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Apple details Leopard's expanded Instant Message framework

post #1 of 81
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Apple is slowly publicizing some of Mac OS X Leopard's underlying features, most recently providing developers with an explanation of how the operating system's expanded Instant Message framework will allow them to access iChat 4.0 features from within their applications.

For example, Apple said the framework will allow developers to programatically determine through their own applications whether a specific instant message user is online, and start iChat theater sessions to share supporting video and audio content during a video conference.

"One of the powerful capabilities that the Instant Message framework gives you is the ability to determine if a contact in a user's buddy list is online or not. You can also get the Address Book data for that contact as well as other status information," the company wrote in a technology overview on its developer website. "This information is collectively referred to as 'presence.' And once you tap into this presence data, your application can be notified when information about a contact changes."

iChat Theater, a new feature of iChat due in Leopard, will also allow applications to present audio and video content during an iChat conference. For example, developer's applications can present a slide show, a video feed, or 3D graphics, complete with sound, to one or more conference participants. This is made possible through the IMAVManager class at the heart of iChat Theater, which encapsulates some of iChat's most advanced features in an Objective-C class.

"IMAVManager works with the other classes in the Instant Message framework to enable you to build sophisticated conferencing capabilities into your application," Apple said. "For example, you can use IMService to determine who is available to participate in a chat, and then use IMAVManager to setup and run the iChat Theater presentation."

In addition to the Instant Message framework, developers will also be able to access iChat's many features through AppleScript, performing such activities as initiating a video chat or responding to an iChat event.

"With Leopard, iChat's scripting dictionary has been expanded to include nearly all of the iChat operations you can perform interactively with a keyboard and mouse," Apple wrote. "You can access this scripting functionality either from an application or directly from an AppleScript."

For example, the company said, service, account, and chat classes help identify a chat participant by his or her screen name, on a particular service (such as AIM, Jabber, or Bonjour), and in a specific type of chat (text, audio, or video). "This allows for sophisticated, high-level application control over iChat. Your application might run a script that starts a chat. Or you might write a script for determining if a specific person is online. Or something in-between."

More details are available in the technology overview on Apple's developer site.
post #2 of 81
Tip of the iceberg I bet. I can't wait to see all the secret stuff

And no negative comments yet ... come on Trolls you are slow today
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post #3 of 81
The biggest value in a program like iChat is compatibility over platforms and programs. We need interoperability with Skype! You can't ask windows friends to install AOL. They won't do it. It stinks anyway. Why not strike a deal with Skype while also adding more complete GTalk compatibility? If you could interoperate with other programs, and do more when you're communicating with anotherr Mac, that's fine. The value of a network is being able to communicate across it -- with anybody.
post #4 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

And no negative comments yet ... come on Trolls you are slow today

Okay... now if only iChat actually worked reliably across various network configurations and platforms...

Seriously, cross-platform video-conferencing has never "just" worked for me.
post #5 of 81
They have to HAVE TO get iChat working with Microsoft's network -- both text AND FULL video. Until then, the dream is NOT fully realized -- no matter how kewl the iChat/AOL walled garden might ever get

(and no, hooking up to MSN through Jabber is a total PITA that NO "end-user" should be forced to go through)
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post #6 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Tip of the iceberg I bet. I can't wait to see all the secret stuff )

Yeah, totally!!!!1!
post #7 of 81
Which is an excellent list of features for pro users to share with clients and colleagues. So why no iSight on MacPro? Also would be a good implementation of ati r600 gpu. I hope this happens soon so i can buy my MacPro. I need one so bad.
post #8 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDuff View Post

They have to HAVE TO get iChat working with Microsoft's network -- both text AND FULL video. Until then, the dream is NOT fully realized -- no matter how kewl the iChat/AOL walled garden might ever get

(and no, hooking up to MSN through Jabber is a total PITA that NO "end-user" should be forced to go through)

How about iChat for Windows bundled into iTunes, activated with your AppleID (same as on iTunes purchase) and ability to make iChat <-> iPhone calls [iPhone via WiFi]?

Why not establish your own IM network when you have such big beachheads in place already?
post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoes View Post

Okay... now if only iChat actually worked reliably across various network configurations and platforms...

Seriously, cross-platform video-conferencing has never "just" worked for me.

So use Skype. Cross-platform, and as reliable as it gets.
post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoes View Post

Okay... now if only iChat actually worked reliably across various network configurations and platforms...

Seriously, cross-platform video-conferencing has never "just" worked for me.

Seriously, I agree. I had better luck using MSN in Parallels for video conferencing (which was retchedly choppy on my MacBook) than trying to conference via AIM in iChat to a PC.
post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

Seriously, I agree. I had better luck using MSN in Parallels for video conferencing (which was retchedly choppy on my MacBook) than trying to conference via AIM in iChat to a PC.

Ok, I have to also agree. iChat with a local Mac 10.4 Server fails as often as it works. I keep hoping that Apple will step up and deliver a quality IM solution.

They better fix this stuff before they worry about getting any Skype bridge working. I can only hope that all this work on the iChat framework willl make many of these bugs obvious so Apple can fix them.
post #12 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

Ok, I have to also agree. iChat with a local Mac 10.4 Server fails as often as it works. I keep hoping that Apple will step up and deliver a quality IM solution.

They better fix this stuff before they worry about getting any Skype bridge working. I can only hope that all this work on the iChat framework willl make many of these bugs obvious so Apple can fix them.

Hmm... I found the iChat framework stable... Just remember that it is case sensitive on the server but not on some Windows clients... That drove me through the roof the first time I had to figure it out.

Those new features look pretty neat!
post #13 of 81
This doesn't sound very safe. A spyware program on your computer could get all your friends address details from address book and mail them to a spam company.

It could then open a chat with them that looks like it comes from you that says "Hey, double click this!" and it sends them an infected file.
post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneM View Post

Which is an excellent list of features for pro users to share with clients and colleagues. So why no iSight on MacPro? Also would be a good implementation of ati r600 gpu. I hope this happens soon so i can buy my MacPro. I need one so bad.

Why no iSight? Because where would you put it? The Mac towers are just freaking big most people have them down on the floor under a desk (I'm afraid my desk would collapse under the weight of my G5 tower). On an apple monitor, possibly (then again, who wants to spend that kind of money after forking over $2500+ for a macpro?)

I can one use for an iSight enabled macpro. Maybe if you've got a foot fetish
post #15 of 81
[QUOTE=ShaneM;1073588So why no iSight on MacPro?[/QUOTE]

Why are people still asking this question?

Most Mac Pro's are not kept on the desk. My machines are under the desk.

Even in the rare desk mounted situation, the computer is well to the side of the person. That's not exactly useful.

I'm hoping the question was just a joke, but as so many people ask it, I wonder...
post #16 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneM View Post

Which is an excellent list of features for pro users to share with clients and colleagues. So why no iSight on MacPro? Also would be a good implementation of ati r600 gpu. I hope this happens soon so i can buy my MacPro. I need one so bad.

This wouldn't be an issue if they still sold the original iSight or offered a replacement. You can still pull out any DV camcorder to do the job and be more flexible WRT zoom, focus and potentially color quality, though that might look a little awkward physically, depending on the camera.
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Why are people still asking this question?

Most Mac Pro's are not kept on the desk. My machines are under the desk.

Even in the rare desk mounted situation, the computer is well to the side of the person. That's not exactly useful.

I'm hoping the question was just a joke, but as so many people ask it, I wonder...

I think the gist of the question is, "why doesn't Apple provide an iSight solution for Mac Pro users?" -- I've never heard anyone literally wanting a camera mounted in a Mac Pro chassis. It seems pretty obvious they're going to have to provide upgraded displays with iSight eventually, either that or start selling the standalone cameras again. Cutting pro users out of videoconferencing is boneheaded.
post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Why are people still asking this question?

Most Mac Pro's are not kept on the desk. My machines are under the desk.

Even in the rare desk mounted situation, the computer is well to the side of the person. That's not exactly useful.

I'm hoping the question was just a joke, but as so many people ask it, I wonder...

No, it's not a joke. However, you are interpreting it wrong.

It's not that we want the camera in the frickin tower, that is a dumb idea, but we want an option for an iSight... period. Apple kinda stopped selling them externally so those of us who bought a nice shiny Mac Pro can't do video conferencing like the cheapo MacBooks can.

We also got shafted out of the Apple remote, which makes for an awesome presentation tool for showing photo proofs or even for using iTunes while you work.

The pro customers got shafted. I had to scour eBay for an Apple product since they don't sell any form of external iSight anymore.
post #19 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by EruIthildur View Post

Hmm... I found the iChat framework stable... Just remember that it is case sensitive on the server but not on some Windows clients... That drove me through the roof the first time I had to figure it out.

Those new features look pretty neat!

How do you use iChat? Via an iChat server or via Bonjour or to an AIM portal? I think this matters ALOT.

I have used it through AIM and that works fine. When using it with the iChat server on Mac Server, it is pretty unreliable. IM works, but video and audio chat are not reliable enough to support work-at-home folks through our firewall.
post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

How do you use iChat? Via an iChat server or via Bonjour or to an AIM portal? I think this matters ALOT.

I have used it through AIM and that works fine. When using it with the iChat server on Mac Server, it is pretty unreliable. IM works, but video and audio chat are not reliable enough to support work-at-home folks through our firewall.

Are you sure you have all of the ports open? IM and video use different ports. Some routers have firewalls that block them, as was the case with my dad.

EDIT: Sorry, you did say that it does work with AIM. Still, maybe there are other ports used for the Mac OS X Server video? Just tossing out ideas.
post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

This wouldn't be an issue if they still sold the original iSight or offered a replacement. You can still pull out any DV camcorder to do the job and be more flexible WRT zoom, focus and potentially color quality, though that might look a little awkward physically, depending on the camera.

Therein lies the problem. Why did Apple stop selling the iSight. Every Mac Pro needs one. Aren't there enough Mac Pro owners who want to video chat/conference? I have one with the magnet mount stuck to a Dell monitor, works great.

What's up Apple, why no iSight, or replacement, anymore?
post #22 of 81
I dont use iChat and i doubt i ever will because I dont know anyone with an AIM or .MAC account.

I would love to see iChat have the support for Skype and MSN (without using Jabber)
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneM View Post

So why no iSight on MacPro?

Because I would think not many people would like to hunch down under their desk just to video chat with someone.
post #24 of 81
1) I think, like many , that the next gen Cinema Displays will have built-in iSight Cameras AS WELL As IR sensors. The USB ports are already built into current CInema Displays and every other Mac offering has a built-in IR sensor and, save for the Mac Mini, has an iSight.


2) This new iChat offers many new possibilities. It is the main reason, for me, why a stable version of Leopard can't get here soon enough.

The ability to take control of user's system via iChat will allow me to install programs, adjust settings, and demonstrate the beauty of OS X without having to instruct a switcher blindly of anything mroe than setting up iChat.

I'm thinking of using this new iChat for remote viewing--and downloading-- of my home media by using commands in iChat. I'm hoping to use this in leu of using VNC or turning on Apache to access my home media and files, though this depends on the iPhone's implementation of iChat.
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post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

No, it's not a joke. However, you are interpreting it wrong.

It's not that we want the camera in the frickin tower, that is a dumb idea, but we want an option for an iSight... period. Apple kinda stopped selling them externally so those of us who bought a nice shiny Mac Pro can't do video conferencing like the cheapo MacBooks can.

We also got shafted out of the Apple remote, which makes for an awesome presentation tool for showing photo proofs or even for using iTunes while you work.

The pro customers got shafted. I had to scour eBay for an Apple product since they don't sell any form of external iSight anymore.

Of course, we know about the "solution" question. But it really is a question about the displays, we all know that too.

We can only wonder why Apple decided to discontinue the isight camera itself. Perhaps it was no longer selling well enough to keep in the line. Perhaps the new displays are unexpectedly delayed, and we should have seen new ones already.

But this isn't such a big deal. There are plenty of other small cameras out there that will work. You really don't need an Apple solution.

Besides, buying an Apple display may be too expensive for most purposes, if it's mostly being justified on the basis of having a built-in camera.

Unless, of course, they have figured out how to make that display camera work, and we're waiting for the bugs in that to be quashed. That would be worth waiting for, if it worked well.

There are other remotes available for the Mac as well.
post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post

How about iChat for Windows bundled into iTunes, activated with your AppleID (same as on iTunes purchase) and ability to make iChat <-> iPhone calls [iPhone via WiFi]?

Why not establish your own IM network when you have such big beachheads in place already?

Because the bigger beachhead is the MS Network. Plus, we already have MS Network (now called "Windows Live"), ICQ, Yahoo, AOL, Jabber am I missing any?? It's a mess, and the world doesn't need ANOTHER network, imho

Also, I am always nervous of Apple giving away ANY crown jewels to the Windows platform. Yes, they gave iTunes to the Windows base, but that supports iPod sales to a huge market. But there is no financial benefit that I can see for them to release iChat for Windows AND support a new network that they'd have to try and draw people over to.

Windows Live is THRUST down PC users with every OEM licence out there, and it's probably #1 as a result. Let's just get iChat plugged in there with rock solid video capabilities and be done with it.
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post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

It is very clear that Apple does not see Leopard as a big money maker if they did they wouldn't have pulled resources off Leopard to work on iphone, its clear they see iphone far more as a make or break product over Leopard.

Apple has a very major contractual commitment to ATT/Cingular with the iPhone and meeting this commitment is more important than delivering Leopard in June. The last thing that Apple needs is a problem with the iPhone when first released and that is why they would be allocating all resources necessary. After these resources finishes working 15/7 to get the iPhone out they will get the weekend off and return to 15/7 for Leopard.

Keep remembering that contractual commitment to ATT and a lot of things will fall into place.
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post #28 of 81
Apple needs to either find a way of making iChat work with all/most other IM clients around, or make a Win version of iChat. Personally I hope they do both. They also need to make iChat a top-up VoiP client too.
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post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater

It is very clear that Apple does not see Leopard as a big money maker if they did they wouldn't have pulled resources off Leopard to work on iphone, its clear they see iphone far more as a make or break product over Leopard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post

Apple has a very major contractual commitment to ATT/Cingular with the iPhone and meeting this commitment is more important than delivering Leopard in June. The last thing that Apple needs is a problem with the iPhone when first released and that is why they would be allocating all resources necessary. After these resources finishes working 15/7 to get the iPhone out they will get the weekend off and return to 15/7 for Leopard.

Keep remembering that contractual commitment to ATT and a lot of things will fall into place.

I totally agree. Any opinion that believes Apple doesn't care about the Mac or Leopard because of the iPhone is very short-sighted. Apple has a major joint responsibility to fulfil for this INAUGURAL launch, and it is responsible business practice to make sure the iPhone gets to market, properly.
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post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Apple needs to either find a way of making iChat work with all/most other IM clients around, or make a Win version of iChat. Personally I hope they do both.

I choose your option A.

Don't give away a jewel for no profit. And yet, getting iChat to tie into MSN perfectly would further show how fluent the Mac platform is. Like, it's an EMBARRASSMENT how poor the Windows Live messaging support is on the Mac platform! EVERYBODY on the the PC side uses it (for better or for worse). When I'm counselling potential "switchers" it's unfortunately one of the things I feel obliged to point out. And the options where shareware developers are TRYING to make MSN Messenger cam support work (that would be Mercury Messenger and aMSN), the results are choppy... and silent.
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post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

This doesn't sound very safe. A spyware program on your computer could get all your friends address details from address book and mail them to a spam company.
It could then open a chat with them that looks like it comes from you that says "Hey, double click this!" and it sends them an infected file.

I agree, it sounds pretty risky. Let's hope they keep it safe.

Perhaps, if people would actually start using iChat one day.. then Apple would become more careful with features like this. I like iChat, but I have like 2-4 percent ichat friends and the rest are on MSN or ICQ even... this won't change overnight.. at least not when iChat isn't available on Windows..
post #32 of 81
I fear that too many people are dismissing Leopard out of hand. The number of bullet points on the spine of a box does not accurately convey the depth of an upgrade. People are not taking into account the possibility that there are significant enhancements in the system's foundation. Changes like these are rarely noticed, but constantly felt.

Apple's transition to Intel occurred against the backdrop of a larger shift in the industry. In the Leopard timeframe we are going to see a lot of hardware advances. For example, Leopard will need to run well on machines with many more processor cores than we have now. To exploit the power of these systems, certain assumptions and familiar patterns must be rethought. The task can be daunting for even moderately complex applications. For an operating system and set of bundled applications, vastly more so.

I suspect Leopard will not disappoint when paired with the technology that is on the horizon. But, that is just my opinion.

On a side note, quite glad to see that you can now point iChat Theater to any NSView, rather than having to render to a CoreVideo buffer.
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post #33 of 81
She-who-must-be-obeyed (the wife) has a brief video visit with her brother in Australia almost daily via Skype - he won a very nice PC rig and won't buy a Mac for a while so iChat is currently out for them. I would love to see Apple work with Skype, or deliver an iSight camera that includes Windows software - like they did with iTunes. The video on Skype is very choppy and the audio gets that way far too often. It's a fraction of what you get with video iChats. I'll buy Leopard in a heartbeat if they solve this problem. Actually, I'll buy Leopard in a heartbeat anyway!
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post #34 of 81
Universal Plug-in IM Architecture with MSN and a few other "must-haves" and example documentation would be a nice "Leopard only" feature and shut some people up.
post #35 of 81
I don't care about iChat. Gimme video support in Adium!
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post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

Why no iSight? Because where would you put it? The Mac towers are just freaking big most people have them down on the floor under a desk (I'm afraid my desk would collapse under the weight of my G5 tower). On an apple monitor, possibly (then again, who wants to spend that kind of money after forking over $2500+ for a macpro?)

I can one use for an iSight enabled macpro. Maybe if you've got a foot fetish


Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Why are people still asking this question?

Most Mac Pro's are not kept on the desk. My machines are under the desk.

Even in the rare desk mounted situation, the computer is well to the side of the person. That's not exactly useful.

I'm hoping the question was just a joke, but as so many people ask it, I wonder...

.../reads many other replys

Okay Okay... so I mis-labeled my post, and I understand the multiple smacks in the head I got for it. What I meant was I don't want to buy a MacPro until they release new ACDs with builtin iSights.

Why? Because there's no reason to buy a new rig when I know they are going to update both relatively soon. Especially when the ati R600 is rumored for MacPro. Furthermore, why would I buy an over-priced under-specced display that doesn't include iSight when it had been made clear that iChat is a core feature in Leapord (to developers) and apple coincidentially sp? discontinues iSight / drops prices on ACDs. And no I don't want a Dell or BenQ with a 3rd party camera or a discontinued iSight (as a graphic artist I like my workspace neat with clean lines).

Sorry I was so vague earlier
post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post

She-who-must-be-obeyed (the wife) has a brief video visit with her brother in Australia almost daily via Skype - he won a very nice PC rig and won't buy a Mac for a while so iChat is currently out for them. I would love to see Apple work with Skype, or deliver an iSight camera that includes Windows software - like they did with iTunes. The video on Skype is very choppy and the audio gets that way far too often. It's a fraction of what you get with video iChats.

iChat is compatible with AIM. Can't you do video chat that way?
post #38 of 81
Just had WWDC e-mail from Apple...

Quote:
What's the best way to build the exciting new possibilities of Mac OS X Leopard into your application? The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is a great place to start. That's where developers like Mark Swanson of Renaissance Learning will be able to work with Apple engineers like Peter Westen to turn an iChat video conference into an educational experience.
iChat Theater is just one of the powerful new technologies taking center stage at this year's conference. Explore the WWDC 2007 website and see what else is in store.
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneM View Post

iChat is compatible with AIM. Can't you do video chat that way?

I haven't managed to get it working, the only way i have found to do mac -> windows video chat is skype
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski


I have used it through AIM and that works fine. When using it with the iChat server on Mac Server, it is pretty unreliable. IM works, but video and audio chat are not reliable enough to support work-at-home folks through our firewall.

I use both. I even use one that will tunnel through a VPN or a VLAN, or both. I just open all the relevant ports up on my firewall. Ports are your worst nightmare if you don't know what they are off the top of the hand, trust me.

If you can use it on localhost fine, your issue is your firewall.
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