iMessage Overview Updated June 9, 2021

iMessage

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

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162 'iMessage' stories

February 2012 - June 2021


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 June 9

iMessage gets integration with Giphy’s ‘Clips’ GIFs with sound

Giphy is out today with an expansion of its “Clips” content. The short GIFs with sound (or videos 😄) have been available for a bit on the service’s website and apps but now Clips are supported right in the Giphy iMessage app.

iMessage Stories June 4

We are just a few days away from WWDC 2021. On Monday, Apple will likely unveil iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15. Ahead of the event, the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern has teased that there are four things likely to receive “big updates” at Apple’s 32nd Worldwide Developers Conference.

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iMessage Stories April 27

New filings in the Epic vs. Apple legal battle have shed additional light on Apple’s decision-making process regarding bringing iMessage to Android. As it turns out, Apple senior VP Eddy Cue pushed for iMessage to come to Android in 2013, but was overruled by other Apple executives.

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iMessage Stories March 29

Apple says the App Store, iMessage, and other services are down for some users

Update: Apple’s System Status website now indicates that services are back to normal.

Apple has updated its System Status webpage this afternoon to note that a variety of its services are experiencing issues and downtime today. The company says the App Store may be “slow or unavailable” for some users, while other services such as iCloud Mail and iMessage are also down.

iMessage Stories February 18

If you’ve noticed that Instagram links are no longer showing previews when sent through iMessage, you’re not alone. Despite speculation it could be due to the growing rift between Facebook and Apple, Instagram has confirmed that this is a bug, and it’s working on a fix.

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iMessage Stories January 28

iOS 14 was announced with some great new features for iMessage, including more options for group conversations, inline replies, and more. However, there’s also an important change in iMessage that Apple hasn’t mentioned so far. The company has adopted a new security system called “BlastDoor,” which is basically a sandbox mode that protects the Messages app from the rest of iOS.

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