Solves issues with built-in OS X apps
Flexibits has released Chatology, a new Mac app for users of Messages or iChat. The app is designed to search through chat session content more efficiently than Apple's own tools allow. This includes faster search retrieval, and options to narrow searches to a specific time range. Images and links in conversations are automatically filtered into their own tabs for easier access.
iMessages sent via SMS still vulnerable, agency says
The US Drug Enforcement Administration is complaining that it can't intercept content on Apple's iMessage service, even with a warrant, according to an internal note obtained by CNet. "On February 21, 2013, the DEA San Jose Resident Office (SJRO) learned that text messages sent via iMessages between Apple products (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and iMac) are not captured by pen register, trap and trace devices, or Title III interceptions," the DEA writes. "iMessages between two Apple devices are considered encrypted communication and cannot be intercepted, regardless of the cell phone service provider."
Jailbreak devs targeted, reveals flaw in Messages app
A flaw in the Messages application used widely on iOS devices has been revealed through a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on a group of jailbreak app developers. The program is subject to simple "flood" type attacks in which an attacker automatically sends messages incredibly rapidly, effectively rendering an account useless. Grant Paul, who goes by "chpwn" on Twitter and was one of the half-dozen victims in the attacks, said that the problem is that "Apple doesn't limit how fast messages can be sent," thus filling up the inbox and requiring the user to clear notifications and text in order to use the app.
Messages system works on multiple devices, tied to Verizon number
Verizon Wireless has updated its messaging application to include integrated messaging over multiple devices. The Verizon Messages service is now cross-platform, with messages able to be sent and received through one phone number via an Internet-connected device, or through a computer using the online account manager.
First year free, then $1 per year as with other platforms
Mobile messaging service WhatsApp plans to move its iOS program (which delivers free SMS-like messages to other WhatsApp users) to an annual subscription model rather than the one-time fee the app currently charges. The subscription would be very low-cost as well -- the first year free, then just $1 per year afterwards -- but would increase revenue and move the app to the same model the company uses on all other platforms it serves. The plan may not affect current users, but will face competition.
Messages, iCloud, Game Center all on rise
Mostly overlooked in Apple's quarterly report dealing with sales and revenues is the remarkable -- in some cases, astonishing -- growth in Apple's cloud-based services, ranging from the four trillion notifications sent to iOS users through Notification Center to the record-breaking $2.1 billion profit for iTunes. Users now send over two billion iMessages per day -- bypassing the cellular carriers' biggest profit center, SMS messaging -- from over 500 million devices, and over 250 million users now have iCloud accounts.
Company preps for Mountain Lion in July
Apple has removed virtually all links and references to the Messages for Mac beta from its website, reports note. One link is still present at the bottom of Apple's Downloads page, but even this redirects to Apple's generic OS X page. The only way a person can still download the beta is through a direct URL; the file is 63.8MB.
Hints at Facebook integration in future tech
Apple would like to integrate Facebook more deeply into its products, CEO Tim Cook suggested at Apple's annual shareholders meeting today. "Facebook: friend. We do a lot with them, our users use Facebook an enormous amount...I've always thought that the two companies could do more together," Cook commented during the meeting's Q&A session. "We've integrated Twitter...It's been great for Twitter, but it's been great for our users." He also noted that iMessage traffic has been "incredible" so far.
Hidden text urges users to buy new OS
The Messages app introduced alongside OS X Mountain Lion will become exclusive to the new OS after the current beta period has finished, French site Consomac says it has learned. Buried in text strings for the app is a future alert for users of the Lion-based beta. "Thank you for participating in the Messages Beta program. With the inclusion of Messages in OS X Mountain Lion, the Messages Beta program has ended," the notice reads. "To continue using Messages, please visit the Mac App Store and purchase OS X Mountain Lion."
Messages beta hints at super-high res Macs
Apple's Messages beta may have been a further clue as to Apple's possible plans for high-resolution Mac displays. Multiple images in the app package are designated "@2x," a new designation usually seen only in recent pre-release iOS code. Even the normally small chat tab icon for a contact is 82x82.
Mac OS X Mountain Lion adds iMessage, Reminders
In a surprise step, Apple on Thursday gave developers a preview version of OS X Mountain Lion, the next significant update to the core OS. The new version is directly influenced by iOS 5 and includes Notification Center, Reminders, Notes, Game Center, and Twitter integration, with iCloud syncing where it's relevant. AirPlay Mirroring is also new to the Mac and shares exactly what's on screen through an Apple TV.