The way Apple currently handles FaceTime and iMessage across multiple devices doesn’t work. An iMessage is sent to your iPhone’s number, and it doesn’t show up in the Messages app on your iPad or the beta Messages app on your Mac. The iPhone is the only device that can be reached via iMessage or FaceTime by both a phone number and Apple ID. The iPad, iPod touch and Mac all have to use an email address. If an iMessage is sent to your iPhone’s number, it doesn’t show up on your iPad. So you have to tell your friends to use your Apple ID address for iMessage if you want it to work on all of your devices.
This is a severely flawed way of handling communication between devices, but the good news is that Apple has fixed this problem in iOS 6.
“We’re unifying your phone number and your Apple ID,” said iOS guru Scott Forstall at WWDC today. “So if someone calls you on your phone number with a FaceTime call, you can answer the call on your iPad or even your Mac. And we’re doing the exact same thing with iMessage.”
If you’ve experienced what I described above then you know how much of a godsend this change really is. You can now have one universal, unified contact for iMessage and FaceTime that will go with you from the iPhone to the iPad to the iPod touch to the Mac. The experience of iMessage and FaceTime across multiple devices is no longer fragmented. Hallelujah.