A developer named John Heaton has found a number of code strings in Apple’s iOS that suggests there will be new IM services coming, including the company’s own iChat.The code strings in question
, displayed above, indicate a service that it similar to iChat, according to 9to5mac
. At the very least, Apple is considering support for additional instant messaging services, according to the report.
The code strings also mention a number of instant messaging standards such as the Apple-developed iMessage, FaceTime (also Apple’s), Jabber and AIM.
Apple has been rumored in the past to plan a Mac version of iMessage. And knowing how the company likes to unify the experience for every user (e.g. bringing FaceTime to Mac OS X), I wouldn’t consider it far fetched to see iChat make it on iOS.
In fact, iOS has always been missing a first-party IM client. The least Apple could do is port iChat to the iPad.