I don't know what to do with iChat on my Macbook. I've used it a few times. Mostly, I click it by accident when I'm in a rush to fire up Safari. Instead, I've been using Adium since I found out about it. With Adium, like Trillian on Windows, I can put together my MSN, Yahoo, AOL, Gtalk, and, now, Facebook contacts in one application. It's really efficient.
So far, I can use AOL and Gtalk with iChat but it doesn't let me do much else. Frankly, I'm not sure Apple really has any plans for iChat other than to just havesomething for the MobileMe crowd.
But if there is a way for Apple to include voice, VOIP, or something else, that would be fantastic. And with Google snapping up Gizmo5 and merging it with Voice, Appple's iPhone and Macs are really left at the mercy of their Mountainview neighbor who is increasingly more of a competitor on the mobile and desktop front.
I think it's about time Apple get serious about iChat and doing more with it. 30 Billion in the bank, I am sure Steve Jobs and company can put a couple of billions into some startups and catch up rather quickly. Hey, maybe even work with Cisco at the beginning to learn a few tricks about communication.
And the perfect time would be when iPhone 5.0 comes out. What happened to 4.0, you ask? While I hope to see the VOIP features in version 4 of the iPhone OS, I think it's too soon and Apple doesn't have to rush yet. They've got a couple of years before things get desperate. But I've got hope as there are evidence that Apple is working towards this end.
Since the release of iPod Touch, it has gained capabilities in hardware as well as other subtle features with each upgrade. First it gained the ability for Touch users to do voice (voice memo app). Then it gained small, albeit lame, speakers but speakers nontheless. It almost feels like Apple is using the current generations of iPod Touch users to fine tune a mobile device capable of so much more in a few years.
Note: I know that Apple probably gave the iPod Touch lame speakers as not to upset ATT or cannibalize the iPhone.