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Messages under Mountain Lion takes the place of Apple's previous instant messaging client, iChat. It offers not only the ability to conduct text chats, but also audio and video chats. Plus, with it, you can share and control another person's screen. So here's the tour. Go down the Dock and I'll click on Messages, and here is our Messages window. So here's the main Messages window, where you can keep track of who you're conversing with, and then the contents of your conversation.
In this case, I have a buddy list, or Bonjour List, because that's how we're communicating, over here that indicates my status. So I can say I'm available. I can put myself offline. I could say I'm away if I want to, and it's perfectly okay to lie about this stuff if you want. If you just don't want to be bothered, put up Away and then people won't bother you. But I'll make myself available. Now to use Messages, you must have an account tied to it. If you've created an iCloud account, that can be one of these accounts, though you can also use it with services that support chat.
These include AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber. If you'd like to add an account, just go to Messages Preferences, click the Accounts tab, and then click the plus button. Under account type, you'll see the accounts that are supported. Choose the one you want. Enter your username and password, click on Done, and you'll add that account. Now, let's start at text chat. And I think we'll talk to my good buddy, Ian. So I'll double click on Ian, and let me send a little message. And you hear the sound when I send my message.
You see his icon with the little dots indicating that he's typing. I'll reply, and not only will I reply with a word, but I could also put a little smiley on it, and there's my little smiley face. The behavior of Messages differs depending on what kind of service you're using. So for example, here in Bonjour, I'm not allowed to add buddies. If I were using an AIM account however, I could go to the Buddies list and I could choose Add Buddy and add buddies that way.
If I were using iCloud, what I would see up here in the top of this window is a little plus button. I can click on plus, and then I will see all the contacts within my Contacts application and I can add people in that way, and these are people who have some kind of Instant Messaging account. Now, let's say I want to conduct a video chat. Well, here's Ian again, and look at the bottom. This means text, audio, video, and screen sharing. I'm going to start a video chat.
This activates my camera. Here I am in my studio, and I'll just wait for Ian to respond. And there's Ian. Ian how are you doing? Good. Hey, Chris. Okay. So again, man of few words. I want to do more than just video chat with him. I'd also like to share a presentation with him. So I have a presentation file on my desktop. I can grab it and drag it in, and I have two options. One, I can send this as a file to Ian, or I can share it with Theater.
So, I'll drag it in there. This will launch keynote on my Mac. And now, I can show Ian my presentation. So here he is in the corner. When he's looking at me, he sees me in this corner. And now, I can run through my presentation using these presentation controls, and he can see everything I'm doing. So this is a great way to do remote presentations. I'll stop doing that. We'll quit out of keynote.
And now, I'm going to say, "Bye." And we're done with the video chat. Now, it's not only presentations that you can share. I could drag a web page in here. It would launch Safari and then he would be able to see that web page. Now, one of the most powerful things you can do with Messages is to share someone's screen. This is very useful when you're troubleshooting someone else's computer or you need them to troubleshoot yours. The beauty of this is that not only can you see their screen remotely, but you can also control their computer.
If your dad is in Iowa and you're in Florida, you can start a chat with your dad, make the screen sharing connection, do what needs doing and then give control back to them. I'm going to try this with Ian as well. So I'm going to ask to share his screen. He'll see a little message on his screen, which you'll have to click on, and then I'll be able to see his screen. I hear a little sound, and here is Ian's screen. Now check this out. I have control of his screen. I'm doing this. He is not doing it.
And again, imagine how powerful this can be if you're doing this with somebody who has no idea how to run their Mac and all. They're calling you in the middle of the night saying, "I can't get this to work, please help me." All you have to do is get them onto Messages, share their screen, and you can conduct the repairs remotely. This is a wonderful thing. I use it with a lot of people and you should definitely try this feature out. Now, I'll go back to my screen. And now we're back on my screen.
I'll click this x, and we stop screen sharing. There are some additional subtleties to Messages, but you've got the idea. It's an easy way to engage in a quick, or long if you like, chat with your pals, share files and presentations, and control another Mac remotely.
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