Code Suggests Apple Might Bring iMessage to iChat


The iChat Crystal Ball

Apple could, possibly, may be working on building support for the company’s soon-to-be-released iOS messaging platform into its Mac AIM/chat client, iChat. An eagle-eyed developer spotted some code in the Lion version of iChat that might indicate support for iMessage delivery confirmation, which could mean that Macs will be able to tie into the mobile messaging platform, too.


iMessage was introduced in June during Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference keynote presentation. Included as part of iOS 5, iMessage is an iOS-only text message replacement designed to allow iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to talk to text one another without incurring carrier SMS charges.

Some of us, however, were surprised that iMessage wouldn’t be built into iChat, as well, which would allow Mac users to join in the texting fun, too. If a MacRumors reader is correct, however, that could change. The site reported that the developer found the following framework in the Lion version of iChat:

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

The two properties that have been bolded in the above framework are new, and not only are they properties that are included as part of the yet-to-be-released iMessage, they are currently not supported by any of the desktop-based chat platforms supported by iChat itself.

From there, it’s an easy jump to speculating that Apple could be working on bringing iMessage to iChat, which we think we would be a bitchin’ and rad thing to do.