If you remember, a few days ago I told you how I give Safari a try every time Apple updates OS X. Well, in the same way, iMessage always gets some of my attention as soon as Apple gives it a facelift. And after testing it with colleagues and friends, my conclusions are varied.
The reasons for using iMessage are many: security awards, impenetrable encryption, overlap with traditional SMS service that saves us money, very attractive improvements in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite… but there are certain reasons why I can’t do something I would love to do , which is to have it as my main messaging client.
Its configuration is still too complicated
iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite have improved (and much) the capabilities of iMessage, but at the configuration level nothing has changed: we have to activate it on all devices separately , add me to activate all available contact forms one by one and check that everything is absolutely the same everywhere.
If not, there will always be some device where we won’t receive those messages . Yes, this is solved by co-figuring it well, but a large percentage of the base user doesn’t. Because they don’t really know how to do it. This is something I’ve seen in countless formations I’ve given.
For those reasons alone, many end up giving up and moving on to other alternatives. Telegram, Hangouts, WhatsApp, Skype… have something in common: you log in and that’s it . It all just works. Which is coincidentally something Apple always boasts about with its products and services.
Messages are distributed slowly, or not at all
I have configured iMessage on all devices. I’ve gone over those settings again and again, I’ve had conversations with my contacts… and the problem that’s been dragging on iMessage forever. The messages sent to me by those contacts arrive on one device, and the rest arrive after several minutes or do not even appear.
That means that when I’m at my desk in front of my iMac, my iPhone and my iPad, someone sends me a message through iMessage and I’m forced to use only one of those three terminals . Or use my iMac, but read the messages I get on my iPhone because my computer doesn’t.
There is no way to hide it: this, at this point, cannot be .
Leaving is not just a “logout”
If you switch from an iPhone to a handset on another platform without first disabling iMessage (which, again, we may know about but the base user does not), the service may “hijack” those messages . This has led Apple to release a website specifically made to solve this problem.
Once again: this is not the simplicity and ease of use that Apple promises. They take a positive point for premiering voice messages and self-clearing images, but stopping using a messaging protocol should not be more of an effort than simply stopping using your application .
“Apple copia a WhatsApp”, Jan Koum sube al ring
Of course, I’m not saying that iMessage is terribly bad: in terms of security, it might be the best. But in ease of configuration and use, it leaves something to be desired. And at the same time, I’m not saying that the rest of the protocols are the best either : WhatsApp can only be used from the mobile, Hangouts is slow, Facebook Messenger is too intrusive and annoying with its notifications… I think that the “less bad” client I’m using right now is Telegram.
In conclusion, I think what’s happening with iMessage is the same thing that’s happening with Safari: Apple should pay more attention and update more frequently services that users want to use intensively. No browser can be updated once a year, no messaging protocol can promise everything, and in real cases can promise half.