iOS 5 code hints at iChat functionality coming to Apple iOS devices

“Developer John Heaton found some code in the latest version of iOS that hints iChat functionality could finally be coming to the mobile operating system,” Mike Schramm reports for TUAW.

“The code mentions various chat services like Jabber and AIM, and while it doesn’t specifically mention iChat, there’s certainly some strings in there that aren’t yet included in any of Apple’s standard apps,” Schramm reports. “Apple may not bother calling it iChat, but it’s clear that at some point, the company was at least testing more functionality on mobile.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

15 Comments

  1. Why? Isn’t iMessage and FaceTime already doing that? Unless they’re planning on live document presentation on iOS devices, I can’t see why they’d waste their resources.

    1. iMessage isn’t really a substitute for IM as it doesn’t have any sort of status facility other than messages just not being read. For single messages this is ok, they just read it when they read it, but for chat you need status indications.

      In addition, iMessage uses whatever sound you have set for SMS so if you’re chatting at length it gets annoying having it go off all the time. You can turn sounds off, but them more traditional text messages don’t get notified unless you turn it back on.

      Regardless of the protocol used I think there is some value in having differentiation between short singular messaging, chatting, and longer communication like email. Maybe they could be done in the same client, but using the same interface exactly is a bit restrictive.

    1. You can’t message a Mac from an iDevice using iMessage yet, but you can FaceTime between the two. Macs don’t have an official iMessage client yet. I do predict that Apple will merge iChat and FaceTime on a Mac eventually and then give it the ability to send messages to iOS5 devices.

  2. About time! With FaceTime (a dumbed down iChat) I never saw why they didn’t offer the choice to do a “VoiceTime” connection. Video with my sister traveling between Austin and Barcelona over a hotel’s wiFi, not so good. I think a voice connection would’ve worked fine. In fact I know it did because we did it with Skype. I could’ve ditched it if only Apple would put this back into the phone. After all… It’s there on the Desktop.

  3. So, we can’t see what Apple is doing with Video Conferencing. Really? When Apple put iTunes on Macs and Windows PC, the iPod dominated over 75% of the mp3 market. What do you all think will happen when Apple puts their Apple branded Video Conferencing on the Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and AppleTV? “Can you hear (see) me now?”

    1. The only problem is, that currently, there is a lot of fragmentation among all the “iTunes” devices. Because of this we have nearly unexisting interoperability even between Apple devices. I am talking about Leopard/SnowLeopard/Lion/iPhone4S&4/3g. This could have been avoided. What is necessary for iChat&Co to be resurgitated is a minimum of critical mass.

    2. About time !
      A big problem is, that currently, there is a lot of fragmentation among all the “iTunes” devices. Because of this we have nearly unexisting interoperability even between Apple devices. I am talking about Leopard /SnowLeopard/ Lion/ iPhone4S&4/3g/ iPad1/ iPad2. This could have been avoided. What is necessary for iChat&Co to be resurgitated is a minimum of critical mass.
      The fact that certain devices don’t have all the necessary features doesn’t matter. E.g., when trying to communicate w. an iPad1, just don’t label it with a video camera icon. When a PC has no mike, only allow text chat. No big deal.
      Let the iDevices do the figuring out. Not something for the average user to worry about.
      But, please Apple, stop maintaining additional software barriers by keeping all those apps incompatible. iMessage is a good (re)stab at transparency, but a microscopic one, at that.

  4. Apple needs something unified.
    I want to be able to chat via iMessage/text on my phone and then sit down at my computer and continue the chat (via iMessage/AIM/text/ect. on my desktop with ALL messages displaying across ALL platforms.

    Can’t be that hard. Get it done Apple.

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