iMessage For OS X Lion Soon To Become A Reality

According to a report by MacRumors, iMessage which is one of the key new features in the upcoming iOS 5, might get integration into Mac OS X Lion’s iChat in the near future. For those who don’t know, iMessage is Apple’s answer to BlackBerry Messenger service using which users can exchange text and multimedia messages between iOS devices over Wi-Fi as well as 3G with read and delivery receipts and even a real-time typing indication.

A developer has found some unusual strings in Lion’s iChat framework indicating Apple is already working on bringing iMessage support to Mac OS X. The framework has two lines that point towards iMessage integration i.e. “time delivered” and “time read” as shown below:

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

Both the above highlighted strings clearly indicate message tracking, a feature not previously supported in iChat but is found in iOS 5’s iMessage protocol. Also, these properties are not found in iChat versions prior to OS X Lion. Hence it seems logical that Apple is looking to bring cross platform compatibility to its iMessage protocol. If iChat does get iMessage support, iOS and Mac users will be able to send text messages to each other in real time. Cool eh!