Collaborative chat service HipChat has been available on multiple platforms including Mac and iOS for some time, but the desktop iteration has until now existed as an Adobe Air app. Citing an outpouring of requests from its users and an internal unhappiness with Air as a platform, Atlassian has launched a beta of a fully native Mac client that addresses technical shortcomings and adds new features.
Speed and stability are the obvious initial upsides of the move away from Air, and Atlassian claims that the native app isn't just faster, but reduces CPU overhead by more than five times. The new client also features a redesigned left-hand navigation pane for organizing chats, the ability to display inline animated GIFs and full support for OS X staples such as Notification Center, fullscreen mode and Retina resolution.
The Mac client beta can be downloaded from HipChat's site. The service itself runs US$2 per user per month and offers a 30-day free trial.