First Thoughts on Apple's Messages App for OS X

I downloaded the Messages app beta for OS X today and have been using it for an hour or two. I'm really glad they have released this beta prior to the actual launch of Mountain Lion, as it should have been built into Lion from the start. But it doesn't seem like it's quite there yet.

The app itself works well as far as sending and receiving messages from my friend on her iPhone, and it shows the delivery status as with iMessage on the iPhone. After I went through the initial setup and entered my Apple account/iCloud credentials it was able to pull down my address book from iCloud.

Messages does not have any way of indicating if my contacts have an iMessage capable device. It would be nice if it had a feature to automatically filter my contacts, because there's no point in showing me contacts who I can't actually communicate with through Messages. It does know that someone is not iMessage capable because if you try to send a message to someone's phone who is not a iMessage user it displays a popup informing you that you can't send a message to them, so hopefully that capability will be in the final release.

Another limitation, which might be a feature, is that the chat history is not currently synched between Messages on my laptop and the iMessage app on my phone. On the one hand I'm not sure that I necessarily want all my instant messages going through Apple. On the other hand, they already get my message history when my phone backs up to iCloud so it wouldn't be giving up any more privacy than I already do. Given that, it would be nice to have a consistent chat history across devices synched through iCloud.