By far one of the coolest new features in OS X 10.8 aka Mountain Lion, Messages is the iChat replacement that allows users to exchange free texts between Macs and iOS devices, complete with photos and videos. The app boasts standard IM-features as well, like the ability to see when your friends are typing a reply.
After seeding a developer preview version of Mountain Lion to Mac developers this week, Apple revealed that Messages was a huge new addition to the OS.
According to the Cupertino giant, Messages does everything iChat does, and then some.
It has integrated support for iMessage, the free text messaging standard introduced by Apple in iOS 5. Anyone with an iOS 5 device can now send a receive these types of text messages to and from a Macintosh computer running the Messages app.
The service is now in Beta for OS X 10.7 Lion users, but when the trial ends - i.e. when Mountain Lion gets ready to ship - it will be an exclusive feature to OS X 10.8. If you’re interested in testing it out, download the beta app right here.
Apple only asks users to note that “When you install Messages, it replaces iChat. But iChat services will continue to work.”
|Messages supports iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber protocols|
Image credits: Apple
The Messages app isn’t limited to sending / receiving photos and videos. If it can handle those, sure enough it will also let you swap documents with your buddies.
“You can see when your message has been delivered and when someone’s typing a reply,” Apple says. “Turn on read receipts, and they’ll see when you’ve read a message.”
|Users can start a conversation on their Mac and pick it up on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch|
Image credits: Apple
The messages are encrypted end-to-end so they stay safe and private. Best of all, you can start a conversation on your Mac and pick it up on your mobile device, or vice versa.
Apple has confirmed that OS X Mountain Lion will ship in late-summer 2012. The software will be available exclusively from the Mac App Store as a digital download.