Project Amy makes private messages feel right at home in Messages for Mac

App-net in Messages buddy list

[gallery ids="3749,3751,3750"]'s private messaging (PM) system is getting a lot of attention lately, and a March hackathon for the service produced one of its most interesting additions yet. Created by Steve Streza of Pocket, Project Amy allows you to send and receive private messages using Apple's Messages app.

You can download the second beta, or check the main Project Amy account for the most recent version. Once you install it, go to File > Preferences > Accounts, click the plus to create a new account, and select as the service.

The accounts you follow on will appear in a collapsible, searchable section in your buddy list, and Streza says the whole thing is built with the plugin architecture Messages supports. You can even search for recipients when creating new messages (check the gallery), and they will be marked with the service name.

While Apple's iMessage service may have its issues, Messages is a great app, and now you have a sanctioned way to use Messages for PMs.