Yes, friends, there are millions of internet users who once thought AOL was the internet. And, yes, AOL for the Mac is back and it’s not a pretty sight. Honestly, I was sure AOL for the Mac died years ago.
The App That Won’t Die
Although we may not like to admit it, there are plenty of us around who actually cut our teeth on American Online– AOL Desktop for Mac.
To be honest about it, AOL was once larger and had more users than the public internet which didn’t gain the popularity of the masses until about 1995.
AOL did everything possible to provide a walled garden entertainment and information system to compete.
Alas, that was then and this is now, and AOL today is free and anemic, though somewhat safer than browsing the public internet at large.
The advantages are nominal but may be useful. AIM– AOL’s instant messenger service– is built in. So are a wide varieties of parental controls.
AOL Desktop for Mac has been cleaned up, modernized, even flattened if you will.
Almost out of sight are the candy coated and cartoonish icons reminiscent of Fisher-Price more than a modern application.
These days AOL is out of the subscription business and makes money the old fashioned way. Questionable journalism with a bent toward commercializing any and every idea, article, photo, or titillating thought.
Navigation hasn’t changed much, either. AOL Desktop for Mac is browser-inspired, but still gives you access to the Buddy List, and tosses up quick views of Mail (You’ve got mail!), the weather, what’s on AOL radio, and video clips.
All are designed to keep your eyeballs glued to the screen while AOL runs advertisements by you as fast as the speed of light allows. The toolbar is customizable, Mac-like style, and tabs make it easy to keep your AOL curated information easily organized and accessible.
There’s isn’t much you can find on AOL that you won’t find elsewhere, but you just won’t have to click as much to find it.