Rumor: Apple is Building iMessage into OS X Lion’s iChat

iOS iMessageThis year at WWDC, Apple unveiled a new service called “iMessage”. iMessage is a a unified messaging service for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that allows users to send text and multimedia messages over Wi-Fi and 3G with read and delivery receipts and real-time typing indication. It is also  one of the major new features of the upcoming iOS 5 update. Currently, iMessage is not integrated into iChat.

A developer has discovered strings of code for “timeDelivered” and “timeRead”, which has led MacRumors to speculate that Apple could eventually bring support for its iMessage protocol to iChat.

Buried in the framework of OS X Lion’s iChat, are two new properties (highlighted below):

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

According to MacRumors, the “timeDelivered” and “timeRead’ fields indicate the tracking of delivery and read receipts for instant messages. Currently, these  features are not supported in any of iChat’s native messaging protocols, while the same features are offered in Apple’s iMessage protocol. In addition, these properties were not present in  previous versions of iChat prior to OS X Lion.

We believe the only reason Apple would have added these properties was to build in cross compatibility with their new iMessage protocol.

Apple is expected to release iOS 5 this fall. In addition, Apple is expected to send out invites for an upcoming fall event soon.

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Parth Dhebar

Parth Dhebar is a 18 year-old entrepreneur. He is the founder of Simple Reviews, a blog focused on reviewing iPhone and iPad applications. Parth is a recognized name in the industry, known for covering Apple news. He is an editor at Techie-Buzz covering news on Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @pdparticle.