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OS X Lion First Look: iChat

OS X 10.7 Lion first look at iChat.

BYTE -- iChat in OS X Lion brings a lot to Apple’s messaging client. In addition to support for Jabber, Google Talk, AIM, me.com and Mac.com, Lion adds connectivity to Yahoo! Chat.


If you’re the organized type, arrange the tabbed buddy list. It's unified across all messaging systems, as is your status. The buddy list is also searchable. Easily import photos from iPhoto to associate with your buddies. Chats also function within tabs, and can be consolidated into a single window or dragged out, much like browser tabs are today.


Given all the network configurations and chat protocols, OS X Lion includes a handy diagnostic utility.



iChat Theater allows sharing of files, webpages and iPhoto content within a video chat. Or just share the whole screen.


Share a webpage or the whole screen. Sharing looks like this.


Video chat includes five pages worth of clever video effects.



This effect makes even my blurry companion look like she was just brained with a frying pan.


And here, check out my audition for my role as a space alien. It's pretty entertaining.


OS X 10.7 Lion includes a service plug-in system for developers who want to extend iChat's capabilities to new messaging systems. It's a competent new update for this old tool in OS X Lion.

Based in Damascus, MD, Rob is a senior editor at BYTE. Follow him @lythander or email him at rob.maxwell@BYTE.com .

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