iMessages have taken the iOS world by storm, offering multi-device messaging services that go across the internet, rather than the SMS systems of your cell phone provider. For those who pay per SMS message, this is great news, and for the rest of us it’s still, well, great news.
Here are five ways to get the most out of Messages and iMessage on your iPhone, as well as other iOS and Mac devices.
Manage Multiple Devices
Let’s be honest, the fact that you can conduct iMessage conversations across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac is pretty freakin’ cool.
Let’s also be clear, sometimes this very same feature is a pain in the butt. Getting iMessages on all three of my Apple devices in the same room can be a bit daunting, especially when I’m trying to concentrate on, say, writing an iOS Tip for the next day.
What’s a busy, popular, connected person to do? Manage those devices and their iMessage settings a bit better, that’s what.
On each device you want to use iMessage on, tap into the Settings app, then tap on Messages. Scroll down to Send & Receive, and tap through to that screen. You’ll see your Apple ID at the top, and then a section titled, “You can be reached by iMessage at:” with one or more phone numbers or email addresses there.
Let’s say you want to get iMessages on all devices you own. This is easy. Make sure that every iOS and OS X device you use has all of the phone numbers and addresses you’ve entered into iMessage checked off in these preferences. That way, each device will get every iMessage sent to your iPhone, your iPad, or your Mac.
To get trickier, you could only enable *one* phone number or email address per device. For example, I could only allow iMessages to my phone number to show up on my iPhone, by unchecking all the email addresses in the iMessage Settings page there. Then I could only check one of my associated email addresses on my iPad, and then a second one on my Mac. That way, I’d still be using iMessage, logged with my Apple ID, but messages would only go to and from the specific device I was currently using.
The great thing? You can mix and match these strategies. If you don’t want to get iMessages on your Mac for a bit, uncheck all the email addresses and phone numbers. Say you don’t want anyone reaching you at your email address via iMessage on your iPhone? Simply uncheck it there, but leave it enabled on your iPad and Mac. The permutations are up to you.
Send Batches Of Photos To Your Friends
Here’s another one of those tips that should be blindingly obvious, but isn’t. At least, it wasn’t to me, at first.
If you try to send a photo via iMessage (or text message), you’re limited to one photo at a time. Go ahead and give it a shot. I’ll wait. No, really–give it a shot.
See? From the Messages app on your iPhone, you only have the option to take a photo or choose an existing one. What if you want to send more than one photo at a time, though?
Instead of launching the Messages app, launch Photos. Open your Camera Roll with a tap, and then find the “funny arrow swoop thing” at the top right. Tap it and your iOS device will let you tap on more than one photo at a time. It will place a little red circle with a white checkmark in it in the bottom right corner of each photo you tap. Once you’ve selected the photos you want to send along, tap on the Share button (lower left).
You’ll then have the option to send all the selected photos via Message (and Email and Twitter, too). Tap Message, and the app will appear, with all the selected photos in the text box. You’ll be able to send it to anyone as per usual, just fill in the name or phone number in the To: field and hit Send. Your buddy will get all the photos you selected. Neat!
Keep Your iMessages Private
Has this happened to you? You’re out and about with friends, and a text message (or iMessage) hits your iPhone. Being a serious iPhone user and Tweeter, of course, you’ve left your iPhone out on the tabletop. Unfortunately, the text message that shows up on your screen isn’t very flattering to the friend sitting immediately to your left. She sees it, gets upset, storms off. Nobody wins.
With a quick trip to Settings, however, you can prevent this tale of tears and keep your iMessages for your eyes only.
Hop onto your iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) and launch the Settings app with a tap. Tap on Notifications, and then scroll down to the Show Preview toggle. Tap this OFF.
Now, when a message shows up, it will just show who it’s from, not what they said. Which, you know, could be handy. If you don’t even want to see that much, toggle the View in Lock Screen to OFF as well, and they won’t pop up in the lock screen. However, if you’re using your device, and have the banners and notification sounds ON, you’ll still get them. Just not in the Lock Screen.
This should help you avoid a lot of potentially embarrassing situations created by the ubiquity of communications that we’re all starting to take for granted. Or at least keep your private messages to yourself.
Send iMessages As A Regular Text Message
Not too long ago, there were a couple of iMessage service outages. When that happened, I (and many other folks, I bet) wasn’t able to send out my iMessages. The little red exclamation point would show up, mockingly, and I waited for the service to go back online to send them again.
Luckily, there is a way to easily turn that iMessage into a regular SMS text message, thereby avoiding any service outages from Apple. Here’s how to do just that.
When you get a stalled text message, you’ll usually see a Sending progress bar across the top. When that Sending bar is active, tap and hold on your blue iMessage. When you do, a pop up menu will appear, with two options: Copy, and Send as Text Message. The second option will attempt to send the iMessage as regular old SMS, via your cell data plan, just like it does when texting a friend without an iOS device.
When iOS text-to-speech is enabled, you’ll have to tap the right-facing arrow to get this same popup option.
So, if you have iOS 6 and up, you can force your iPhone to send those iMessages along, just with the normal SMS system that comes with your data plan. It will, of course, use up a message credit, so if you have a low cap, be sure to be aware of this.
Via: OS X Daily
Ditch The Multiple Alerts Per iMessage
One of the wacky things you may notice if you’ve just gotten a new iPhone is the default double alert whenever you get a text message, whether iMessage or SMS. Why Apple has this as the default, I’m not sure, but it kept freaking me out before I figured out how to turn it off.
However, I’m willing to see that you might want the double alert, or more (shudder), and there’s a simple way to make that happen, as well.
First, launch your Settings app, and tap on Notifications. Tap on Messages, then scroll down to where it says, Repeat Alert. Tap there to open the preference pane.
Here, you can tap on Never, Once, Twice, 3 Times, 5 Times, or 10 Times. Note that if you tap on Once, you’ll get the original alert for the text message, and then one Repeat alert. If you tap on Twice, you’ll get the original alert, and then two repeat alerts. And so on.
Personally, I leave this set to Never, since I always think the repeated alert is another text message coming in and it adds to my technology loop stress. However, if you need to be reminded more than once, have at it!
Via: OS X Daily.