iPhone! What, no iChat?

iPhoneApple thrilled many a fan waiting with baited breath when they released the iPhone Tuesday at Macworld, and indeed, we’ll be in line to snag a couple ourselves when they come out in Jun. However, one major component was missing from this new device — iChat. Steve proclaimed the iPhone is 3 devices in one: widescreen ipod, mobile phone, and internet communicator, and although the new device has EDGE and WiFi connectivity, and includes email, web and sms…one key app they left out is the obvious iChat from Apples own internet suite.

For a second there it looked like iChat was included, as you can see in the picture above, but what you see is just sms text messaging that is formatted to look like iChat. Although it sounds like the iPhone will not support installing of additional applications, I’m hoping there’s an iChat update in the future, maybe even before the phone releases…either that, or a widget that can be installed that will support it.

In addition to the lack of iChat, my other big complaint is the decision to use Cingular — I would have preferred Verizon. Also new rumors that the iPhone without a contract will send the price through the roof make the Cingular choice even less desirable.

19 thoughts on “iPhone! What, no iChat?”

  1. Now we know what you didn’t like about the iPhone. Thanks.

    Too bad there was nothing that you did like about it. Makes me wonder why you want to “snag a couple”.

  2. Ha! I suppose it could be seen that way…I actually love everything about the phone, which is why we’ll ‘snag a couple’ — I only mentioned the couple of things that I wish were different.

    The list would be too long to list all the stuff I love about it!


  3. Actually, what would be better would be iChat with SMS gateway for Mac OS X and iPhone.

    And it has a camera…

  4. Beyond the obvious of being an amazing device – Steve left things open and did not address some items on purpose. I’m only guessing, they are still researching and getting feedback before they finalize the product.

    iChat of course (other chat software?)

    Widgets (how many and can we customize)

    iTunes store connectivity

    Apps (with os x installed – the potential to customize is great)


    Beyond that – this is the first one – if Apple follows there previous products, they should have at least three models (i.e. shuffle, nano, ipod – iMac, Macbook, Macbook Pro, Desktop)

  5. Well….
    I will be camping out at cingular, switching from Verizon to cingular just for this phone. I cannot get over the size and all the feature’s of the phone. I do agree with Paul though, I hope they do give a way to use Ichat on the phone. Also I hope cingular figures out a better Text messaging plan. That is so far the only thing I do not like about the cingular service is how expensive it is to send text message’s. I want something like verizon’s 10$ for free in verizon and 500 outside of verizon message’s. I know all my friends are switching to cingular for this phone so, it would be nice.

  6. If you watch kids who avidly talk to each other via text messaging, then you would understand that text messaging is iChat on cell phones.

    Apple’s iPhone further allows you to text message with multiple people simultaneously.

    Since this first generation iPhone does not have a video conferencing camera like the current MacBook screens, then video conferencing is not yet an option.

    Once Apple solves the power and extra chip/space requirements for 3G, then video conferencing like iChat does would be a possibility. Currently 3G burns battery energy excessively and requires extra chips that would make the iPhone much larger than it currently is.

    To summarize: iChat on iPhone = Text Messaging.

    Any kid with a cell phone knows that. It’s obvious.

  7. “To summarize: iChat on iPhone = Text Messaging.”

    Text messaging is not iChat. The experience is not the same. With iChat, I can see which of my family, friends, or employees are online before I fire off a question or message to them. With texting, I’m firing off into the wild blue yonder and wondering if anyone is around.

    With and actual iChat client on the iPhone, I’m looking for an interface that allows me to not only do bare bones communication, but also allows me to see the status of the user I’m communicating with. That’s what is missing in sms text messaging, and it’s missing in both directions — for the iPhone user, or for the iChat user trying to contact the iPhoner.

    On my Verizon Treo, I can download and install third party chat apps. On my T-Mobile Dash it’s built in, and on my Cingular Blackberry I can install OTA apps to do the same thing. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do something similar with the iPhone when it’s out…and hoping it won’t cost a mint in sms charges to do it!


  8. I agree with Paul. There is a HUGE difference between Ichat and sms messaging. ANY KID WITH A COMPUTER OR CELL PHONE KNOWS THAT.

  9. Holy cow, am I way behind on the times. I don’t know how to text message or half the things you guys are talking about. You should teach a class to 40-somethings on how to use a cell phone——or at least what the lingo means.

    I’m in awe, Mr. Phone Guru!

  10. “With iChat, I can see which of my family, friends, or employees are online before I fire off a question or message to them.”

    long time later, but couldn’t resist…

    major flaw with that line: it’s a cell phone, people always have it with them, thus always online? Would you want an icon to tell you if there phone is with them? haha

  11. “major flaw with that line: it’s a cell phone, people always have it with them, thus always online? Would you want an icon to tell you if there phone is with them? haha”

    Actually, there is no flaw with that line. Just because you always have your phone with you, doesn’t mean you’re available. iChat allows you to see if someone is actually available, and not just in possession of their computer.


  12. agreed. Even cellphones (non-pda) have the ability to text to multiple recipients and forward text messages.

    For a phone as advanced as the iPhone to not have that capability, especially with how much Cingular advertises texting, is ridiculous. I didn’t even test this portion of the phone out prior to purchasing it, assuming it was a default capability.

    I came from a sidekick with tmobile to this phone, and I am rather unsatisfied with the texting capabilities.

  13. Can someone please help me. just got a iphone had to manually put in all my contacts pain in the ass but now when i recieve a text a dont know who it is from as the number is onlcoming up not the name.

  14. i love the iphone it works great and everything i need is right their on the phone i love it and it wa only $550.00 and that was so cheap

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