Why Lion Doesn’t Have an iMessage Application (Revisited x 2)

In my last post, I discussed the lack of iMessage support in OS X, which I had predicted in the first post on this site.

Today, as part of Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion announcement, the new Messages OS X was revealed. A Beta version of Messages is available for download today1.

From my original post:

Assuming Apple will provide iMessage functionality on the Mac, I see four options:

  1. A new iMessage app in the App Store
  2. An update to the FaceTime app currently available in the App Store with iMessage integration
  3. An OS X Lion update that includes an updated version of iChat with iMessage integration
  4. A new app in the App Store that combines the functionality of iChat, iMessage, and FaceTime in one place

Their current solution partially matches #12, #3, and #4. I think the closest match is #3. They did basically just add iMessage support to iChat, but also renamed the app from iChat to Messages.

Interestingly, chat windows that are using iMessage have a button to initiate a FaceTime chat, but the button opens up the FaceTime app ready to make a call rather than having the FaceTime functionality built in. Perhaps that consolidation will come with a future version of Messages3.