iMessage How-To

Posted by Matthew Snider with 3 Comments

With the introduction of iMessage from Apple, and the punch in the throat that it is to the cellphone companies, I had to start using it right away!

iMessage allows you as an iOS5 user to basically IM from one iOS5 device to another within the standard Messages application.

This how-to will walk you through the setup and usage of an iMessage so you can get rid of your texting plan like I did! Now I don’t text anyone that does not have an iPhone or iPod or iPad so I am safe to do this. If you text a ton, shame on you, you should maybe lower your plan depending on how many of your friends have an iDevice.

Graham and I have been using this since the beta came out and are pretty solid on using it. Any questions that this how-to leaves out please let us know in the comments below.

Enabling iMessage

Head on over to your Settings app on your iDevice and:

  1. Launch Settings

    Click For Large View

  2. Tap on Messages
  3. Sign In with your Apple ID
  4. Enter the email address you want to use for iMessage (this can be changed later if you want)

If you’re on an iPhone and you’re logged into iMessage your iPhone will know if the sender’s on an iDevice or not running iOS5 and change the chat bubbles from green (SMS) to blue (iMessage). Sweet!

Using iMessage

If you have ever used an iPhone to send a text message you are already a pro at this one! If you haven’t, I am proud of you!

If you haven’t head on over to the Messages app and fire that bad boy up.

  1. Click For Large View

    Click on the New Message icon

  2. Fill in the To: field with a contact you want to message (notice that a blue text bubble will be there if you can iMessage with this contact).
  3. In the message box itself (where you type) iMessage is seen and you are good to go.
  4. Send your messages away!

How does iMessage differeniate between an SMS and an iMessage?

Well with Apple magic of course! But in all seriousness (what you don’t believe in magic?), when you enter a contact into the Messages app, you’ll see all the available phone numbers and email accounts for that contact.

  1. If they have an iMessage email address or an iPhone phone number, you’ll see a little blue word bubble to the right of the address. (see above screenshot)
  2. If they have a non-iMessage phone number (for example, they’re using an inferior Android device), you won’t see any bubble.

iMessages are sent over your data plan and are not SMS so they count against your data plan (if you have one). Stocked I still have my unlimited plan with AT&T!

Did we miss something? Got questions for us?


Matthew Snider

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Matthew is the Editor-In-Chief, and founder of Geek for i. He has produced such posts as Top 5 iPhone Apps For The BathroomMac or PC and many more. His love for iDevices started back when he purchased the original iPhone.

3 responses to iMessage How-To

  1. My iPhone must not run the ios5 yet. At least I can’t find the imessage function yet.

    Btw, love this site!

    • You have to have a developer account or someone who can add your UDID to their account to get iOS5. It will be released in September to the masses!

      Thanks for the nice words about the site – we are loving it!

  2. Have recently required an ipAd one gen updated to ios 5 and set up iMessage – it is just for wifi but nowicant message at all how do I get rid of it without having to get rid of ios 5 .

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