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Apple\'s iChat to gain tabs, integration with iTunes

The next version of Apple\'s iChat messaging software that will ship with Mac OS X Tiger will likely offer tabbed messaging in addition to iTunes tie-ins.

The next major reversion of Apple Computer\'s popular iChat instant messenger software will play host to a plethora of new features, including some that have yet to appear in even the most recent builds of Mac OS X 10.4 \"Tiger,\" AppleInsider has learned.

Mimicking third party applications like Status Symbol and iChat Status, recent builds of iChat 3.0 have exposed limited interactivity with the company\'s iTunes digital jukebox software. Via a new option in the iChat menu, users will be able to display the currently playing iTunes track as part of their iChat online status.

Beyond this tie-in, it\'s unclear how much further the two digital lifestyle applications will gel. The aforementioned feature is new to iChat\'s ongoing development and is only partially functional in recent builds of the software.

Meanwhile, well placed sources have provided indubitable evidence that Apple will soon add an option to enable tabbed messaging. Although this feature has yet to surface in known builds of iChat 3.0, the foundation is reportedly in place for an implementation that will closely mirror the functionality and appearance of the tabbed browsing interface already present in the company\'s Safari web browser.

iChat 3.0 is due as part of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger in the first half of 2005. The software will also reportedly deliver improved video quality, three-way video chat, extended audio conferencing, and Jabber support.