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Ubuntu 10.04 in focus: Empathy

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.

The default messaging client in Ubuntu 10.04 remains Empathy and although it has some detractors still smarting over the switch from perennial favourite Pidgin Empathy remains a fully capable and easy to use messaging client.

Lucid sees Empathy ramp up a gear in the usability stakes partly spurred on by the awesome work of the Ubuntu 100 paper cuts initiative that sought to fix the little niggles that tend to get over looked by developers.

Below are some shots of Empathy in Ubuntu 10.04 in action. If you haven’t tried Empathy for a while I urge you to give it a fair whack of the bat because it may just knock you for six.

First run


The default ‘chat account’ when running the account wizard is now Facebook chat. A smart move on the part of developers as Facebook is virtually ubiquitous. Having support for it baked in and preconfigured is definite a boon.

GTalk remains easy


Another widely popular chat protocol is GTalk by Google. Setting up your GTalk account in Empathy remains and deliciously straight-forward as ever.



The ‘error’ dialog shown to users when an account cannot connect has also been subtly changed to prove more helpful in addressing the problem, with a danger-red backgrounder to fully draw your attention.

MeMenu Applet


The MeMenu, aside from sporting some visually impressive new buttons, has added radio buttons to better help users see which status is currently invoked.

Ubuntu Theme


And although it may be old news the new chat style used in Empathy remains awesome.