree to this, you'd think that they would take advantage of it with a usable interface.
This is supposedly "user friendly"... a stack of photographs with cartoon bubbles popping out of their mouths.
I really want to be able to use this thing, because I want a non-AIM client for OS X that I can also transfer files with, but this thing is hideous. I hope we can just turn all that stuff off and have a nice, clean, lean interface like Adium.

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you can turn the speech bubbles off…

in the applications preferences. Thank God!

I haven't used it myself yet but http:/ have a full review.

I'm relieved!!!

I was hoping for this, but I couldn't assume. After all, there is so MUCH in Aqua that I wish I could just turn OFF. (My Pismo's little ATI Rage Mobility is feeling slower every day...)

andrew hinton ::

View Menu

It appears that you can disable this in the View menu.


the bubbles are a little too cutesy for me. i was intrigued by the new "ink" handwriting recognition feature that will let you write using a stylus and tablet instead of typing.

iChat visual ick

I believe that there are two settings. There is an OS level setting to disable to chrome look and there is also an option in iChat (AFAIK) to disbale to word baloons. One would hope. They do look far too cute for words and when added to the chrome look (which I am starting to really dislike) makes iChat look unusable.