Apple has released a Beta version of Messages, the laptop and desktop version of its iMessages for the iPad and iPhone, will be available as part of Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
The software, available from apple.com, replaces the iChat software bundled with Apple’s Mac OS X operating system and supports the sending of photos, videos and attachments.
The key feature is that Messages allows you to continue conversations regardless of where you are – start talking on your iPad and continue the conversation on your big screen when you’re back at your desk.
One you download the software and run the installer, setting up Messages is as simple as entering your Apple ID (the email address and password you already use for iTunes and iMessages) and typing a new message.
There’s nothing new to learn – if you can send an email you can use Messages.
I can predict the iPhone’s smaller keyboard become an annoyance once people get used to sending messages on their normal-sized keyboards.
The software, available from apple.com, replaces the iChat software bundled with Apple’s Mac OS X operating system
As did iChat, Messages does support some 3rd party chat services but the focus is all about portability of your conversations between iPhone, iPad, MacBook and Mac.
Messages in a Beta product so its possible Apple will add more features to it – could Twitter integration be something they’re thinking of? – but this feels pretty much like a finished product.
How many bells and whistles does an instant messaging/SMS application need before it starts to become bloated?
If we’re lucky Apple will pretty much leave Messages as it is, save embedding it deep in the core of Mountain Lion so that’s only ever a click away within any app you might want to share thoughts about.
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