Apple Seeks iPhone Instant Messaging Patent

software instant messaging

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company filed a patent application for a universal interface for real-time text chat services that was published in March. The filing outlined a system for instant messaging on the iPhone and other touchscreen devices that is similar to its text messaging system but with "key changes," according to AppleInsider.

"While one chat view closely resembles that of the current SMS interface with a dedicated text field for entering new messages, another would have typed text appear directly in a new message bubble and would replace the text entry box with a list of suggested words," AppleInsider writes.

"Significantly, Apple's drawings for the image also make no mention of SMS, instead referring to icons for "IM" and to instant messaging and thus pointing to a universal application of the patent to any data-based chat format. While SMS is mentioned in the patent text, the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm also suggests the chat interface could be used for MMS (Multimedia Message Service) picture and video messages, but doesn't include an interface for sending more than text as part of its filing," the site said.

The information surfaces weeks before Apple is expected to launch the final version of its SDK that will allow third-party developers to create and distribute (through Apple) programs for the company's increasingly popular smart phone.

Sponsored post

Apple also plans to launch v 2.0 of its iPhone software in June. The update will allow the iPhone to sync with Microsoft Exchange. The iPhone had been criticized for being not up to snuff for business because it was not compatible with Exchange, leaving millions of potential business users in a lurch.

Rumors also float that this summer the iPhone will see an upgrade to 3G compatibility, bringing it faster data transfer speeds.