Siri, iMessage, and AirPlay Coming to Mac OS X?
A future version of Mac OS X may bring iOS favorites Siri, iMessage, and AirPlay to Apple’s Mac lineup. Assuming the features are released, it’s unclear whether they will come as an update to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, a purchase through the Mac App Store, or as part of Mac OS X 10.8.
iMessage & AirPlay for OS X?
Rumors of iMessage coming to Mac OS X started earlier in the year when code snippets were found that suggested iChat may get iMessage integration. 9to5mac has since heard that AirPlay and iMessage for the Mac are currently in development for OS X Lion.
Sources familiar with the future of Mac OS X say that AirPlay Mirroring and an iMessage application are currently in development. Although neither project may see the light of day, they are definitely on the table for release in future versions of OS X Lion.
AirPlay would allow a Mac user to wirelessly mirror their Mac display to an Apple TV, and video streaming would be integrated with QuickTime. 9to5mac indicates there is a possibility that iMessage will be released as a standalone product, rather than being integrated directly with the existing instant message client iChat. If standalone apps are released, it wouldn’t be surprising to have iMessage and AirPlay be downloads from the Mac App Store much like FaceTime was before it became bundled with the OS X 10.7 release.
Siri for Mac?
Bringing iMessage and AirPlay to the current version of OS X is similar to what Kevin Rose mentioned recently about Siri, who stated a rumor that the AI agent would be released for OS X Lion next year.
Separately, we’ve also heard an unverified claim that Siri could replace the existing Speech Recognition module and have ties into Spotlight for a future version of Mac OS X. Siri would offer a significant improvement in voice recognition, dictation, and a new way to search on the Mac platform.
Not Anytime Soon
While all of these claims are in the realm of obvious speculation, some features shouldn’t be expected to appear anytime soon. In all probability, Siri won’t be coming to any other hardware, be it iOS or Mac based, until the next generation iPhone is released. The reason may simply come down to marketing, with Siri being a prominent feature of commercials for the iPhone 4S, it’s unlikely that Apple would dilute a key marketing component of the 4S by spreading the technology around to other hardware.
Other Siri related rumors suggest the AI agent would act as the remote control on a potential Apple television set.
(Siri & iMessage graphics on this page are mockups)
Side note: even without iMessage, you can send SMS through iChat right now just by using AIM or Google Chat and messaging a phone number prefixed with a +, although standard SMS rates apply for the recipient.