iMessage is a great application. Syncing text messages between a user’s iOS devices is incredibly convenient and just plain works well. While it’s not the first of its kind, Apple has managed to make texting a lot easier and a lot cheaper. A lot of people have been raving about iMessage (which is completely understandable), but we still have one thing on our mind: when will we see iMessage in Mac OS X?
Shortly after the public release of iOS 5 some users with multiple iOS devices were running into problems with syncing. While looking for some solutions, I stumbled upon an article that showed some code found in the native Mac OS X Lion’s chat application, iChat.
@interface IMMessage : NSObject
The red items are two properties, timeDelivered and timeRead, that track the delivery of a message and read receipt. As an iMessage sender, you can view the exact time your message was delivered to your recipient. When they read your message, you can also view the exact time it was read (hence timeDelivered and timeRead). Even though these features are available in iMessage right now, you won’t see them in iChat. So why isn’t the code present in iChat even after many updates? One can only assume that iMessage will be coming to your Mac.
Adding iMessage to Lion in an altered form of iChat would allow iOS 5 and Mac users to easily send text messages to each other in real time. You can continue conversations on your Mac while your iPhone is charging or offline. Remember FaceTime for Mac? It crossed platforms and works well, so it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch for iMessage, too. So why hasn’t Apple implemented iMessage in OS X yet?
iMessage threatened many wireless carriers with the potential loss of fees associated with SMS text messaging and picture messaging plans. A large portion of that business has and will continue to evaporate because of iMessage. Although it’s relatively new, it’s still no surprise that carriers are a little nervous. This could be the reason iMessage for Mac hasn’t rolled out, and wasn’t mentioned in the original iOS 5 announcement.
It has only been a little over a month since this bit of code has been found, so we could start seeing the iMessage-to-OS X update soon. We’re going to keep tabs on this story, and hopefully we can all start saving a little bit of money sometime soon. When do you think iMessage is coming to Mac? Do you think carriers are playing a role in preventing its presence on OS X? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Update: A few hours after writing this post, 9to5Mac posted an update on the development of iMessage in Mac OS X:
Sources familiar with the future of Mac OS X say that AirPlay Mirroring and an iMessage application are currently in development. Although neither project may see the light of day, they are definitely on the table for release in future versions of OS X Lion.
Well, there you have it. It’s not a definite answer, but it’s yet even more evidence that iMessage should be coming to Mac OS X Lion.