Mountain Lion Message Beta

Apple is wasting no time in getting people excited for Mac OS X Mountain Lion as it releases a public beta of the new Messages app.

Having just announced OS X Mountain Lion this morning, and released a build to developers so they could begin work on it, Apple has now gone ahead and released a public beta of the Messages application.  This tool is designed to replace the existing iChat and will allow you to continue to interact with all of the IM systems you already do as well as communicate with the Messages app on iOS devices.

From the description on the Messages beta download page:

Download Messages Beta and get a taste of what’s coming in OS X Mountain Lion. When you install Messages, it replaces iChat. But iChat services will continue to work. And Messages brings iMessage to the Mac — just like on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 5. Here are the features you can expect with Messages:

  • Send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
  • Start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
  • Send photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations, and more.
  • Launch a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation face-to-face.
  • Messages supports iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts.

There is no listing on the page as to which versions of Mac OS X this will work with, but we’ve downloaded it to an iMac running Snow Leopard and quickly discovered it does require you to be running 10.7 Lion.  Some users have reported that the download page is giving them error messages, but there is a direct download of Messages available.

Give it a download and let us know what you think of it in the comments below.