iMessage Overview Updated December 30, 2019

iMessage

Send texts, photos, videos, and audio messages — all from the Messages app

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145 'iMessage' stories

February 2012 - December 2019


iMessage was announced by Scott Forstall at the WWDC keynote in 2011. When iOS 5 was released in October, it included a version of the messages app that had iMessage built-in. In early 2012, Apple announced that a new Messages app would be included in OS X Mountain Lion which was released on July 25, 2012.

By 2012, Tim Cook announced that over 300 billion messages had been sent using iMessage. In 2016, Eddie Cue announced that 200,000 iMessages were being sent every second. Apple also announced an App Store for the platform in 2016.

When Apple announced its messaging platform, mobile carriers were caught off guard as it took over SMS technology. One of the reasons it was initially so successful is that users didn’t realize they were using something new. The only visual change was that the messages went from green to blue. The box for typing message had a faint iMessage in the box before starting a message as well.

Since its release, Google has tried multiple times to create its own messaging service similar to iMessage, but it hasn’t been able to find the same success. Apple has been applauded for including end-to-end encryption in iMessage.

We use end-to-end encryption to protect your iMessage and FaceTime conversations across all your devices. With watchOS and iOS, your messages are encrypted on your device so that they can’t be accessed without your passcode. We designed iMessage and FaceTime so that there’s no way for us to decrypt your data when it’s in transit between devices. You can choose to automatically delete your messages from your device after 30 days or a year or to keep them on your device forever.

Third-party apps that use iMessage do not have access to participants’ actual contact information or conversations. iOS provides each app with a random identifier for each participant, which is reset when the app is uninstalled. iMessage and SMS messages are backed up on iCloud for your convenience, but you can turn iCloud Backup off whenever you want. And we never store the content of FaceTime calls on any servers.

In iOS 11.4, Apple released Messages in the Cloud. If you enable it, it keeps your entire message history updated and available on all your devices. If you purchase a new device, all of your conversations will be synced over as well.

iMessage Stories December 30, 2019

How to force iMessage to sync with iCloud on Mac

Are your messages not synced up between your Mac and iPhone or iPad? Read on for how to force iMessage to sync with iCloud on Mac.

iMessage Stories November 18, 2019

How to see who did an iMessage tapback on iPhone

Want to find out who did a tapback on an iMessage? Follow along for how to figure out exactly who tapped back with what expression in a couple of steps.

iMessage Stories September 14, 2019


Apple @ Work is brought to you by Spike, the world’s first conversational email app that helps professionals and teams spend less time on email, and more on getting things done.

One of the common things I hear about Mobile Device Management solutions from my technology-focused friends is they hate when their company IT departments “suck” their devices into the management system the organization chooses. For those that love to tinker, set up, and manage their own devices, having them “managed” may seem like big brother is watching. Thankfully, Apple has clear APIs for how their devices interact with MDMs, so end users can rest assured their IT department doesn’t have access to everything on their devices. If you’re wondering if your IT department can read your iMessages, you’ve come to the right place. expand full story

iMessage Stories September 9, 2019

iMessage is a rich messenger platform with its own App Store and features like end-to-end encryption. However, advanced features like scheduled iMessages could make it an even more robust service. Recently an Apple user reached out to Craig Federighi about this feature request and got a detailed response about how the company is considering it.

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iMessage Stories September 7, 2019

Apple @ Work is brought to you by Spike, the world’s first conversational email app that helps professionals and teams spend less time on email, and more on getting things done.

I still remember when iMessage first launched with iOS 5 in 2011 and OS X Mountain Lion in 2012. In my office, we had (and still have) terrible cell service. Since iMessage worked on Wi-Fi, I could finally send and receive “text messages” with ease. I don’t think we’ve given Apple enough credit for creating such a popular service across their ecosystem. By 2016, Apple announced that 200,000 messages were being sent every second. iMessage, despite its faults, is an excellent service. It provides fast communication to other iOS users and syncs across all of your devices. Over time, I’ve ended up in more group texts than I would have ever imagined. These aren’t just friends who are sending GIFs back and forth. These group messages are various subgroups at my office, where people are communicating about work. The problem with this situation is that iMessage was not built for internal business communications, but Apple could evolve its features to help with this use case in the future.  expand full story

iMessage Stories September 2, 2019

No, Apple is not getting rid of iMessage games

This is a strange story of the inexplicable nature of the viral Internet. This morning, the term ‘iMessage’ started trending on Twitter. Apparently, an unsubstantiated rumor is spreading that Apple is shutting down iMessage games, like the very popular GamePigeon iMessage app. We aren’t sure how this rumor got started… but we can confirm to people that Apple has made no such announcement that they are shutting down the iMessage App Store.

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