macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Back 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.

Article Link: Apple is Building iMessage into OS X Lion's iChat


macrumors 68000
Sep 26, 2007
Ohhh this is a great news! I was waiting for this, iMessage will rocks!


macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2005
Agreed with the above - this could be pretty awesome, though I have to say if they do this I'd also *like* something on Windows, but that's a bit of a dream to be fair.


macrumors member
Mar 30, 2011
great great great! but a different app for mac would be better i guess, i never used ichat:p


macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
great great great! but a different app for mac would be better i guess, i never used ichat:p

for the people who use iChat, this would be much better, since it would just integrate into their existing buddy lists and workflow.



macrumors 6502
May 18, 2011
Good stuff. I've barely used iChat anymore since everyone I know uses Skype or FaceTime, so this will increase it's usage.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
This is great news! I got rid of text messaging altogether a few days ago, and this makes it more worth it


macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2007
wow i totally called this..or said they should do this

cross platform chat program.

this is going to be big for apple


macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2002
While they're at it, I'd love to see Apple make an iMessage app for Android.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2007
At .20 a message, I will probably still have to maintain the $5 (200) messaging plan to communicate with those that are not on an iOS device.


macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2008
Beverly, Massachusetts
Glad Apple still cares about iChat. too bad they didn't integrate FaceTime into iChat. At least there isn't an iMessage for OSX. That would be plan annoying having 3 different apps. Just merge them into one simple app.... iChat!


macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
Washington State
At .20 a message, I will probably still have to maintain the $5 (200) messaging plan to communicate with those that are not on an iOS device.

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).


macrumors member
May 14, 2008
I wish they'd called iMessage, iChat on iOS. It just feels like a much better name.


macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2010
Google voice text? I need to do some research. Part of the reason my wife's miffed about my going from Android to iPhone is that she can't use her Blackberry to message my iPhone except through SMS, which stinks due to the 140 character limit. Up to now, we've been using Google Talk, but I always thought hat wasn't push on an iPhone.

Is there a good way for a BB to talk to an iPhone that I don't know about?

(and sorry if I'm threadjacking)

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