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The Rise and Fall of iChat

There was plenty of promising talk about Apple’s iChat when it first came out; it was touted as the next big, instant messaging software application. Much like other projects, such as the iPhone 5 and iPad Air (available at kensington ipad air), Apple plunged into creating the system with high expectations. Designed for use on the Mac OS X operating system, iChat showcased a format for sharing audio, video and screens, and local network discussions with fellow users. Discontinued in 2012, iChat has been replaced with Messages for OS X Mountain Lion. Messages can do all that iChat did, and then some, offering Mac users a more updated platform on which to work and play.

The Rise of iChat

Used in conjunction with AOL’s Instant Messenger platform, iChat allowed users to add another dimension to their online chatting capabilities. Instead of just texting, users could communicate via live video, made possible by the iSight camera that could attach to your computer. Users could easily stay in touch with family members, friends and business associates through text chat, audio chat, or video chat. The bonus? There were no extra charges for text messages, long distance calls, or video streaming.

Users were not limited to one-on-one conversations either. The availability of multi-person chat allowed users to communicate with several people for personal or business purposes. They could share screens in real time, share videos and photos, use FaceTime for live phone calls, share a file with iChat Theater, or compile and access a Buddy List. iChat worked to bring users together via a networking base, so that business people and casual users alike could connect and share. But 2012 would usher in a new plan. This updated plan would further unify Mac users and create a networked platform even bigger and better than its predecessor.

A New Era

ios5 imessage setupIn order to improve quality and efficiency of the complete video chat platform, Apple announced in February of 2012 that Messages would take over the iChat. This gives Mac users the opportunity to send videos, messages and photos to the iPad, iPhone and iPod, according to The Huffington Post. The change also meant that users could continue to communicate via FaceTime in real time. As the new platform, Messages was designed to support other instant message services that are widely available, such as AIM, Google Talk, and Yahoo! Messenger. Boasting the tag line “Inspired by iPad. Re-imagined for Mac,” Apple put its faith in Messages, betting that the public would do the same.

To date, several users have complained of dropped texts through iMessage, a vital part of Messages, which occurred when Apple released the updated IOS 7, according to Time magazine. Other bugs and kinks are being worked out but the overall effect of the iChat-to-Messages transformation seems to be a positive one with Mac users.

iChat was designed to create a more seamless experience between devices, with full sync, mimicking the look and feel of all other Mac devices. This unification factor was the driving force between the upgrade from iChat to Messages. This feature is characterized in iMessage’s free text program between iPhone, iPod, iPad and Mac computer users. According to Macworld, in the few months after the upgrade to Messages, there were 100 million registered iMessage users, with 26 billion iMessages sent.

This was a guest post by Jacob Malthus who writes on a variety of complex technology issues such as cell phones, cell phone accessories, laptops, ultrabooks, tablets, software and other issues as well.


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