Whither IM-to-SMS in Leopard

Sunday, 2009-01-04; 23:39:17

In iChat in Tiger, you could add a “buddy” to iChat in the form of “+1##########”, where the #s are digits from 0-9 representing an area code and a phone number in the US, and you could send an IM to that “buddy”, which AOL would deliver as an SMS to the phone at that number, for free.

When I upgraded to Leopard, this initially worked. However, now it doesn’t. Currently, when you add a buddy like that, it immediately goes offline. When you attempt to send an IM to that buddy while offline, iChat simply throws an error message saying that the buddy isn’t online, and doesn’t deliver the message.

However, I’ve tested this feature on Macs that still run Tiger, and the feature still works. So it seems that AOL hasn’t discontinued the free IM-to-SMS service.

Is this a case of Apple removing the feature from iChat in a Leopard update? (I can’t remember exactly when it stopped working, because I only rarely use it.) Or can other people still use this feature? If it still works in Leopard for others, what am I doing wrong?

[UPDATE 2009-03-11: It turns out that it was a user-specific problem. If I logged in under another account and used iChat with my normal AIM profile, this feature worked perfectly. It just wasn’t working under my existing user account.

I filed a bug with Apple on this problem and informally heard that the problem was being punted to the next major release of OS X, version 10.7. But two months later, I noticed that my wireless buddies were suddenly being shown as online again, and the SMS feature now works in my existing user account again. It didn’t seem to be connected to any specific update, either. Weird.]

Technological Supernova   Tips   Older   Newer   Post a Comment