With the debut of iOS 5, Apple released an innovate new feature called iMessage. Basically, iMessage is a built-in messaging platform that can be used between any iOS devices, that is, iPhones, iPod touches, or iPads. Along with the usual ability to send texts, iMessage boasts some pretty nifty features which I’d like to explore with you today.
iMessage comes enabled on iPhones by default. However, if you own an iPod touch or iPad you’ll need to activate it by selecting the Settings icon, followed by Messages, and turning on iMessage. Just follow the on-screen instructions and sign in with your Apple ID.
iMessage is only activated if the device you are using is connected to the Internet as well as your partner’s device. You can tell if your recipient is connected to iMessage if, when composing a message, a blue message bubble appears next to their name, and if the Send button appears blue. iMessages appear in blue chat bubbles as opposed to regular text messages which appear in green bubbles.
So what are the perks of utilizing iMessage? There are many, and some are most significant than others.
Firstly, you can send an unlimited number of free messages with iMessage. This is great money-saving news for those of you who don’t have an unlimited text message plan on your iPhone. Also unlike text messages, iMessages are not restricted to 160 characters before the message is split up, so feel free to express yourself in full.
You can send photos, videos, locations and contacts using iMessage. For photos and videos, simply press the Camera icon to the left of the text box. To send a contact or location, select Share Contact or Share Location on “Info” page of the desired item.
You’ll notice that iMessage always states when the file has been Delivered. Furthermore, if your recipient has chosen to, you can even be alerted to when your message has been read! Keep in mind that this feature is entirely optional, and turned off by default. To enable others to receive “read recipients” from you, navigate to the Messages option panel. Once again, select Settings, followed by Messages, and toggle on Send Read Receipts.
If you leave an iMessage conversation open, you’ll notice that ellipses appear, briefly followed by a message. This ellipsis indicate that your partner is typing, just like in an instant messaging chat.
iMessage comes with the ability to have a group chat with other iOS users. This is similar to a chat room in which everyone can see each other’s responses. To start a group chat, simply enter multiple names into a new message’s compose field. Make sure a blue bubble appears next to their name to ensure they have iMessaging capabilities. Then, send your message.
Finally, the last great feature about iMessaging is for those of you who own multiple iDevices. If these accounts are all synchronized with the same Apple ID, you can start a conversation on your iPad and pick it right up on your iPhone. That’s pretty revolutionary if you ask me!
~Jay Neil Patel