Macworld Senior Editor Dan Moren thinks that iMessage and instant messaging are two different things and deserve different applications.
I agree that they are two different things, but I think, for now, they work fine in one app together.1
I’ve settled into using Messages as my main chat client. That’s not really truthful, because I log out of chat services most of the day and leave Messages open to answer the occasional text I get.
Why? Because chat is for “hey, how’s it going”s and iMessage is for “answer this thing right now for me.” And I’m going to get the latter messages one way or another…might as well get them on the computer.
But when I am logged into chat I don’t mind my iMessages and chats being intertwined as much as I thought I would.
The only conflict is picking which protocol should be used, and with iMessage not yet as prevalent on computers as chat protocols like AIM and Gtalk, I’m hesitant in using iMessage to send a chat-like message to someone unless I know they are also using the Messages beta.
Chances are they aren’t. Not yet, at least.
But therein lies another problem—when Mountain Lion is released and people start using iMessage like chat, you won’t really be able to escape it.