The disruptive power of Apple’s iMessage

“You could argue that Apple has changed the way we do things several times. The way we buy music, use our phones, operate our computers and so on,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “But the world has pretty much overlooked one of Apple’s greatest ideas yet: messages.”

“It started with iMessages, an iPhone/iPad app that lets you send text messages between Apple hand-held gadgets without cost,” Pogue reports. “Instead of using the cellphone network (and paying 20 cents each or whatever), texts you send using this little app get sent across the Internet, costing you pretty much nothing.”

Pogue reports, “Messages is cool. And coolly clever, the way it cuts the cellphone company out of the revenue stream. But that’s not the big news. Apple announced recently that this summer, it will release a new version of Mac OS X called Mountain Lion. And Mountain Lion will come with a new Mac app called Messages. You can download the beta version of Messages free, right now, even before Mountain Lion is available… Suddenly your computer and your phone are sharing the same communications stream.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Actually, for us Mac users, at least, it really started way back in August 2002 with iChat. But, if you’re an Apple come lately, you get the iMessage.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

40 Comments

  1. Both FaceTime and iMessage have changed my families life.
    We can now communicate internationally for free either by text or video chat.
    ML will bring one more option to an already fantastic iOS/OSX feature that I really appreciate.

  2. “Actually, for us Mac users, at least, it really started way back in August 2002 with iChat.”

    ———-The difference is with iMessage and the Mac Beta you can converse between Mac and iOS devices. I freaking love it.

  3. wow. its 2012 and I have a unified way of messaging from cell to computer. Very cool.

    Now let me just check my email, wow, i already had a unified way of messaging.

    No really though. why in hell does everyone love sms so much?

            1. MikeK,
              I’m not reading this blog and comments for grammar errors. its a freakin blog, not an essay. Does it really matter how “your” is spelled….everyone understands its intention. Stick to the point of the story and get off the high horse.

              Now….I wonder if this is a reason people buy the iphone these days. Which makes me think that maybe other cell phone providers will be like, “hey phone companies…we are losing business because there is a phone out there that lets you pretty much do free texting….can you quit gauging peeps please so we can sell a phone again”

          1. Perhaps a asinine and inappropriate comment to say.

            Agreed that iMessenger works well; Apple did a good job with it but there are good 3rd party options out also.

            All I am sharing are my opinions.
            Apple is behind the curve on this stuff. Doing well, but behind.

    1. Thomas, it doesn’t sound like you’re really interested in an answer.

      If using only email works for you, then fine. But clearly text messaging works for a huge number of other people who are not you, at least some of whom are intelligent and reasonable human beings.

      All other things being equal, it’s better to give people who think differently from you the benefit of the doubt.

      1. Spade you are drinking too much Kool-aid.

        It is about time Apple has it’s own Messaging App.
        And FaceTime is wonderful also – however SMARTEN up…
        iChat fell way behind the users install base…
        A superior product should have been open up to the other systems and standards to compete and gain a broader acceptance. Only now in Apple IOS has the device actually gaining back Apples hopes… but LOOK around. Skype is on your iOS, and Yahoo also… these are solutions in ONE app.

        For a device that basically tasks one thing at a time to segregate these two modern communication applications from iCHAT into two different apps and hope to pass on to the next OSX platform — APPLE appears behind the game.

        WAITING and WATHCHING… but they aint up to pair yet…
        hurray free yes… nice yes…. but the competition also is ahead and doing better.

    2. Agree with Thomas.

      I think the Yahoo Messenger App does a far better job, compared to FaceTime and iMessage; it’s world wide accessible and free, it’s instant and handles your EMAIL, CAM to CAM, and TEXTING in 1 single app – and that is connectivity to PC, MAC< ANDROID and IOS devices.

      So whats the big deal here?

      1. Uh, iMessage DOES do both video and text. Instantaneous transmission between devices – switch between your iMac/MacBook/iPhone/iPad without a pause, for either video or text, if your mobile device is on wifi. WiFi is the only bottleneck, as far as I can see.

        1. Instantaneously or Simultaneously?

          I meant that both Yahoo Messenger and Skype on iOS do VIDEO simultaneously – in ONE app. Plus, Yahoo also allows access to your emails. Hence, I agreed with Thomas.

          iMessenger does not handle Live Video chatting.
          However, it can be used to share files and/or videos like instant attachments.

          Suggest to read:

          http://www.macworld.com/article/1162984/ios_5_imessage.html

          “Like MMS messages, you can send text, photos, video, contact cards, and map locations to a fellow iMessage contact. You can also carry on chats with a group—though be aware that you’ll need all your group members to use iOS devices; otherwise, you’ll fall back to an MMS message (on an iPhone), or the chat will fail.”

          http://appleimessenger.com/

          “Google’s hacking the existing telephone system, Microsoft’s betting on the upstart proprietary network, and Apple appears to be quietly trying to pull the rug out from everyone.”

          No where is the supporting evidence that iMessenger can handle Live Video chatting as Apple did in iChat.

          FaceTime might be used to ingrate with iMessenger but again it is not at the iChat level as is Skype and Yahoo are.

          Apple is doing a great job – yet Apples’ approach to this is very different – great for Apple if iOS remains the predominate market.

  4. Our family uses FaceTime to communicate when I am out of town, the only problem when I FT back home, unless someone is at the iMac they do not hear me. A silly work around is I use “find my iPhone” and send a sound message to the iMac, that plays at full volume

    1. Hi:

      I remember Chris Breen from Macworld magazine did a piece on how to increase the volume of the sound file. It’s a sound resource buried in the application package. Copy the ring file resource, import it into GarageBand, raise the volume, save and replace. Restart iChat and the ringer will be as loud as you set it.

  5. don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying theres anything wrong with sms but with imap my email is every bit as fast as sms is but without limitations, well nowhere near as many limitations that is. Just saying. and email is everywhere. even my cell sms isn’t on my Mac, only iMessage so it’s not complete. But, when people use email, I get it everywhere. Friends computers if needed and all.

  6. Most iOS users don’t even know they’re sending an IMessage when they text. The iPhone or iPad figures out if the device on the other end is ios and decides wher to send a normal text message or an iMessage. It’s seamless, brainless but ingenious in that the the phone company doesn’t get to pick your pocket for 20 cents a text message and most users don’t even realize what’s going on.

  7. I don’t see how its disruptive. I know so few people with apple devices that iMessage has been DOA for me.

    Am I missing something? As Far as an AIM or xmms client it feels goofy, like an app that is trying to integrate too much stuff.

    Installed it, tried it and went back to my existing solutions a day later.

    The only disruption iMessage created was the time wasted on the download of the beta

    1. Agreed.

      The issue is Apple wants to go at this all on its own.
      A “disruptive risk rather than power”.

      There are great advantages to this. The most obvious is, it saves people money. The beauty is, If Apple does become successful with its approach; iOS and OSX users will be able to call and text each using only data rather than a phone number.

  8. It’s terribly unreliable. Messages shown as “delivered” aren’t delivered until another message sent, sometimes weeks later. “Disruptive” for me meant missing out on plans because some friend used iMessage instead of WhatsApp, for instance. Google it, there are tons of user complaints

  9. Wow. What a bunch of close-minded people read this site. You talk as though the iMessage system was new to the world. Blackberry had the BBM (Blackberry Messenger) system which allows free messages between blackberry device without charge. Sound familar? As much as I like my iPhone, I can’t say that Apple is doing anything new here. They just know how to make good hardware.

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