Apple Messages

Updated

Apple Messages

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.

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Jeremy Horwitz

Jeremy Horwitz was the Editor-in-Chief at iLounge. He has written over 5,000 articles and reviews for the website and is one of the most respected members of the Apple media. Horwitz has been following Apple since the release of the original iPod in 2001. He was one of the first reviewers to receive a pre-release unit of the device, and his review helped put iLounge on the map as a go-to source for Apple news.