When Apple released Mac OS X 10.7.2 yesterday, a wide set of new features were made public. Many of these included support for the long awaited iCloud. But in the process, Apple managed to break iChat’s support for AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) logins in some cases. So, if you launch iChat and some of your buddies are missing, or you see a small message in the buddy list showing AIM is disconnected, you are one of the effected.
Fortunately there is an easy fix. From in iChat, select Preferences from the iChat menu. Then click on the Accounts button at the top of the window. Click once on your AIM account in the list on the left and then click on the Server Settings tab at the right. Odds are your Server field is currently listed as api.oscar.aol.com. Apparently this server address no longer works if the Use SSL check box has been selected.
From what I have read, its possible to resolve this issue by simply unchecking the Use SSL box. But that will remove encryption from chat communications. It’s not an ideal solution. A better fix is to change the Server field to login.oscar.aol.com and leave Use SSL checked. That’s it. Now just click over to the Account Information tab and check the Enable This Account box. Your iChat should now be able to communicate with the AIM messaging servers and all of your AIM buddies (assuming they have not just updated to 10.7.2 and hit the same snag that you just resolved).
It seems odd that something like this was overlooked in the testing of 10.7.2. But according to the Apple Support Forum, there is no shortage of people running into the issue.
UPDATE: 10/17/11 9:10am
Ok, it looks like Apple or AOL, or both might have resolved the issue with the original server address over the weekend. As of today, the new server address posted above is not able to connect. I went back to the original address and it appears to be operational again.
Here is the current working setting: