Apple today announced iMessage, a new messaging service for iOS 5 users called. The service promises unlimited SMS-esque messaging between iOS users on iPod touch devices, iPhones and iPads. iMessages can be text, photos, videos, locations or include contact data.

iMessage Features
If it sounds like BBM, RIM's BlackBerry Messaging service, that's because, well, it sounds a lot like BBM actually -- and increases device lock-in as well. Users of iPads and iPod touch devices will get built-in text and picture messaging, unlimited and free, which is nice for parents who don't want to splurge on an iPhone for little Timmy, but still want him to be able to keep in touch with friends.

For iPhone users, iMessage will be built in to the standard text message window, so using it should be pretty seamless. Other features include group messaging, delivery and read receipts, typing notification and secure encryption. Of course, keeping with the sync via iCloud theme, users will be able to start a conversation on one device and finish it on another. No word yet if iMessage will be included in iChat for OS X Lion as well, but I wouldn't be surprised if it makes an appearance there as well.

Top Rated Comments

Bertmg Avatar
127 months ago
One of teh best money saving features

Several of my friends have iPhones or iPads, if I can text them using messaging this instead of SMS it can save me some hard earned cash from ATT :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrSingh Avatar
127 months ago
Currently, a FAIL!

Why didn't they just make iMessage the goto messaging app for everything iOS/OSX...just like they did re: video with FaceTime??? Those who still use iChat can carry-on doing so.

As a non-iChat user it would've been excellent getting all msgs that way...with an option to freeze related iOS or OSX device notifications if I happen to be using both devices at the same time and don't want to hear and see duplicate notifications.

Sometimes Apple really surprise me as to their oversights. What they should really do? Offer even PC-users free @me.com email addresses and let them FaceTime and iMessage with all us iOS-users, via free software. What will that do? Encourage them MASSIVELY to buy an iOS device so that their messaging needs are met nice and tidily, at the desktop or when out and about.

I really don't think that having FaceTime and iMessage available on a non-Apple desktop device will reduce sales of Apple's mobile devices, for obvious reasons. Likewise those who buy a Mac buy one for many reasons - FaceTime and iMessage on Windows systems certainly won't stop them from buying a Mac.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yvan256 Avatar
127 months ago
Hmmm, let's see.

AT&T charges $10 for 1,000 text messages. They also charge $10 per gigabyte of data over 3G if you go over your plan. That gigabyte is equivalent to about 100,000 texts weighing in at 10kb each.

Still worried about overages, or are you just naysaying the future and afraid of change? :)
Actually, text messages are much, much smaller. As an example, your message as quoted above is roughly 320 bytes (if counting the BBCodes), twice the maximum allowed for SMS.

1000 "text" messages (SMS, 160 characters max) for 10$ = 0.01$ per message
6 250 000 "data" messages (one gigabyte diveded by 160 characters messages) for 10$ = 0.0000016$ per message

Via SMS: 1 cent equals one message.
Via data: 1 cent equals 6250 messages.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rtdunham Avatar
127 months ago
...No word yet if iMessage will be included in iChat for OS X Lion as well...

Integrating the service across OSX and iOS is critical, from my POV.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
caspersoong Avatar
127 months ago
Finally. I was starting to feel left out by Apple. Now, Apple is bringing iPod touch users back into the fold.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
03jcrhr Avatar
127 months ago
Hi

This is my first post so go easy on me

My main concern about iMessage is texting people who have iPod touches and iPads. If the phone can recognise these devices as being registered to someone on you contact list who has a non iOS phone surely it will send the message to the iOS device rather than the phone. I can see this leading to many cases of people waiting for text replies on their phone that never come as they do not check their iPad/iPod for texts??

I hope I made that clear
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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