iMessage Overview Updated May 16, 2022


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

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182 'iMessage' stories

February 2012 - May 2022

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 May 16

Apple last year launched the new Communication Safety in Messages feature to protect children from viewing or sharing nude content. It was initially only available in the United States, but Apple has now expanded the feature to more countries with iOS 15.5.

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iMessage Stories May 11

During Google I/O 2022, Apple was indirectly referenced in a not-so-subtle jab over its lack of RCS support for iPhone users. RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is the modern upgrade to SMS texting that Apple leapfrogged with iMessage over a decade ago.

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iMessage Stories April 6

iMessage is such a great communications tool to use across your Apple devices. I love being to communicate my messages more clearly (and fun) with the slew of features and integrations within this app. It’s more than just text messaging these days, and it’s added new innovations to our everyday discussions. Since its release over a decade ago, billions of messages have been sent by iOS users alike.

Here are some tips and tricks to up your iMessaging game.

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iMessage Stories April 4

A decade ago, Apple launched FaceTime (2010) and iMessage (2011). Both of these products became, with time, a major part of the company’s ecosystem. In a podcast interview, Justin Santamaria, former Apple lead engineer on iPhone, talks about creating both of these products and more.

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iMessage Stories March 29

Messaging interoperability encryption challenges are being discussed by security experts, following the European Union’s decision to make cross-platform messaging capabilities a legal requirement.

There was much debate on whether or not to include messaging interoperability in the Digital Markets Act (DMA), and the challenges of maintaining end-to-end encryption was one of the key issues …

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iMessage Stories March 25

Messaging interoperability – in which it would be possible to send a message to someone without knowing or caring which chat service they use – finally made it into the European Union’s Digital Markets Act.

It was one of the most controversial elements of the upcoming legislation, with some arguing that it would be a technological nightmare to implement, and others that it would benefit both startups and consumers …

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iMessage Stories March 24

The European Union on Thursday night unveiled more details about its plans to curb anti-competitive practices among big tech companies. With the rules of the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), Europe wants all major messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage to have an interoperable platform.

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iMessage Stories February 18

Sometimes users experience unusual bugs in Apple’s operating systems, and this is one of them. For some unknown reason, the iMessage link preview is now showing tweets with missing characters on iOS, macOS, and watchOS.

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iMessage Stories February 9

When communicating with people, no matter the platform – be it iMessage, Slack, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. – we have the ability to utilize audio messaging. I get why a lot of people don’t use them (probably?), but I’m here to tell everyone why they should embrace their own voice – and everyone else’s – when messaging one another.

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iMessage Stories January 31

Google Messages starts rolling out iMessage reactions, but emoji translations are not quite 1:1

As we spotted in November and following the latest push for RCS support on iPhone earlier this month, Google Messages is starting to roll out iMessage reactions in beta for Android users.

iMessage Stories January 10

Comment: iOS should support RCS, but Apple has no incentive to make iMessage work with Android

Over the past year, Google has publicly pressured Apple to support Rich Communication Services. The latest salvo this weekend was the harshest yet, but RCS on the iPhone is not the panacea to Google’s historical messaging woes, nor will support lead to a transformatively better experience for Android users when interacting with their iPhone counterparts.

iMessage Stories January 6

Messages read receipts bug is sending them even when switched off

A Messages read receipts bug means that recipients may be able to see when you’ve read a message, even if you have the feature switched off in your settings …

iMessage Stories December 26, 2021

iMessage waiting for activation? Here’s how to fix it

If you’re setting up a new iPhone or have recently replaced or reset your iPhone, you may run into an iMessage/FaceTime issue where it is waiting for activation. Let’s take a look at how to fix the “iMessage waiting for activation” issue.

iMessage Stories December 21, 2021

Apple’s Messages app has greatly improved group iMessage in recent years, but there’s one missing feature that Slack gets right. Addressing this and other creative recommendations in iOS 16 next year would be extremely well received.

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iMessage Stories November 19, 2021

Google Messages may soon show iMessage reactions as emoji [Update: Rolling out]

The latest update to Google Messages prepares for a new way to handle the annoying iMessage reaction messages often seen in mixed group chats.

Update: This feature has already begun rolling out for some, allowing us to see it in action.

iMessage Stories October 8, 2021

Although we tend to think of text messaging and SMS as synonyms, that’s not quite the case. SMS (short messaging service) is simply the original technical standard for text messages. In recent years, there’s been a drive to switch to RCS (rich communications services, or rich communications suite), a more sophisticated text messaging standard.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened, mostly due to the rivalry between Apple and Google, and that’s something Google wants to change …

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iMessage Stories September 13, 2021

London police chief Cressida Dick has used the 20th anniversary of 9/11 to attack companies like Apple, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal for offering end-to-end encrypted message services.

It follows the British Home Secretary – in charge of policing for the UK – seeking tech companies to find some way to break end-to-end encryption

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iMessage Stories August 31, 2021

iMessage has offered stickers since 2016 with the introduction of iOS 10, but there is no easy way to create your own stickers like there is in other messaging apps. However, “Sticker Doodle” is a new app for iPhone and iPad users that is designed to solve just that.

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iMessage Stories July 21, 2021

An associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute has said that Apple can and must do more to prevent NSO attacks.

He argues that while it’s true that it is impossible to completely prevent exploits based on zero-day vulnerabilities, there are two steps that the iPhone maker can take to make NSO’s job much harder …

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iMessage Stories July 5, 2021

Apple seeks double-rejection of VoIP-Pal’s iMessage and FaceTime patent claims

Less than a month after Apple paid $440M to settle one FaceTime patent infringement claim, it was faced with another one, by VoIP-Pal. In this case, however, Apple is calling for a court to reject VoIP-Pal’s claims in the most unambiguous of terms …

iMessage Stories June 9, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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.

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