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Beach ball, no more: Chatology aims to fix OS X's messaging misfortune

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A new app from Flexibits, the makers of Fantastical

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Searching for people or messages inside Apple's Messages for Mac can be downright unbearable. Typing anything into the app's search bar is liable to slow your computer to a halt, even after some tweaks Apple made in its latest OS X update. Flexibits, the maker of Fantastical, thinks it has a fix: Today the company is launching Chatology, an app for searching through all the instant messaging logs on your Mac. If you've hooked up iMessage, it will search through those messages, too.

A simple way to search for instant messages that won't crash your Mac

Poring through old IMs isn't something most people do every day, but if you often find yourself digging around for that conversation you had with a colleague over AIM, or those dinner plans you made with a friend over Google Talk, Chatology works very well. It plugs directly into Messages for Mac's conversation database, and offers a variety of features like the ability to export conversations to plain text, sort conversations by date, and filter the content of a conversation by text, images, or links. Effectively, this feature provides an easy way to view a complete history of images and links you've shared with someone, which is both useful and fun. Most importantly, the app is fast.

The biggest issue with Chatology is OS X itself, which does a poor job organizing your instant messages and iMessages. It's not uncommon to find duplicate and empty conversations with odd dates in Chatology, and unfortunately's there's not much anyone can do about it. The app also doesn't support Adium or any other third-party chat apps you might use on your computer, but Flexibits says it's considering adding compatibility. If you don't find yourself perusing old chat logs too often, it could be easy to forget about the app — but fortunately, activating it is as simple as pressing Command F to search inside Messages for Mac, just like you normally would. Still, the app's $19.99 price tag is out of reach for many, but if you frequently search for old messages on your Mac, Chatology is invaluable.