Apple was looking to improve on their audio and video by upgrading their iChat client, that is compatible to the AOL instant messaging.
The previous day Apple had released an improved version of the IM client, which included audio and video capabilities that were above the IM networks.Those features were included in instant messaging based on ZeroConf, which was in iChat since it was initially released.The new release was available as a preview that was limited by time and was scheduled to be shipped with OSX10.3″panther.
Connections were by plugging a Firewire video camera so that signaling to others was possible through the iChat buddy list, their form of chatting.It was a requirement that for the conversation to take place, a 56k modem was needed for audio and for video a broadband connection was needed.
Steve Jobs, then the Chief Executive for Apple had pointed out that his aim was to enable other people to experience video conferencing. Also, he said that he hoped to strengthen video chatting by linking it into instant messaging.Again he said that this platform would be most useful at work, in education, and even when communicating with family and friends.
PC to PC communication had the disadvantage of having difficulties when setting up hardware and when finding a college remotely for video chatting, which apple was aiming to solve through the distribution of information about the location of the users and technical above IM protocol.
Jobs added that video conferencing would help to find out whether who the user is chatting has video or audio conferencing setup, that would work off instant messaging.
Jobs show cased the product in front of the developers at WWDC showing sessions with, Jean-Marie Hullot, former Apple, and RealNames executive; Apple Vice President of World Marketing, Phill Schiller; and the former US Vice President and Apple board member, Al Gore.
The software was only available for Mac OS X but jobs assured that they would work with other interested parties to interoperate the software.
What about SIP and AIM?
Early users of the software reported that Apple was tapping Session Initiation Protocol( SIP) as the standard of launching videos and audio. Invitation to the iChat AV required that a request is sent through AIM. Recipients iChat gets the request and the appropriate ports are opened automatically for them to receive the invite message.
Shortly the sender’s client should send a SIP invite to the IP address of the client.Provided by aim.this was participants have their IP address exchanging invisibly. Afterward, the actual video would have RTP to handle it.( Real time transport protocol).While using the SIP to do the launch, the software seemed not to function as a fully featured sip client. Aside from making the request through AIM, iChat could not initiate voice-over-IP sessions, using a basis SIP invite such as the one coming from phones.
With the adoption of SIP Apple was to embrace services through IP communication, using a protocol that was being explored, while adding the SIP-based instant messaging, courtesy of sip for Instant Messaging Leveraging Extension (SIMPLE) protocol.
The challenge was using AIM’s platform since AIM operator had refused to open its network to compatibility with SIP or another IM networks.
Voice for AIM
iChat’s AV, at any time, was likely the only way AIM users could video conference with their IM clients. This was due to the prohibition of American Online from having IM-based high-speed services via broadband by the restriction from the Federal Communications Commission(FCC) that prevented it from becoming a monopoly since they had merged with Time Warner.
Also, rivals like Yahoo and Microsoft had taken advantage of AOL’s inability to use video IM’s by adding video conferencing to their IM clients. A week earlier, Microsoft revealed its MSN Messenger 6 client’s, featuring improved features for video messaging.
Through their partnership with Logitech. Yahoo also had an integration deal signed on their WebEx web conferencing. AIM had filed a case in court to overturn FCC decision to restrict them.