Everything you need to know to use iMessage on iPhone — 2022

You've probably heard of iMessage many times, but you may have never understood how it works or if you will be charged for using it. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about iMessage in order to use it in the best possible way.

Is iMessage free?

iMessage is an instant messaging service owned by Apple that is natively integrated into the Messages app. This service arrived with the aim of dethroning the sending of SMS or MMS, something that has ended up disappearing in the end, but many competitors have emerged. The operation of iMessage is very similar to that of applications as famous as WhatsApp or Telegram, although it has some limitations.

A priori, iMessage is completely free, but it is limited to only two people who have an Apple team in their possession. In other words, in no case can a message be sent through this service to a user who has a mobile phone with Android installed. If this is the case, the message will be sent as a traditional SMS with the corresponding costs depending on the contracted rate. This is undoubtedly one of the major problems with this service and is the reason why it is hardly used in many countries. On the contrary, in the US it is one of the most used messaging services as a result of the high market share of iOS.

How to activate and configure iMessage

To make use of this messaging function on an iPhone, it is necessary to activate it and also assign a phone number. Obviously, it is also essential to have an Apple ID account, which will be the conduit used to send messages to the service. To perform the activation and configuration you simply have to follow the following steps:

  • Go into iPhone Settings.
  • Access the Messages section.
  • Activate the first option of 'iMessage'.
  • Tap on 'Send and Receive' and choose all the ways you can receive iMessages and reply.

Activate iMessage

You can choose both the email address associated with the Apple account and the phone number. This is vital, since it will be with this email or number that they will be able to communicate with you. If you want to guarantee a bit of privacy and want to avoid calls from unknown people, you can choose to only configure the mail.

Everything you can do in iMessage

Once you have discovered that iMessage is within your ecosystem, it is time to clearly know all the functions that you are going to be able to do and the forms of customization that exist. In this case, you will be able to carry out numerous very varied functions that will make your experience quite similar to the one you have in other instant messaging applications such as Telegram or WhatsApp.

send audio

As in other messaging services, iMessage also gives the option to send messages in both individual chats and group chats. The way to send it is extremely simple, since you simply have to enter the chat where you want to send a voice message and right where you enter the text message on the right you will see an icon with different lines in parallel. When you click on this icon, it will start recording and you will be able to speak freely. If the message you are going to record is quite long, you can always make a swipe to the top to activate the audio lock to avoid having to keep pressing the screen. When you finish making the recording, you can click on the little square that stops the recording.

Change name and avatar

From iOS 13 onwards, Apple introduced the ability to share both your name and your profile picture when composing a new message via iMessage. This is something that can be seen present in the vast majority of similar services and here it could not be missing. To be able to change the image you simply have to follow the following steps:

  • Open the Messages app.
  • Click on ‘Edit’ in the upper left corner.
  • Go to the 'Edit name and photo' section.
  • Enter the name by which you want to be identified in the service.
  • If you do not have any image assigned, you will see a person's profile appear in a circle at the beginning. By clicking on it you can choose an image from your gallery and even add a custom emoji.

add iMessage avatar

From this moment on, when you enter a conversation, you will be asked if you want to give the necessary permissions so that the person you are talking to can view the profile image and even the profile name. We already know that privacy is vital for Apple and that is why these security measures are always appreciated.

Pin important messages

Starting with iOS 14, Apple gave you the option to pin conversations that are most important to you to the top. In this way you can always access them quickly, and they can be individual chats or group chats. To fix a conversation, simply follow the following steps:

  • Open the messaging app and tap on the 'Edit' or 'More' button.
  • Click on ‘Edit pins’.
  • Find the conversation you want to pin and click on the 'Pin' button represented by a pushpin with a yellow background.

pin iMessages

From that moment on, at the beginning of the application, different balloons will appear where the profile image of each person will appear. At any time, following these same steps, it is possible to reverse the setting in the event that there is a conversation that you do not enter in the future.

Delete messages

There always comes a time when the presence of many messages in a conversation can end up overwhelming anyone. That is why it is possible to delete messages or an entire conversation, but you must assume that you will never be able to recover it. To be able to eliminate it, you simply have to follow the following steps:

  • Enter a conversation and press and hold the speech bubble you want to remove.
  • Click on the trash can icon that will appear so that message disappears from the thread and cannot be recovered.

In the event that you want to delete an entire conversation, you can simply do it by following these same steps, but keeping the conversation in general pressed and clicking on the 'Delete' button that will appear.

Send and share your location

The fact of sharing your location can become really important in critical situations. The fact of going down the street, and feeling safer if someone knows where you are. Or also to be able to approximate the time that you are going to arrive at a specific destination. This materializes especially when you are going to make a trip, and the person who is going to receive you needs to know precisely when you are going to arrive in order to help you, for example. In these cases, location sharing is integrated into the iMessage application and you will simply have to follow these steps:

  1. Tap the contact's name at the top of the conversation. If you're using iOS 14 or earlier, or iPadOS, tap the button information .
  2. Tap Send My Current Location. The recipient will see your location on the map.

iPhone iMessage

From that moment the recipient can have access to the location at all times. It is important to always have control of this information and stop sharing it when it is not necessary for this person to know exactly where you are.

Major weaknesses of iMessage

There are a series of factors that, in the opinion of a majority of users, continue to make this iMessage an inferior messaging service to other applications of this type that are more popular. Below we review some of them, which who knows if one day they will be strong points if Apple finally decides to make changes based on these claims.

Does not work on Android devices

Much has been said over the years about the possibility of this service reaching Google's operating system. Some Apple executives have even acknowledged the existence of a project to carry it out. However, this ultimately did not come and despite the fact that it has not been publicly acknowledged. It is evident that the reason for this is to be able to have one more exclusivity among the company's users without allowing the competition to also appropriate it, no matter how much it continues to be developed by Apple. In any case, this is, in the end, a negative aspect for iMessage to be the main messaging service for a good handful of users, since in territories such as Europe it is not as widespread. have an iPhone as if in the United States. This makes it more essential to have other services installed with which to maintain contact with family, friends, work colleagues and other contacts.

The problem with voice messages

There are those who love them and those who hate them, but the famous audios telling anything are already common in our conversations through this type of messaging network. In iMessage, the audios are really complex to handle in the sense that they lack certain functions that they have in other apps. There are already very specific aspects such as being able to reproduce them at a higher speed that are appreciated by many; however, a basic upgrade where they can be played from anywhere at any time would suffice. In other words, if you are listening to a 2-minute audio and you leave it after a minute because you have to attend to another question, then you can pick up where you left off without having to play it all over again.

And likewise, you will also be able to access this type of audio in the background. But sometimes it will not be possible to get the best possible experience, since the cuts will always be present when leaving the application itself where the focus of the audio itself is.

Submission of files and registration of these

Although there are other ways to send files other than photos, videos or audio, the truth is that it could be interesting to be able to send some files of another format through iMessage. For example files such as compressed folders and others. It is true that this point is the least weak, especially since it was opened a long time ago to other formats such as PDF that make it interesting. But there is something that it does not have and that despite the fact that it is not so widespread in messaging networks, it does exist in some and it would be interesting for them: a record of shared files. Being able to see the links, photos, files and other differentiated and in chronological order in a tab could be extremely interesting to locate them without having to navigate the conversation to find them manually.

files in imessage

Unread messages in groups

Although it looks like a bug, the truth is that it is not. If you have a group chat and there have been a few messages since the last time you entered, you will have no way of knowing which is the first one that you have not seen because there is no type of signaling that can serve as a guide. It's not that it's something serious, but if you've missed a lot of messages it can be a hassle having to look for the origin of that thread, since you'll have to reread some without knowing if you've seen them before or not.