At WWDC 2012 Apple re-introduced us to Messages, the central new communication hub for OS X and the iOS devices.
Messages is an all inclusive chat hub for OS X that connects to iMessages on the iPhone and to older chat services like AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk and Jabber.
Messages will come standard with OS X Mountain Lion, but is already available as a beta for OS X Lion.
I’ve been using Messages on my Macs for the past few months and love the centralized inbox and messaging. It’s what I’ve hoped for from Trillian and others for years, but with my phone included.
On Mountain Lion, Messages integrates with the Notification Center and includes pop up notifications in the upper right for new chats and incoming photos from iMessage contacts.
With Messages I have a seamless way to communicate with friends and co-workers, even those who remain the only person i contact on a specific service.
The service isn’t always on time with iMessage notifications, but normally is within a few minutes. I hope Apple fixes the read status when it comes out for all users with OS X Mountain Lion.
Unfortunately the Messages app cannot send messages or photos to anyone who is not on a Mac, iPad or iPhone. This limits the usefulness, and it means that Google Voice is still needed to centralize communication.
Apple is announcing a host of other new features for OS X at WWDC, including better iCloud support and dictation. Apple has also announced a new MacBook Airs, a new MacBook Pro with a Retina Display and features like AirPlay Mirroring.
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