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iOS code suggests Apple could bring iChat to iPhones and iPads

post #1 of 33
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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.
post #2 of 33
I'd much rather have iMessages for Mac OS first. . All being added and bundled across the board would be ideal.
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post #3 of 33
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).
post #4 of 33
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.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #5 of 33
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.
post #6 of 33
Does anybody use iChat anymore?

I haven't, in over five years.
post #7 of 33
I don't use iChat either... But I'm with everyone else. Drop iMessage. Drop FaceTime. Make it iChat. Save me the space.

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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post #8 of 33
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.
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post #9 of 33
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.
post #10 of 33
IM+ Pro for iPad and iPhone is a wonderful product. I use it everyday. But, intergration into IOS would be welcome.
post #11 of 33
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.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #12 of 33
This is incoherent. Why wasn't FaceTime and iMessage integrated into iChat?

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post #13 of 33
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.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #14 of 33
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.
post #15 of 33
The article first posted at 9to5Mac has added clarification:

"Update: Weve run this by a few developers whove 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".
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post #16 of 33
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.
post #17 of 33
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.
post #18 of 33
Who knows if Apple will remove the wording 'iChat' and use 'iMessage' for OS X? They did the same thing for Rendezvous to Bonjour
post #19 of 33
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.

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post #20 of 33
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.
post #21 of 33
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.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

+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.

I think there's considerable functionality overlap such that splitting those into separate programs adds more bloat than it saves.
post #23 of 33
wouldn't it be better to have an additional voice chat service that ties in with iMessage and FaceTime?

kids with iPod touches could call one another, iPhone users could make calls over wifi to one another. Would make international calling very appealing!

I know FaceTime does that already.. but to be honest, i'd really rather not have to look at my mug when making casual calls.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by iandean View Post

wouldn't it be better to have an additional voice chat service that ties in with iMessage and FaceTime?

kids with iPod touches could call one another, iPhone users could make calls over wifi to one another. Would make international calling very appealing!

I know FaceTime does that already.. but to be honest, i'd really rather not have to look at my mug when making casual calls.

Call it iCommunicate? Voice chat, messaging to phones and all the various IM services, Facebook, etc. One app to rule them all

Select a user, if more than one option for connecting them exists, it offers them all. So if Joe doesn't have Facetime capabilities or voice, it would automatically go to messaging. If Voice was available as well, you select between the 2. If they're on an iPhone all 3 would pop up. a computer w/a webcam and mic detected could go to all 3 as well.

Alternately have 3 different tabs and the users who fit each option will appear in that, so you select which way you want to try and check in w/someone and it tells you if that is an option. Trying to figure out how to have all the options available and still be an elegant interface.
post #25 of 33
There are some features on FaceTime that make it very different to video/audio iChat: it works more like a phone, it rings and you have the option to not answer it. Nobody would resent that, you are not available. It's "socially-correct" if you don't answer.
On the other hand, iChat shows a status. People expect from you to answer their call if you're available. You're challenged to demonstrate your unavailability, hence the use of the status feature on IMs. But the "status" feature is not that easy to manage, even for more savvy people. It's not rare the occasion when it says "Available" but you are not and creates some discomfort.
post #26 of 33
On OS X, iChat does text, voice and video. iOS now has native text and video, but aside from third party apps, voice remains with the carriers. That's the carriers' first and last stronghold before being demoted to nothing more than mobile ISPs. Apple has slowly taken the power from the carriers, and the pricing plans will reflect this as data becomes their one and only service. But until that happens, iChat will remain Mac-only. When iChat does reach iOS, perhaps with a new name, it will be introduced as the integration of text, video, and new to iPhone/iPad, voice. Gone will be the days of rollover minutes, as the carriers roll over for Apple.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

+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 send texts while I chat all of the time.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

On OS X, iChat does text, voice and video. iOS now has native text and video, but aside from third party apps, voice remains with the carriers. That's the carriers' first and last stronghold before being demoted to nothing more than mobile ISPs. Apple has slowly taken the power from the carriers, and the pricing plans will reflect this as data becomes their one and only service. But until that happens, iChat will remain Mac-only. When iChat does reach iOS, perhaps with a new name, it will be introduced as the integration of text, video, and new to iPhone/iPad, voice. Gone will be the days of rollover minutes, as the carriers roll over for Apple.

+1

I'm totally for this idea. But I think they should stick with the iChat name. It's simple & has a nice ring to it. If Apple does do what you describe they should release it for iOS devices, Mac & Windows & have it be a great competitor to Skype.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

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.

I get confused as to the difference between all these thing to be honest! iChat and iMessage and FaceTime ... Seems to me there should be one app that works the same across all Apple products the same way and offers text, voice only or video and voice ... Kind of like Skype only from Apple?
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

+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.

Wouldn't it be simpler for users if there were a single, integrated messaging app (for iOS and Mac) that allowed you to toggle between text, video and voice? I'd like to be able to seamlessly switch between different modes of communication and use a single client for all.
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Kind of like Skype only from Apple?

Except people would want to update this app beyond version 2.8 because it wouldn't start being absolutely terrible thereafter.

But, yes, exactly.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #32 of 33
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Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

I don't use iChat either... But I'm with everyone else. Drop iMessage. Drop FaceTime. Make it iChat. Save me the space.

I'm with you, I do hope Apple simplifies all these things in iChat. I'm waiting for iChat since day 1.
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post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

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.

There really seems to have been an un-Apple like lack of vision here.
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