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According to MacRumors (http://www.macrumors.com), Apple is working on building iMessage support into Lion's iChat instant messaging software. That only makes sense as it's a natural progression.
iMessage is a messaging service will be built into the upcoming iOS 5 , due this fall. You'll purportedly be able to send text, photos, videos, locations and contacts. You'll be able to do group messaging, track your messages with delivery receipts and optional read receipts, see when someone's typing, and encrypt text messages.
With the ongoing blending of OS X and iOS, iMessage support on the Mac seems inevitable so Mac users and Lion users will be able to send "imessages" to each other in real time.
I also hope Apple gets around to "opening up" FaceTime. FaceTime is a video calling app that lets you communicate between Macs, iPad 2s, iPhone 4s and iPod touches. It was supposed to be a technology that Apple would share with the world and that would allow other devices -- yes, even peecees -- and software to participate. Apple said they would work with a standards body on getting FaceTime into the market.
As far as that goes, it would be sweet if FaceTime was integrated more closely in the new iMessage system and tied to apps more closely. For example, if I'm working on a Pages document, I'd love to be able to see if someone that I've shared that document with is available, fire up FaceTime, and both look at and edit the document while we discuss it.
With iMessage, iChat and an "open" FaceTime, we could switch between communications methods as needed. So, c'mon Apple, let's make it happen.
-- Dennis Sellers