iMessage – what difference will it make?

iMessage – what difference will it make?
When Scott Forstall introduced iMessage back at WWDC, the first thought that came to mind was that a shift in the way we text might very well be on its way. With its ability to send free messages, photos, videos, and more to any other iOS device, iMessage indeed has the potential to change text messaging as we know it, at least for iDevice owners. Nevertheless, is it really going to make that much of an impact and could it possibly make paying for text messages irrelevant? Now that the initial hype is finally starting to settle, it is time for us to take a closer look at iMessage and evaluate its chances.

First of all, we have to make it clear that iMessage is simply not what will replace the text messages that we are all familiar with today. On one hand, we have its limitation to work only on iOS devices and potentially Macs in the future. So, unless everybody in the world owns an iPhone, good old texting is still going to be around.

On the other hand, we have the wireless carriers who are definitely not going to give up the profits that they make from selling texting plans to their subscribers. Apple designed iMessage to be seamlessly integrated with its regular messaging app and gave it the ability to determine whether the person that you are texting can receive iMessages or not. Thanks to that, users will have no troubles avoiding charges for text messages at any possible moment, sometimes without even realizing it. It is interesting to know that none of the carriers were aware of iMessage up until it got introduced mere days ago. Call it intuition, if you will, but something tells us that they were not happy to find out that their profits from texting could be in danger. Will carriers step in and limit the usage of the free service in some way?

We should also point out how similar iMessage appears to be in functionality when compared to RIM's BlackBerry Messenger – both do pretty much the same while running only on their respective platforms. BBM has been around for quite a while already, and even though it has a lot of loyal fans, its effect on the way we communicate has not been of massive proportions. However, iMessage has one major advantage that might cause BlackBerry owners to jump on board of the iPhone bandwagon – the ability to work over Wi-Fi without the need for using up your data allowance. On the contrary, BBM does not come for free – using it is only possible if you have signed up for a BlackBerry plan, which is another bill burning a hole through your monthly budget.

Now that one major smartphone platform will have its own integrated messaging system, could we possibly get a similar functionality in Android and Windows Phone devices in the future? Nobody knows at this moment, but there may be a trend forming before our eyes. If iMessage picks up in popularity enough to make smartphone users drop their old handsets in favor of the iPhone, Google and Microsoft might adopt the idea and develop alternatives of their own.

So, even though iMessage will be yet another reason to own an iOS device, it is not very likely to witness too major of an impact by it at this time, and it is still too early to write off plain old text messages completely. However, if you have an entirely different opinion on the matter, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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20 Comments

1. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

So it's Google talk without the ability for everyone with a gmail account to use it. Or BBM but with potential support for Macs. Smart play by Apple,But it would have been smarter to release 2-3 years ago when Blackberries were huge.

2. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

I message would be a great solution to iPhone users to intercommunicate and share data, but in the end i don't think its what users really want, maybe if imessage where to be cross platform service available for free to iOS users and at a fixed price for other users then it can become the powerful solution that will all need, otherwise it will become just another app installed on your phone (at least for those who already have cross platform services)... but that's my opinion

3. chris23

Posts: 39; Member since: Jul 16, 2010

Android and Windows already have one....google talk and Windows Live Messenger. They better not go any farther than that.

22. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

no not really... this doesnt require someone to log into anything... and they dont need to be online or nothing... they just need to have their phone... much simpler... and no i dont think this is a golden feature but i think it is a very practical addition for families who have ipads and touches cus then they can all communicate easily...

4. Diego C. unregistered

In my opinion the idea of messaging will change from proprietary to cross platform. I am pretty sure some people have found themselves stuck to one particular platform because it is not supported anywhere else (i.e.BBM.) The idea of iMessage is just fine but i would not want to get stuck again just because there is the one family member or firend that is only reachable via X platform. Bottom line is i personaly wont rely on either bbm or iMessage until either sevice becomes useful accross diffent operating systems. For now the only one that stays constant no matter how many times i switch devices is text messaging.

5. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

I heard some where on phonearena that BBM was going to android or some other OS later on. Hopes its true.

6. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

The writer is such a pessimist. He wrote mostly about cons that may be untrue, and wrote less of the potential of iMessage. What a dick :)

7. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Regardless, this is a good alternative for sms. It's free for Pete's sake, and it's smarter than regular sms. Oh well, fagdroids would always have something bad to say no matter how good a feature is when it's on the iOS, and yet also say that google has the same feature, but they have nothing bad to say about that one, but it's similar to iMessage, but they have bad things to say about iMessage. Phewwwww, can you guys be a little less obvious, lol.

25. MAS10X

Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 26, 2011

Well I guess iMessage will be the next best thing... I guess when BB came out with it a couple of years back it wasn't innovation, until Apple did it...

8. Smokn04cobra

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 20, 2011

Go ahead and refer to android followers as fagdroids, but apple followers are just as bad. We just prefer to have freedom with our devices...not do everything apples way. By the way, google talk is available on iOS and blackberry in addition to just android devices. Again...way to be proprietary apple. I also love how apple is suing samsung because their interface resembles that of iOS, yet apple completely ripped off android's notification bar. hypocrites. I can't say apple makes bad products...but they are way too controlling and look at steve jobs as god.

9. AppleFanboy

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

Another one....oh no!! Damn dude seriously you need to get your head out your ass, we just do this for fun lol, I've actually become kinda fond of uhm "Android" (lol) users, my name depends on people like Sniggly, SuperAndroidEvo and FAGalaxy-S lol, we just come on here and talk smack cuz its fun, if you dont like it dont read it lol, at the end of the day its just us having fun

10. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

I have to say text messaging has changed in the last few months.Most of the people I know use apps such as Whatsapp, PingChat or Liveprofile.I still do use text messages for those who do not have smartphones but as soon as someone does have a smart phone they get a messaging app.Plus iMessage is a good addition as its integrated in the messaging app.I'm still getting rid of my iPhone as soon as my contract ends tho but this atleast makes the experience of using an the outdated iOS a little bit more tolerable.

11. jcru2001 unregistered

I have all of these phones....iphones, blackberrys, androids. Multiple versions of each, so i think im qualified to share my 2cents. Ios is polished, but outdated. As well as blackberry. Each of these companies share the same issue when staring into the future....one hardware developer, one software developer.....meaning, NO COMPETITION which spurs newer more innovative technology quicker. If u like simple, go ios or blackberry. If you like the next years ideas and technological advances...go Android. Iphones will experience this coming fall what Android was doing 2 years ago. It will look nice, run smooth, and probably be idiot proofed...but its not breaking new ground. Challenge??

13. andiiwest

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

Whatsapp is better!! XD XD

14. remyrz

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 28, 2010

whatsapp hahaha nice :D that's true.. i know lots of people with BBs that use it instead of bbmessenger

16. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 2011

Sprint unlimited text messaging = FTW!

17. daviep

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 07, 2010

liveprofile is good,works on ios,android,blackberry

19. rfrapp

Posts: 77; Member since: Jun 10, 2010

Something bad about iMessage is that it will completely satisfy all of the perverts who use an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. As users of any of these devices know, perverts run rampant looking for ways to send inappropriate content. iMessage is essentially providing those people with a solution. The idea is great and very convenient, but I sense a mass of child pornography as a result of this application.

23. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

This is a step in the right direction for the consumer. Just need an Android built-in messenger called iDroidMessage and WP7 messenger called iWindowsMessage, so the smartphone owners can text for free to eachother, but still text their mom natively in the same app. @NeXoS - You may have Sprint's unlimited text messaging, but it is by no means "free." A piece of your monthly bill is still counting towards texting.

24. kinotkcet

Posts: 2; Member since: May 19, 2011

But it's not a new idea , There are already a lot of free texting apps.. Viber- and more.. So whats new ? I can't understand !

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