Questioning the iPhone: Is it true that iPhones can't handle instant messaging?

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Jeff Block
Jeff Block's picture
Questioning the iPhone: Is it true that iPhones can't handle instant messaging?

What question? What are you talking about?

The Apple iPhone was released on June 29th, amid a flurry of press coverage, hype, and strong opinions. Long time TechLore member and super gadget geek Steven Jones frothed at the mouth, and published a three-part Ode to the iPhone in the process. Read his rants at:

Eric Brandt, a newer member, harshly countered Steven's iPhone fervor with a list of questions, which I've broken out into the forums. This is question #3. I wanna hear what you think.

Eric's Question

Is it true that iPhones can't handle instant messaging?

He writes...

Is it true that iPhones can't handle instant messaging?

Not even a little bit?

What's your answer?

Okay, Techlore people... I want to know what you think! What's your answer?

Steven Jones (not verified)
Guest's picture
It didn't even take 2 weeks

It didn't even take 2 weeks for some genius to come up with a suitable solution here. No the iPhone does not natively support instant messaging although some confusion is caused because Apple used their familiar, balloon-like chat interface for SMS, which is built-in to the phone. I am using JiveTalk (alpha) from Bee Hive ( and it works well - very well actually for an alpha release. I was able to quickly sign into my IM account (only tried one but seems to support multiple) and carried on two IM chats at the same time. Its all done in the phone's Safari browser but its more than passable. And this is less that two weeks after the launch!!!

Leon Chism
Leon Chism's picture
I'll add that one huge

I'll add that one huge advantage this phone has it that it is an Apple product. Apple is a software company and knows how to release updates (firmware, OS, and applications) after deployment. I am confident that iChat as a real application will be coming soon. Same goes for flash support.

Matt Whitlock
Matt Whitlock's picture
I think this is an

I think this is an inconvenience for now, but I'm sure Apple will create a mobile version of iChat in the very near future. If they don't, they're just dumb.

Don't think that will happen though, and this will be a moot argument in the short term. 

Michael Czyz
Michael Czyz's picture
i would have to guess, with

i would have to guess, with no real knowledge of course, that it was/is to some extent an at&t concession to not include an im client off the bat.  simply because, with the really good data rates the only thing that is limited is sms (200)

seems to me that someone decided that sms can make $, im can't, so no im to start.  this is silly of course as you still need sms to talk to other phones, and no im is a pointless barrier to internet connected folks, but...

 the other logical thing seems to be that the next desktop ichat might support conversation syncing between the desktop and the phone so you can go between without losing context. maybe the phone is just waiting for the next version of ichat.  ichat is mac only, so maybe i'm wrong.


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