In a move that’s been anticipated for years, Apple has finally merged Messages—the increasingly popular iOS SMS/MMS/iMessaging application—with its Mac app iChat, resulting in a brand new release: Messages for Mac (Free). Carrying a version number of 6.1, the Mac version of Messages includes iChat’s past functionality, including everything from AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, and Jabber text chats to file transfers, audio chats, and multi-person video chats, while adding support for iMessages and two-person FaceTime calls. Everything’s tied together in a mashed-up interface that’s half iOS and half Mac, starting today in a seemingly feature-complete beta form.
Building on the last version of iChat, Messages presents you with both a traditional Buddies list—basically identical to the old one—and a new iOS-like Messages window that aggregates all of the conversations you’re having in two panes, enabling you to type messages and initiate FaceTime calls from a single app. The Mac version of Messages even merges conversation histories between the Mac and iOS devices where possible, so that you can see as much of your past discussion as possible with a given contact. While the new app’s “everything’s here” approach introduces a little confusion, effectively segregating old services such as group video chats and traditional text messaging into their own place, there’s still plenty of time for Apple to streamline Messages before its official release this summer. Grab it today to see where things are headed.
- iLounge Weekly arrives Monday, sign up now
- Apple retail stores to have very limited Apple Watch stock
- Apple quietly acquiring companies to improve cloud services?
- Apple planning to release three iPhone models this year?
- Report reveals more details on Apple’s upcoming music service
- Apple adds CNNgo channel to Apple TV
- Apple acquires database company FoundationDB
- Apple releases iOS 8.3 beta 4
- Apple adds Tastemade, TED, Young Hollywood channels to Apple TV
- Source: Italian prosecutors wrap up Apple tax probe
- OORT SmartFinder, SmartLED + SmartSocket
- RooCase Exec Tough for iPhone 6 Plus
- Pronto Smart Remote System
- iWalk Extreme Spartan
- EnerPlex Surfr for iPhone 6
- IK Multimedia iRig 2 Guitar Interface
- PowerSkin Pop’n 3 for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Coogobox Symphony Dock for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- PowerSkin Spare for iPhone 6
- Chil Attraction Jacket for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
- Can I turn off the app icons that appear in the bottom corner on the lock screen?
- Why do I have two separate conversations with the same person in Messages?
- Can I transfer the existing version of an app to my new iPhone?
- How do I quickly erase all of the contacts on my old iPhone?
- How do I disassociate my phone number from iMessage?
- How do I stop Siri from randomly waking up?
- How do I cancel a print job on iOS?
- How do I make my camera LED flash when my iPhone rings?
- How do I re-sync contacts to my vehicle after switching to a new iPhone?
- How do I move away from a shared Apple ID for iMessage?