As part of their announcements at WWDC this year, Apple noted that they would be including a new application called iMessage in iOS 5. This service will allow text-message like functionality between iOS devices, without actually using up text messages on your carrier plan.
The key there, was that this would only be available on iOS devices. However, MacRumors is now reporting that they have found iMessage references in the framework of OS X Lion’s iChat application.
Here’s the evidence:
@interface IMMessage : NSObject
As explained in the report, the “timeDelivered” and “timeRead” strings indicate the tracking of text messages as to whether they were delivered successfully, or if they had been read. These are unneeded features in iChat’s currently functionality, thus leading us to believe it is related to a service such as iMessage.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that Apple would bring iMessage to OS X. After all, they did bring FaceTime to the Mac after introducing it first on iOS. Of course, iMessage is on it’s way in iOS 5. It remains unclear when similar functionality will make it’s way to the Mac.