Apple releases public beta of Messages, replacing iChat

I mentioned in my first look of OS X Mountain Lion today that Apple was doing away with its messaging app iChat and replacing it with a new app called Messages.

With Messages you can chat with someone using their Apple ID or phone number, just like you can using iMessage on iOS. You can also use traditional chat services like AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, and Jabber, so anyone that has your old iChat handle will still be able to contact you using that information.

Here’s the great thing about Messages. It keeps the conversations synced between devices.

Messages beta is available from Apple’s Web site.

  • Dewald

    Nope, the link to Apple’s site does not work.

  • Suz Carver

    Just remove the %20 part, and it’ll work just fine. 🙂

  • Looks like the beta has been pulled?

  • GC

    In Lion does it install alongside iChat or does it replace iChat?

    • Steven Fisher

      It replaces iChat. But it feels like a new iChat. (In fact, it’s version is 6.1.)

    • John W Baxter

      Messages replaces iChat, BUT…

      The Messages menu includes “Uninstall Messages…” which puts iChat back. Where have I seen that before? Ah yes…IE 7, 8, and 9.

  • Missing is the local chats over a network via Bonjour. Which is too bad. Because where I work, they are treating iCloud like the Black Plague. They call it an online storage website, so they block it. 

    Funny thing is, even on our student network, which is completely separate from our corporate network, they block it for the same reason. So our on-campus students who use iCloud are SOL. They can’t do their email. 

    I suspect this is an anti-Apple move by people who resent the intrusion of iOS devices into their RIM/Microsoft/HP-centric ecosystem. All in the name of safety, they can derail major Apple initiatives, not only for staff but our students as well. Get a MacBook Pro and bring it to school? Tough! Use Google Voice!