Complete guide to iMessage, Apple's unlimited text, picture, video, location, and contact sharing messaging service for iPhone, iPad, and Mac
iMessage is Apple's built-in instant messaging (IM) service. It lives inside the Messages app on iOS and OS X. On the iPhone it works alongside — and in some cases replaces — carrier SMS and MMS. On the iPad and Mac it provides similar functionality, allowing you to send text, picture, video, voice memo, location, contact, and other types of messages to anyone else using iOS or OS X. Since there's no charge for iMessage beyond data (cellular or Wi-Fi), you can send unlimited iMessages pretty much for free. Take that, carriers!
While iMessage has its own native Mac app, you also have the ability to quickly send an iMessage via the Contacts app if you're running OS X Mountain Lion. Whether you're looking for a specific number or not done looking through your contacts just yet, here's the easiest way to get a message sent without interrupting what you're doing within the Contacts app.
iMessage and FaceTime today do pretty much what they did years ago at launch. While it's hard to say they've been neglected, Apple hasn't prioritized them to the same degree their competition has been prioritizing Google Hangouts, FaceBook Messenger, or BlackBerry Messenger of late. What features Apple has been adding have been centered more around notifications and the management thereof, which are important but secondary to core communications features. You can't be notified about something you can't do. All of this adds up to something I'd sorely like to see integrated, fixed, and perhaps even expanded in iOS 7:
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iMessage and Facetime are both down for some users. According to Apple, the outage started just a little after 3 PM Eastern Time. There is not yet an ETA on when the issues will be resolved. For more information, check Apple’s system status page.
It was recently reported that iMessage had caused a snag in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to intercept text messages. Citing iMessage’s end-to-end encryption as the cause, the DEA stated that "iMessages between two Apple devices are considered encrypted communication and cannot be intercepted, regardless of the cell phone service provider." On the surface, this seems reassuring to iMessage users that their conversations can’t be intercepted. But is it possible that we’re giving a little too much credit to the DEA when they say iMessages are “impossible to intercept”?
The Drug Enforcement Administration has found it difficult to intercept text message conversations sent with Apple’s iMessage platform due to the encryption that Apple employs for it. According to internal documents a criminal investigation was hindered by the DEA’s inability to tap into iMessage conversations, despite the fact that they had a warrant. According to CNET, the DEA initially discovered that conversations that they had been collecting were incomplete.
While iMessage is a great service that lets iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac users correspond for free with any other iOS user, it can also be a bag of hurt at times. One of the largest issues I see people complain about is the verification issue. Namely, iMessage will randomly sign you out of your account and you're kicked back to the login screen when you launch the Messages app. You sign back in and iMessage asks you to choose the numbers and emails you'd like, you click next, and the verification step rudely throws you back to the login screen.
If this sounds like an issue you've had, follow along and we'll walk you through how to try and resolve it.
If you use iMessage frequently for both work and personal, there may come times when you don't want to be disturbed by messages from people you don't know. iMessage gives you the ability to disable alerts from people that aren't in your Contacts app. You'll still receive the messages, you just won't receive audible alerts for messages from people you don't know.
Apple has launched a new status page for it’s stores, services like iMessages and Siri ,and iCloud that is far more granular and informative than the previous version. While the old page was simply a list of status messages pertaining to iCloud, the new page contains a board with a section each for Services, Stores, and iCloud. An indicator, either a green square for ‘Normal’ or yellow triangle for ‘Issue’, gives the status of each individual service, such as iMessage, Siri, or Mail.
Siri isn't just another voice control system, it remembers context and it can understand relationships. That means, for example, you can tell Siri to call your wife's iPhone, and Siri will know who that is and which phone number to dial. Not only that, Siri can send iMessages or SMS, and even email any of your friends, family, or co-workers. No matter how you like to communicate, Siri makes it incredibly easy to stay in touch.