iOS code shows iChat references for iPhone, iPad

iOS developer @Gojohnnyboi discovered some code in iOS 5.0.1 that could indicate iChat -- Apple's Mac OS X instant messenger client -- functionality may be coming to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch down the road.

Although the new iMessage feature in iOS 5 doesn't hook into the same chat services mentioned in the code, it would make a lot of sense for Apple to ultimately streamline the iChat, FaceTime, and iMessage into a single service across Apple devices.

How soon you'll actually see this on your iPhone or iPad isn't exactly clear, but this at least suggests Apple has been experimenting with this on iOS platform.

Source: @Gojohnnyboi via TUAW

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

Rob says:

I wish Apple would just merge iChat with iMessage (along with FaceTime perhaps as well) and simply make it one unified messaging app across both iOS and OS X. That way you could reply to anyone from anywhere.

LOV3LikeRockets says:

If Palm can do this with Synergy, there is no reason why Apple can't do this as well. And yeah, @CycloneFW is kind of right. What you said is literally what the article said.

jclisenby says:

This is awesome news! Having all my chat functionality in one inbox would be great.

Sidlives says:

That would certainly open up to more users. What would be great is to open this up to other platforms and not have a closed community like BBM.

JohnDorian says:

They have that, it's called SMS...

eahinrichsen says:

SMS doesn't have all of BBM's functionality and is not free.

Mike says:

Not sure about you, but my carrier data isn't free.. Just sayin..

Mike says:

Not sure about you, but my carrier data isn't free.. Just sayin..

Coastie says:

I just want the damn battery issues fixed!

Jed says:

I think he means he wishes they would have done that upon the release of iMessage, rather than release another service, then eventually merge them.

Dev says:

Any merge should change the paradigm to chatting with a person (like Jabber or even Google Voice) rather than a device. I do not want to initiate chats with Fred's iPhone, iPad, and Mac to try and get a hold of him. I want to chat with Fred -- the system can figure out the details.

Shameer M. says:

what would be ideal is if Apple built a full-on Skype competitor.
combine Facetime, iMessage, & voice calling (akin to Google Voice) into iChat.
Release API's so other messaging / communication services / apps can integrate into iChat.
Then release this new "iChat" for not only Mac & iOS devices but for Windows as well.

Lance says:

No, the article says "iChat functionality may be coming for iOS" and that "iMessage doesn't hook into the same chat services mentioned in the code." So it doesn't mention in this code find anywhere that iMessage functionality is necessarily coming for the Mac (yet).