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Apple Adds Circle Support To iMessage But No Word on Bitcoin

by on September 8, 2016

The iMessage service provided by Apple has been captivating audiences all over the world. Although the service is only available on iPhones, it is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. Apple announced their plans to make the service more visual and integrate payment options. Circle, a Bitcoin company, will be integrated into iMessage soon.

A Major Overhaul of iMessage Is Coming

Although Apple has a very dominant position in the mobile space, the company has to keep innovating. Their IMessage service is one of the most popular communication protocols being used around the world today. However, its design has always been a bit bland, and the technology giant has some big changes in mind.

One iOS 10 is released, a more visual version of iMessage will be made available to iPhone users. The addition of stickers, animated images, and funny faces is in line with what other social messaging services are doing right now. Apple opened up the iMessage application to third-party developers and even added a so-called “store” for additional services.

This decision comes at a time when other social messaging applications are bringing a lot of competition to iMessage. Platforms such as Bitmoji, SnapChat, and Facebook Messenger are all being used more often than iMessage. For Apple, that situation is borderline unacceptable, and a more visual version of their native application should help elevate the playing field.

But that is not the only big change coming to Apple’s proprietary messaging service. Integration of new payment apps within the iMessage ecosystem will turn things on their head. Both Circle and Square Cash have been confirmed to become available in iOS 10, although no specific details were revealed at this time.

The addition of Circle means users should – theoretically – be able to send Bitcoin payments over the messaging protocol. It is doubtful this will be the case, though,as Circle also offers currency conversion and fiat transfer services. It is more likely those two latter functions will be used, rather than introducing cryptocurrency to the masses. But until the new version has been released, it is anybody’s guess as to what we can expect.

Header image courtesy of DownToday

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