Apple is Building iMessage into OS X Lion's iChat

imess2Back in June, Apple unveiled iMessage, one of the major new features of the upcoming iOS 5 update.

iMessage is a unified messaging service for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that allows users to send text and multimedia messages over Wi-Fi and 3G with read and delivery receipts and real-time typing indication. But as far as Apple has officially said, there is no way to send iMessages to or from non-iOS devices such as your Mac.

One developer has revealed to MacRumors that there is evidence that Apple has already started building in iMessage support into OS X Lion's iChat instant messaging software.

Buried in the framework of OS X Lion's iChat, are two new properties (highlighted below):

@interface IMMessage : NSObject
{
IMHandle *_sender;
IMHandle *_subject;
NSAttributedString *_text;
NSString *_plainBody;
NSDate *_time;
NSDate *_timeDelivered;
NSDate *_timeRead;

The "timeDelivered" and "timeRead' fields indicate the tracking of delivery and read receipts for instant messages. These features, however, are not supported in any of iChat's native messaging protocols, while the same features are offered in Apple's iMessage protocol. These properties were also not present in previous versions of iChat prior to OS X Lion. We believe the only reason Apple would have added these properties was to build in cross compatibility with their new iMessage protocol.

Adding iMessage support into OS X Lion's iChat would allow iOS 5 users and Mac users to easily send text messages to each other in real time. This would not be the first time Apple has added such cross compatibility between its Mac and iOS product lines. Apple similarly extended iOS's FaceTime video conferencing feature to the Mac with the launch of FaceTime for Mac in February.

iMessage for iOS has not yet launched and will be part of iOS 5 which will be released this fall. It's not clear if and when Apple will launch iChat support for iMessage, but it seems work has already started.

Top Rated Comments

guzhogi Avatar
135 months ago
Makes sense. Now to only combine FaceTime & iChat!
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
saving107 Avatar
135 months ago
iMessage + Google Voice Text = Goodbye texting plan (I will not miss you).
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
*LTD* Avatar
135 months ago
SMS, but better, on your phone and your desktop.

Can't complain 'bout that.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rbgaynor Avatar
135 months ago
While they're at it, I'd love to see Apple make an iMessage app for Android.
Seriously.

And a Windows desktop client. Seriously, if they want this to have real legs Apple needs to think beyond just their own platforms (think iTunes).
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pooshka Avatar
135 months ago
I don't understand why people want the apps to be merged.
Surely it's like saying you think the phone and sms app to be merged.
You really can't see a parallel between iMessage, FaceTime and iChat???

It's not like we want Safari, GarageBand and Mail combined. :rolleyes:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
135 months ago
Why? You have a smartphone. Find one of the free apps like TextFree that give you a phone number and have your non iOS friends use that phone number to text you.

That's what I've been doing to get free texting (since I absolutely refuse to pay for texting. I like it but it's not worth the prices the carrier asks). I suppose though I have no idea how much data those apps use (I don't pay attention as I am on grandfathered unlimited. But I suspect not too much cause with my data use I probably could get away with the 2 GB plan).

Yeah who needs an integrated, elegant solution when you can use a third party option with a special separate number just for people who are tech savvy to text you at that number under certain circumstances. They'll certainly remember to use the duplicate contact for texts only..... Sounds simple! :rolleyes:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...