iOS code suggests Apple could bring iChat to iPhones and iPads

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
References discovered in the underlying code of Apple's iOS mobile operating system suggest that some cross-platform features of Mac OS X iChat could make their way to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.



Though the code discovered by developer John Heaton, and highlighted by TUAW, doesn't specifically mention iChat, it does include strings related to outside services AOL Instant Messenger and Jabber. The iMessage application found in iOS 5 allows text messaging, but does not currently connect to third-party chat services like AIM.



But the iChat software built into Mac OS X does connect to services like AIM, Jabber and others, like Yahoo Messenger. The code references discovered by Heaton suggest that Apple was at one point testing similar functionality in iMessage for iOS 5.



Also interesting is the fact that the "IMService" code in iOS 5 mentions both the iMessage and FaceTime services. Currently, iMessage and FaceTime are separate applications in iOS 5, with the iPhone handing off FaceTime duties to the handset's native "Phone" application, and the iPad and iPod touch featuring a separate application specifically for FaceTime. The code might suggest that FaceTime could eventually become integrated in iMessage.



Even on the Mac, FaceTime and iChat are different applications without integration. And there is currently no support for iMessage in Mac OS X, though there has been evidence that Apple could bring iMessage support to iChat in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.



iMessage is Apple's new proprietary chat client that debuted with the launch of iOS 5 in October. For iPhone users, it handles text messaging responsibilities, but it also allows for free messaging between iPhone users, as well as iPad and iPod touch users, in a manner similar to Research in Motion's BlackBerry Messenger.







The iMessage software is based on the same push technology that Apple developed for use in iOS application notifications, push e-mail and contacts.



Like iMessage, FaceTime originally debuted on the iPhone and was not available on Macs. But earlier this year, Apple released a dedicated FaceTime application on the Mac App Store for 99 cents.
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Comments

  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I'd much rather have iMessages for Mac OS first. . All being added and bundled across the board would be ideal.
  • doc_gdoc_g Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    References discovered in the underlying code of Apple's iOS mobile operating system suggest that some cross-platform features of Mac OS X iChat could make their way to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.



    Though the code discovered by developer John Heaton, and highlighted by TUAW, doesn't specifically mention iChat, it does include strings related to outside services AOL Instant Messenger and Jabber. The iMessage application found in iOS 5 allows text messaging, but does not currently connect to third-party chat services like AIM.



    But the iChat software built into Mac OS X does connect to services like AIM, Jabber and others, like Yahoo Messenger. The code references discovered by Heaton suggest that Apple was at one point testing similar functionality in iMessage for iOS 5.



    Also interesting is the fact that the "IMService" code in iOS 5 mentions both the iMessage and FaceTime services. Currently, iMessage and FaceTime are separate applications in iOS 5, with the iPhone handing off FaceTime duties to the handset's native "Phone" application, and the iPad and iPod touch featuring a separate application specifically for FaceTime. The code might suggest that FaceTime could eventually become integrated in iMessage.



    Even on the Mac, FaceTime and iChat are different applications without integration. And there is currently no support for iMessage in Mac OS X, though there has been evidence that Apple could bring iMessage support to iChat in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.



    iMessage is Apple's new proprietary chat client that debuted with the launch of iOS 5 in October. For iPhone users, it handles text messaging responsibilities, but it also allows for free messaging between iPhone users, as well as iPad and iPod touch users, in a manner similar to Research in Motion's BlackBerry Messenger.







    The iMessage software is based on the same push technology that Apple developed for use in iOS application notifications, push e-mail and contacts.



    Like iMessage, FaceTime originally debuted on the iPhone and was not available on Macs. But earlier this year, Apple released a dedicated FaceTime application on the Mac App Store for 99 cents.



    I for one encourage Apple to include iChat on the iPhone and iPad. I have been waiting for this. I use iChat exclusively on my Mac and would love to toss the other programs that I have to switch to on these iOS devices (Beejive, AIM, and imo just don't cut it for me).
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,280member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'd much rather have iMessages for Mac OS. I really these all get added and bundled across the board.



    Hear hear. iMessage and FaceTime integrated into a completely redesigned iChat (because the current design is so 2004 and doesn't lend itself as well to differentiating these accounts from different sources) and iChat accounts into Messages on iDevices. iCloud to sync all of them, even if you only have two computers with iChat installed and no iOS devices at all.
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'd much rather have iMessages for Mac OS. I really these all get added and bundled across the board.



    I'd like iMessage for OS X for my use but I'm not sure I want anyone else who nags me to have it.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,915member
    Does anybody use iChat anymore?



    I haven't, in over five years.
  • andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    I don't use iChat either... But I'm with everyone else. Drop iMessage. Drop FaceTime. Make it iChat. Save me the space.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Does anybody use iChat anymore?



    I haven't, in over five years.



    Only when I need to remote into someone's machine. Other than that I use Adium.
  • gustavgustav Posts: 803member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Does anybody use iChat anymore?



    I haven't, in over five years.



    To remote into someone's machine, and to video conference with family approximately once per week.
  • s4mb4s4mb4 Posts: 267member
    IM+ Pro for iPad and iPhone is a wonderful product. I use it everyday. But, intergration into IOS would be welcome.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'd much rather have iMessages for Mac OS first. . All being added and bundled across the board would be ideal.



    I suspect that would happen at the same time. FaceTime integrated into the one Mac program as well.
  • aizmovaizmov Posts: 987member
    This is incoherent. Why wasn't FaceTime and iMessage integrated into iChat?
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,280member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    This is incoherent. Why wasn't FaceTime and iMessage integrated into iChat?



    FaceTime because it was originally paid and iMessage because it's not even available for OS X yet.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    This is incoherent. Why wasn't FaceTime and iMessage integrated into iChat?



    Most likely waiting until iOS 5.x is mature as well as OS X 10.7. Those private frameworks would have to be thoroughly tested before any public frameworks can be made available, if ever.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,657member
    The article first posted at 9to5Mac has added clarification:



    "Update: We?ve run this by a few developers who?ve seen this before. Their take is that it is code copied from desktop OS X and may not be indicative of new features. Basically, Apple has a general messaging framework. This framework covers text chat and video conferencing. FaceTime, iChat, and iMessage apps are all based on this framework, furthermore some code references will spill over between apps. The image above is simply a list of the Apple software built on top of this chat framework".
  • maury markowitzmaury markowitz Posts: 295member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'd much rather have iMessages for Mac OS first. . All being added and bundled across the board would be ideal.



    +1



    Seriously, I don't understand why people would want an "all in one" chat client that does text and video (let alone MS's idiotic writing!). I don't text while I'm video chatting, and I don't video chat while I'm texting. Why would you?



    I want two apps, small ones that do one thing well.



    Of course there is the need for a third app, also small and doing one thing well: VOIP. Like iMessage, dialling another iPhone owner should be able to use GSM/Wi-FI instead of my minutes.
  • enjournienjourni Posts: 254member
    iMessage. FaceTime. iChat.



    Apple seems to not want to know what the heck to call their instant messaging system.



    FaceTime has the marketing $, I think they should just kill everything and call it all FaceTime.
  • supremedesignersupremedesigner Posts: 72member
    Who knows if Apple will remove the wording 'iChat' and use 'iMessage' for OS X? They did the same thing for Rendezvous to Bonjour
  • sfoalexsfoalex Posts: 22member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'd much rather have iMessages for Mac OS first. . All being added and bundled across the board would be ideal.



    Couldn't agree more. Bring iMessage to the desktop and laptop.
  • j1h15233j1h15233 Posts: 274member
    Just to echo what others have said, iMessage, iChat and Facetime should all be rolled into one app. To have three separate versions is just dumb.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,915member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Only when I need to remote into someone's machine. Other than that I use Adium.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    To remote into someone's machine, and to video conference with family approximately once per week.



    Google+ is a brilliant solution (accommodates up to 10 people on VC). It is stupefying to me that Apple can't implement something as simple and straightforward. What we have is a bit of an incoherent mess, between iMessage, iChat, and Facetime.



    I am beginning to think that Apple's networking products, incl. iChat, Facetime, iCloud, Mail, MobileMe, iDisk etc etc all leave something to be desired. Especially compared to the quality of the company's hardware and the rest of its software. Perhaps it's time for some new leadership there.
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