Apple may merge iChat with iMessage soon
Studying source code is the new way to get easy news on upcoming products and moves by tech companies, and MacRumors has found something extra interesting. In the framework code for Apple's newest Mac OS X Lion, there are new properties that suggest iMessage will soon be integrated into iChat on desktops and laptops.
This would be a pretty big move, as few major group messaging systems like this have full cross platform functionality between mobile and and PCs. Google's Huddle group messaging is only part of the Android Google+ app, and has no web option. BlackBerry Messenger is also mobile only, as are most 3rd party options like Kik, and WhatsApp. The only other fully cross platform option is Facebook, but that system isn't baked-in to most mobile platforms.
The newly found code shows properties for "timeDelivered" and "timeRead" fields, which are not used in any native chat protocols currently supported by iChat, would be used to track the delivery and read receipts of instant messages. If true, this means that users on Mac OS X machines or iOS devices would be able to communicate through iMessage.
Of course, while this would be nice, it might be better for Apple to bring some FaceTime love to iChat rather than iMessage.