“We’re very excited about bringing Mac users into the broader AOL community with the first fully compatible integration of another user base with AIM and AOL Buddy List users,” said Bob Pittman, Chief Operating Officer-elect of AOL Time Warner. “This will make it possible for Mac users to communicate within our network using their existing Mac.com identities. We look forward to working together with Apple on other innovative offerings.”
“iChat lets Mac OS X users join the best instant messaging community in the world,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Together with AOL, we’re making it possible for iChat users to exchange instant messages with over 150 million people, all using their Mac.com names.”
AIM, AOL Buddy List and Mac.com users can use their existing screen name or “handle.” The Mac OS X version of iChat allows users to quickly see and change their online status and communicate with buddies from the menu bar. The Mail application in Mac OS X shows online status of buddies, allowing users to instantly turn email exchanges into real time chats. And, the new system-wide Address Book manages buddy information including name, handle and photo along with the rest of their contact information.
iChat’s innovative use of Aqua delivers a great new user experience for instant messaging. iChat uses “dialogue bubbles” and buddy photos to present instant messages in a graphically conversational manner. iChat invitations pop on the screen in a simple and non-intrusive way using transparency and animation effects. iChat users can also automatically discover and chat with other iChat users on their local Ethernet or AirPort® networks.
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