Ralph Johns

iChat Information Pages

Version 2


iChat Icon

These iChatAV (Version 2) pages are coloured Green and have the iChat 2 icon on them that was in use at the time, so you know where you are. The icon differs from Version 1 by having the camera logo added.

iChatAV (Version 2)


iChat made it's it way into the Apple Application fold in about 2003 with the first version. We are talking at the time of Jaguar (10.2.x).

At that point it was just a basic AIM client. That means that Apple developed an application that worked with other Clients that use the AIM Service. They came to an agreement with AIM that @mac.com email IDs would be recognized by the AIM Servers as valid AIM screen names (See iChat 4 section about changes to @mac.com/.mac).

So iChat (ver 1) can Text chat (including Group chats) and send Files and Pictures to other AIM based clients

Then Came

Then comes iChatAV (iChat vers 2). It came initially as a Beta and then as a $29.00 Add-on application for 10.2.x (Had to be 10.2.5 or above though). What it added was the ability to do Audio only and Video Chats with similar equipped Buddies (AIM went A/V for PCs around the same time). It was free with Panther (10.3.x).

Somewhat ignored when people talk about iChat 2 is that it added the possibility to display your Buddy List with restrictions based on Groups. A pop out drawer can be displayed with the Buddy Groups and if these are turned off the List is restricted to the ones left "On"

iChatAV, as Apple calls it, has one update which Software Update should pick up for you to iChat 2.1 or you can get from here.

A note about Passwords with Apple Screen Names

As with other versions of iChat the Password for any Screen Name has to be 16 Characters or less to be accepted by the AIM Servers for a Log in. As @mac.com (and the newer @me.com) passwords can be longer, this needs to be watched.

Functions, Pictures and How-tos

Other Help

As well as these Pages here, help can be found at the Apple Discussion Boards This link is to the Front Index page.

A Word about Navigating the Apple Discussion Boards

The Boards are hierarchical. You can see from the URL of the page linked that it has the word "category" as part of the URL. The links onwards to the Forums are shown with folders on the Index page. What you will find is that there is often another category level to go through. For instance iChat AV links to here which still has"category" in the URL. At the top of this page are two links but they do not show folders at this Level. (below is a list of Topics to have the most recent posts in them - not all categories do this) These are to the actual Forums (iChat 1 is with iChat 2 and Earlier) where "forum" appears in the URL.

You can not post until you are in a Forum where the New Topic link is or have clicked on a Topic. You also have to be registered with Apple. Apple uses a common ID for iTunes, the Store and the Discussion - so you may have one already.

©  Ralph Johns Created October 2008

Information Block

This site is about iChat from Version 1 through to iChat 4.x.x

It has a mixture of basic info and problem solving help.

The sections below will change for Specifics about info on the page on view

If you find these pages helpful please Donate to help keep them up to date

About This Page

A combo of what went Before as a basis of abilities and basic list of what iChat 2 added to that.

Screen Names from Apple

In June 2008 Apple launched their MobileMe service to replace the .Mac one. This has a knock on effect as to the Screen Names you can now get from Apple. Apple Screen Names are based on the email ID you have from them. This can be the older (name)@mac.com style from .Mac or the (name)@me.com from the MobileMe service where (name) is anything you care to use.

Trial @mac.com names work in iChat after the 60 Days trial was up as do Lapsed paid for accounts. They continue to work at the time of writing. With MobileMe names the trial accounts work in iChat up to the time the trial runs out. There has not been along enough period at the time of writing to find out if Lapsed accounts continue to work, but it seems unlikely they will.


Confirmed to work with Win/IE 5.5 and later (should work in 5.0, but not confirmed), Firefox 2, Safari 3, Opera 9, iCab 3.02 and later, Mac/IE 5, Netscape 6 and later

Old browsers (IE version 4 or earlier, Netscape 4 or earlier) should only see a text-based page which, while not the prettiest option, is still entirely usable.