Difference Between Ichat and Skype

iChat and Skype were popular communication tools, yet they provided unique features and functionality. Apple Inc. created iChat, a messaging application. It was designed mainly for Mac users and was included in macOS until macOS 10.7 Lion. Skype is a popular communication platform that offers a variety of services, such as instant messaging, voice calls, video calls, and file sharing over the internet.

Read this article to find out more about iChat and Skype and how they are different from each other.

What is iChat?

Apple Inc. created iChat, a messaging application for Mac users. It was first included in Mac OS X 10.2 in 2002 and remained in macOS until macOS 10.7 Lion, when it was replaced by the Messages application. iChat provides users with a variety of communication tools, making it simple to remain in touch with friends, family, and coworkers.

  • Users of iChat could send and receive text-based instant messages from other iChat users. It used the AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) protocol, allowing users to chat with people who also had AIM accounts.

  • Support for video calls was one of iChat's distinguishing features. Users could use their Mac's built-in or external webcams to have face-to-face talks with friends and family. This function added a personal touch to online communication.

  • Apple's Bonjour technology was integrated into iChat, allowing users to easily find and connect with other iChat users on the same local network. This feature allowed users on the same Wi-Fi network to discover and initiate chats without the use of external servers.

  • iChat included presence status indicators that let users know if their contacts were online, offline, away, or accessible to chat. Users could create and manage buddy lists to organize their contacts and start chats easily.

  • It's worth noting that iChat communicates using the AIM protocol. As AIM's popularity diminished, Apple abandoned iChat in favor of the Messages app, which combined numerous chat protocols, including AIM, Jabber, Google Talk, and, later, Apple's own iMessage protocol.

  • Since the Messages app replaced iChat in macOS, users on newer macOS versions can access similar messaging and communication services via the Messages app, which is still actively supported by Apple.

What is Skype?

Skype is a popular communication platform that offers a variety of services, such as instant messaging, voice calls, video calls, and file sharing over the internet. It was released in August 2003 by Skype Technologies S.A., which was founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. In 2011, Microsoft purchased Skype, extending its user base and integrating it with other Microsoft services. Skype remains a popular communication tool across multiple platforms.

  • Skype has an extensive instant messaging capability that allows users to send and receive text messages in real time. Users can converse one-on-one or create group chats to engage with several contacts at the same time.

  • Skype allows users to make voice calls using the internet, making it a cost-effective way to interact with friends, family, or coworkers all around the world. Calls between Skype users are normally free, and they can be made to both individuals and groups.

  • High-quality video calls are one of Skype's most notable features. Users can use video conferencing to have face-to-face chats with other Skype users. Video calls can be made between two people or in groups with several people.

  • Skype has a screen-sharing feature that allows users to share their displays with others during a call. This feature is useful for remote cooperation, troubleshooting, and presentations.

  • Skype for Business was a version of Skype that was designed specifically for business communication, collaboration, and online meetings. It included additional features like conference call scheduling and management, interaction with Microsoft Office apps, and increased security. Microsoft then relaunched Skype for Business as Microsoft Teams, which evolved into a comprehensive business collaboration and communication tool.

  • Skype has become a popular alternative for personal, professional, and corporate communication, with a variety of services connecting people all over the world. However, because technology is constantly improving, it is best to check for the most recent changes and features accessible in Skype as of the present date.

Difference between Ichat and Skype

The following table highlights the major differences between Ichat and Skype −




Presence Status

Yes; users can see online status of contacts

Yes; users can see online status of contacts

Screen Sharing




Text-based messaging, audio calls, video calls, AIM protocol support

Text-based messaging, voice calls, video calls, file sharing, screen sharing

Platform Compatibility

Exclusively for Mac users

Cross-platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.

Bonjour Integration



Business Version


Yes; Skype for Business (now Microsoft Teams)

Development Status

Discontinued; replaced by Messages app

Active; regularly updated and supported

Integration with Microsoft Services


Yes; integration with Outlook, Microsoft 365, etc.

File Sharing



Video Effects




In conclusion, it’s important to remember that the technological landscape is always changing, and the information supplied here may not reflect the most up-to-date state of these applications. Users are urged to check out the most recent features and offerings from iChat and Skype in order to make educated decisions depending on their communication requirements.

Updated on: 09-Aug-2023


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