Mac Happens

Macs and AOL 5.0

March 15, 2000 - Evan Kleiman

One of the problems which bugs AOL users who use Macs is the fact that the Mac version of their software is always the last to be updated. AOL for Windows will be released, then the Mac version will be released three months later. Finally, after many months of having AOL 5.0 for Windows out for the public, the Mac version has been released - in beta form, that is.

AOL 5.0 Beta for Macintosh is available to existing AOL members only, and you can get it at the AOL Keyword: Beta.

Once you download this file and install it, you will be able to get right to the benefits of AOL 5.0, and this new program does offer many of them.

One of the best new enhancements to this new version of AOL is the addition of two more accounts. Now, you can have up to seven screen names. Your screen name is your online identity.

Also, AOL 5.0 adds some new services, one of which is a service called "my colander." This service gives you a complete online planner, customized just for you. It offers features like a daily horoscope, daily weather, and special daily chats. You can also print the online colanders.

Another feature AOL 5.0 adds is a minor one, but it is quite useful. When you are sending and receiving Instant Messages, you can click one button and get access to the user's profile. This is instead of doing three steps and manually typing the users screen name.

Even though AOL 5.0 adds many nice new features, I believe it still has many shortcomings. In future releases, I would like to see features like more colors to use for your text. Currently, you can only send Instant Messages and emails in 25 colors.

Also, I would like to see the ability to check your AOL Email via POP3 protocol, and, relating to that, AOL having the ability to read POP3 email accounts. These new features would make great improvements to AOL 6.0, or even AOL 5.0 final.

Hopefully AOL's programmers will take these suggestions and use them. Hey, maybe we'll be the first people to see them put into use!

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