Apple expanded upon the functionality of iMessage with what it calls “Business Chat” with the launch of iOS 11 last year, but its launch, when the feature did finally arrive, was limited in availability.
That is starting to change now, though, as a variety of different international companies have announced recently that they are now in full support of Apple’s Business Chat feature. Beginning now, the feature is available in the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy, Singapore, and many other countries. Officially, Business Chat launched in the United States earlier this year, so the international expansion didn’t actually take that long.
In Japan, the wireless carrier KDDI is offering support for Business Chat. Lithia Motors in the United States is also offering support. Credit Suisse in Hong Kong and Singapore is now supporting the feature, as is Harvey Norman in Australia. Wireless carrier Vodafone is offering Business Chat support in Germany. NH Hotels has begun offering Business Chat support in a variety of countries, as has the luxury brand Burberry.
Apple’s Business Chat officially arrived on the market with the public launch of iOS 11.3. With the feature, folks who want to talk to a specific business that offers support for the feature must initiate the conversation on their iPhone. Once that has begun, they can continue the conversation on their iPad, Mac, or the Apple Watch.
With Business Chat, customers can quickly learn about prices and other aspects of a business before they deal with them directly.
In the United States, Apple’s Business Chat is already supported by T-Mobile, 1-800-Flowers, American Express, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Wells Fargo, Ameritrade, and others. You do need to be running at least iOS 11.3 to get Business Chat support.
This is one of the features that can really come in handy in certain situations, especially for planning a trip. While searching for what you’re looking for works more often than not, a specific question you might want to ask a hotel chain might not be so easy to find, and using Business Chat to discover that is pretty handy. It’s good to see that the feature is finally expanding to international markets.[via NH Hotels; KDDI; Lithia Motors; Vodafone Germany; Bloomberg; Harvey Norman]