For years, Apple’s Messages app for OS X (previously known as iChat) has offered support for the aging AIM messaging protocol with mac.com and me.com IDs.
Then on Monday, as it said it would, Cupertino has ended AIM support for mac.com or me.com accounts in Messages on Macs running OS X Lion 10.7.1 or earlier.
However, it now appears that the company has actually phased out support for AIM accounts for everyone, regardless of Mac OS X version, and without giving users a heads-up…
Bryan Wolfe, reporting for AppAdvice:
Apple first posted a knowledge base article about this change in April. The posting was revised in June. The article explained that support would end on June 30. At no time, however, did Cupertino say this change would affect everyone.
Apple’s support document indeed mentions that iChat functionality – including text messaging via AIM, video chat and screen sharing – will no longer be available when used with a mac.com or me.com email address on systems running 10.7.1 or earlier after June 30, 2014.
The document, last revised on June 4, 2014, encourages users to upgrade to OS X Mavericks to continue using AIM services with me.com or mac.com accounts.
Those unwilling to upgrade should create a standard AIM account through the AOL website to continue using AIM through Messages, cautions the firm.
You can check here if Mavericks is supported on your Mac before upgrading to a newer OS X release.
I run both OS X Yosemite and OS X Mavericks on my MacBook Air and upon checking Messages I can safely confirm that the AIM account I created on my me.com ID no longer seem to be working within the app. Wolfe confirms that others at AppAdvice have also been affected by this issue.
Jabber, Google Talk and standard AIM accounts created through AOL.com are unaffected in Messages. I reached out to Apple and will update this article if they respond.
AOL has a standalone AIM for iOS app, available free in the App Store.
The iPhone application lets you interact with your AIM buddies and includes support for Facebook and Google Talk accounts, group chatting, media sharing, voice messaging, location and more.
OS X Yosemite will permit users to request a screen sharing session from another user, or initiate their own screen sharing session – directly from the Messages app, and using only your iMessage account.
While screen sharing existed in iChat before, you needed to add a Google Talk or AIM account in order to share screens remotely as iMessage-only accounts wouldn’t support this tremendously useful feature.
Do you use AIM with Messages and if so, are you saddened that Apple is phasing out support for the protocol in OS X Messages?