The Issue: Apple is coming out with a new Instant Messaging feature for the iPhone, and has recently filed a patent for this new software. We are expecting an IM service which runs in the background as AIM can on your computer.
The Story: This story seems like a non-issue for all you iPhone users out there who have learned of the vast spectrum of available iPhone web apps (including IM services like AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo, ICQ, and MSN). But regardless, the Apple iPhone made IM service will be sure to blow any web app service out of the water. Given the fact that Apple is filing for a patent, there must be something new in the works. Given the creative genius that we have all seen coming out of those mystical Apple laboratories, there must be something good and new coming. The software ‚Äì Portable Electronic Device for Instant Messaging ‚Äì promises to be similar to the current interface for iPhone SMS conversations. AOL Instant Messenger boasted a new iPhone ready variation of their uber-famous messaging software at the recent iPhone SDK launch. The problem, however, is simple: it does not run in the background as it does on your computer. Now it will.
Why This Matters: This isn‚Äôt a huge hubbub of a story, but you geeks out there have already spent hours on tech forums debating whether or not it‚Äôs fair for Apple to drop a patent on something which seems obvious and has been around for quite some time ‚Äì Instant Messaging. Here is the verdict: Apple isn‚Äôt patenting IM. Apple is patenting ‚ÄúPortable Electronic Device for Instant Messaging‚Äù, their own Instant Messaging software. The IM service could in theory take away some of the service provider‚Äôs revenue brought in by the massive amount of SMS texts sent daily, but in reality that loss will be negligible due to the huge demand of an IM service on the desktop of the iPhone.
What Says The‚Ä¶
Geek: I‚Äôve been IMing on my iPhone since day one with web apps. But whatever, I‚Äôll get it when it‚Äôs out ‚Äì Apple knows what they‚Äôre doing.
Socialite: If I can have my AIM run in the background on my iPhone I‚Äôll update my away message tri-hourly all day long. Yes!
Soccer Mom: If I can check my daughter‚Äôs buddy info on the go with my iPhone to stay up to date on her relationship status then tell Apple to hurry up and release this IM service!
For more information visit: http://www.macworld.com/article/133101/2008/04/patentim.html