Mac OS X Leopard’s iChat Theater could change everything

Apple Store“It’s things like the iChat Theater page at Apple’s Developer site that make me just fine with the delay of Mac OS X Leopard. They say ‘good things come to those who wait,’ but from what I’m reading at the iChat Theater page, that phrase is more like ‘fantastic, amazing and mind-blowing things come to those who wait’ when applied to the new technologies coming in Leopard. While most of that page is geared towards developers, offering things like code snippets to get them excited and motivated to build their apps to work with Leopard’s iChat, the first two paragraphs are enough for ‘the rest of us’ to get a mouth-watering glimpse of just how much the new iChat could change the way we work and play once Leopard does arrive,” David Chartier writes for TUAW.

“In short, iChat Theater is a new feature that will allow the broadcast of, and collaboration on, just about anything we do on our Mac,” Chartier writes.

Chartier writes, “Consider the possibilities: instead of having to jam pack all your tech support calls into that once-or-twice-a-year family holiday trip, you can fire up Leopard’s iChat and show mom and dad how to make a slideshow in iPhoto over the web, with both video and audio of yourself and iPhoto. Now expand a little: is your job on the verge of granting you telecommuting privileges? Or perhaps you’re a teacher or a technology scout for an educational organization? This new Leopard feature opens doors much larger than the one for mom and pop…”

Full article here.


  1. If iChat can be called from any app (and I assume iLife and Safari will be included), then visual and audio collaboration become easy. Work together on a GarageBand song or PodCast or edit a FCP movie from within the LAN or across the world. No need to make your documents multi-user – you all edit the one copy at once!

  2. How about collaboration with Safari? Two people currently in different locations who will be buying airline tickets to travel together can see exactly what options they have. One person will be the “doer” — goes to the travel website, enters the dates, etc. while the other one mainly watches (or makes audio suggestions such as changing the dates to make a longer vacation). Both see a list of flight options – different departure times, airlines, connection cities, etc. Then one person says, “how about the itinerary at the bottom of the screen?”. The doer then goes to that itinerary and checks out further information such as seat availability or price. When the tickets are being purchased, the watcher might happen to have a text file of their frequent flier numbers. The file is opened in TextEdit, gets linked into the iChat connection, then the one controlling Safari and making the purchase can see the numbers (maybe even copy & paste?) for inputting into the reservation.

    Same goes for picking a hotel or just browsing restaurant pages to determine where to eat.

    At the same time, a live two-way video chat is taking place for additional communication cues (someone could give you a literal “thumbs up” when you scroll to something agreeable).

    iChat used in this fashion could eliminate the need for anyone to be physically present to look over your shoulder as you collaboratively digest information and make decisions.

  3. Peter Leenhouts;

    Yeah… but only because the people on the camera end of ‘Doze boxes are ugly ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Just wait…you never know…they could make a version for windblows. And if they do, it will be another gateway drug to the mac as iPod and BootCamp is now.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. I can’t wait for this to finally make it to the Mac. I have been wating for a solution like this since I first used NetMeeting on a Windows machine back in 1997.

    Notice the low system requirements of 90 megahertz Pentium and Windows 95:

    It wasn’t very succesful, or maybe it got renamed, but I have looked for it on XP and I can’t find it.

    I don’t know if anybody else did it first, but my first experience with this was with Windows. So, us Mac users are actually 10 or so years late to this party.

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