Developer code hints that iChat could come to iOS devices

Some particular strings of code uncovered in Apple's iOS mobile operating system by iOS developer John Heaton hints that Mac OS X's popular iChat client could come to iOS devices in the near future, namely the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Well, this is certainly interesting news, especially to an iOS user like myself, since the current iMessage app found in iOS 5 is somewhat limited to sending only text messages.

Though the code doesn't explicitly refer to iChat in particular, it does include strings related to third-party services AIM and Jabber. Not to be confused with the iMessage application found in iOS 5, which only allows text messaging, but does not connect across various messaging platforms such as AIM, Google Talk and more. Furthermore is the fact that the "IMService" code in iOS 5 refers to both the iMessage and FaceTime services. At the moment, iMessage and FaceTime are completely different applications in iOS 5, with the iPhone dishing off FaceTime duties to the phone's native calling application, and the iPad and iPod touch having a separate application specifically designed for FaceTime usage. What the code now implicates is that FaceTime could, in the future, become integrated in iMessage directly itself.

Take note that support for more instant messaging services could easily be added to the built-in Messages app in iOS 5 rather than having to add a new iOS program called iChat. If this is what's going to happen with this situation, 9To5 Mac notes that it might be a smarter decision for Apple to rebrand iChat on Mac OS X as Messages and possibly even push out iChat and FaceTime on other operating systems (cough, Windows) to provide an overall multi-platform unified messaging solution.

[via 9To5 Mac]