One of the coolest new features of iOS 5 is iMessage, solely because it can save you money :) But even if you upgrade, its not activated by default. Here’s how to do it.
iMessage is Apple’s answer to Blackberry Messenger. It lets anyone with an iPad, iPhone or iPad Touch running iOS5 send messages to each other without paying carrier fees. Since the few people I text to most all have iPhones, I plan on canceling my text message bundle and saving $10 a month. (but don’t tell AT&T!)
First of all, you have to upgrade to iOS5. Its free, so if you have an iPad, iPhone 3gs, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s, (hereafter referred to as ‘iDevices”), its a no brainer. I’d be a little worried about putting it on an iPhone 3g, read some reviews online and see if people are running it okay.
So, upgrade your Mac to the latest version of Snow Leopard (10.6.8) or Lion (10.7.2), then download the latest version if iTunes (10.5). Now you can plug in your iphone, and it will tell you there’s an upgrade available. Download and install it. Enjoy your new features, too many to list here, but Google it. Theres lots worth upgrading for. I love it.
Next: You need an iCloud account. It is also free, so even if you dont use any other of the other features (like Find My iPhone, Photo synching, and backup) its worth it just for iMessage. Go to iCloud.com to set up your account form a Mac running 10.7 or an iDevice.
Okay, finally! here’s how you activate iMessage: Click the Settings button in your iDevice. Click on Messages. Next to iMessage, click ON. Enter your account and password, and youre good to go. Now open your Messages app. Click the New Message button and search for someone’s name. if they are on iMessage, they will have a little blue speech bubble next to their name. And the text box where you enter your message will say “iMessage”, and your speech bubbles will be blue. If they’re NOT on iMessage, the input box will say “Text Message” and the speech bubbles will be green. Send them a text and tell them to get with the program!