iMessage will allow you to send unlimited free picture or text messages to another iPhone, iPad or iPod touch user, assuming they have activated the service and are using iOS 5. Remember these messages count towards your data allowance, so make sure you have a price plan before using it.
The most interesting thing about iMessage, is you don’t need to know how to use it, you just need to make sure it’s turned on. Once it’s enabled, use the Messaging app as normal, if the other person has iMessage enabled on their iOS device, your device should know this automatically and use it to deliver your message.
iMessage or SMS?
iMessage will tell you if the other person has iMessage enabled
- By changing the text in the message field from “Message” to “iMessage”. Type in the address first and tap into the message filed, and see if it changes.
- The send button will be blue for iMessage and Green for normal SMS. Again you need to type in the address and tap into the message field to see if it changes colour.
How to make sure iMessage is enabled
- Make sure you are running iOS 5.
- Open the settings app and select ‘Messages’. The first option is iMessage – ‘on’ or ‘off’. Select ‘on’. Scroll down to “Receive at”. This will allow you to add e-mail an address at which iOS can recognise you as an iMessage user, in addition to your phone number. Add your apple ID email address here too, if you wish.
- The ‘send as SMS’ option is set to ‘on’ – this means, if for any reason iMessage cannot send the message, it will use SMS (or possibly MMS) meaning you will be charged the network rate. This button seems confusing, when I tested it, it made no difference and sent the message anyway!
- On a iPad, the settings are more or less the same, but there is no SMS option. This is the first time the iPad has a messaging app, so it does open up functionality. Even if it is limited to iOS.