Apple drops Screen Sharing from iChat? - Macenstein

Apple drops Screen Sharing from iChat?

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

A slew of Leopard’s new features were showcased at the WWDC this morning, but one feature which was introduced with much fanfare over a year ago at last year’s Leopard preview has apparently been cut out entirely… namely Screen Sharing.

Above: You will find no mention of Screen Sharing on Leopard’s iChat page.

Screen Sharing seemed like a very cool feature (if not a potentially dangerous security hole) of iChat that used Mac OS X’s built-in VNC capabilities to view and control another Mac via iChat’s interface. The idea was that you could use iChat as a trouble-shooting tool, where you could fix grandma’s Mac while talking to her at the same time, or explain how to do something by showing the other person on their own computer.

For whatever reason, minutes after Steve Jobs finished his WWDC keynote (without mentioning the feature) all references to Screen Sharing were removed from

As someone who was personally impressed by Screen Sharing and looking forward to the feature, I feel this omission is a glaring one. I’m responsible for all Mac tech support within my extended family and friends, and would have found such a tool invaluable.

[UPDATE:] Readers have pointed out that the Screen Sharing feature may live on in some form via the new Finder. Hopefully once WWDC attendees get home with their Leopard betas we’ll get more clarification.

10 Responses to “Apple drops Screen Sharing from iChat?”
  1. Tom says:

    If you look at this screenshot of the “Brand New Finder” you’ll see a ‘Share Screen’ option. Perhaps this functionally will be only available over a local network? We can only wait and see.

  2. Richard Neal says:

    If you notice, in the demo for Finder, they show a button for Screen Sharing for each of the connected computers. Maybe there were too many issues with doing it over the internets, so it’s restricted to the LAN

  3. Tom says:

    Being a twit, I forgot to give the image. So ‘ere it is:

  4. Rowlings says:

    I noticed that too.
    bummer. 🙁

  5. Thanks Tom, Richard,

    I hope you’re right, and that Screen Sharing will make its way into the OS.

    Although controlling a screen via a local network is more or less useless, as I can walk to a networked machine. Somehow I fear the screen sharing will not be as robust or cool as we were led to believe last year, or they would have made a point to mention it.

    Or, they may make it a feature of .Mac, which again, renders it more or less useless.
    I guess we’ll find out in October.

    -The Doc

  6. Michael Maggard says:

    With the new integration of remote connections into the OS & .Mac (though I’ll keep my Hamachi thank you) moving this into that area and away from iChat, which it only had nominal affinity, makes sense.

  7. Craig Kuehne says:

    Well – the iChat Screen Sharing button is still there – you can see it in the new QuickTime ‘Demo’, as well as in the middle picture in the ‘Gallery’. There are four buttons at the bottom of the Buddy List – they are for Text, Audio, Video, and Screen Sharing. That last button looks exactly the same as when they demonstrated Screen Sharing at the last WWDC.

    Either they forgot to remove the button, or they forgot to include it in the list of features of iChat…

  8. macsimcon says:

    I think it’s more likely that they forgot to remove the buttons; the iChat page is pretty descriptive of the new features in iChat.

  9. pete says:

    I think it is replaced by the .MAC feature that allows direct file sharing. I imagine you just have to add file to .MAC public and files could be shared. But this is not 100% the same, nor interactive.

  10. Ricardo says:

    How is screen sharing gone from ichat?; when the screen sharing button is still there, right next to the video conference button.

    take a closer look at the screenshots

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