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Experimental web app could bring AIM chat to iPhone

David Chartier
06.24.07
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While the jury will of course be out until June 29th as to whether web-based chat apps like Meebo could be used on the iPhone to work around the lack of a true, built-in chat app, David Cann has developed an experimental web interface that might bring AIM to next week's highly-anticipated gadget. The service is up and running already, allowing users to log into AIM using Cann's page, but the adjective 'experimental' is used for a reason. First, it's suffering some rocky performance due, in part, to being dugg, but it's also based simply on some JavaScript that Cann is running with his own servers (while this might scare some privacy advocates, Cann promises users that he isn't harvesting any information or chats. Do with that what you will).

Cann's iChat for iPhone service, as it's called, is also fairly limited in functionality, at least for now; this definitely isn't your Mac's iChat. Right now there are no groups, no buddy icons and opening more than 4 chats apparently is not recommended. Usage is also limited to only 10 minutes per session also, probably to help Cann sleep at night while he's tinkering with polishing this.

Still, if at least some form of iChat is strongly desired or simply a necessity for some iPhone users, this iChat for iPhone could overcome the hurdle for at least a few potential customers. Of course, we're all expecting Apple to provide a more serious solution at some point, but as with so many other Apple-related offerings, we'll just have to play the waiting game.

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