Thursday, February 23, 2012



Start sending free messages from the built-in Messages app on your iPhone.

iMessage allows you to send unlimited text messages over Wi-Fi or 3G to anyone who is also using an iOS device with iOS 5 installed. iOS 5 is the latest operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch and you can upgrade your device through iTunes. iMessage will sync your conversations between all your devices so that you can begin a conversation on your iPhone and pick it up later on your iPad or iPod Touch. iMessage also allows you to see when someone is typing a response to your text, in case you need to know if you will receive an immediate response. So all of this sounds great but setting it up properly is a nightmare. It even had me stumped. Keep reading after the jump for the How-To.

Step 1:
Sign up for a secondary Apple ID to set up with iMessage. (each person in your family should have their own unique secondary Apple ID) Your primary Apple ID is what you have been using to purchase music, movies, and apps from the iTunes store. You can continue to use your primary Apple ID for this purpose but it is really important to have a secondary Apple ID to keep everything in sync with iMessage.

Step 2:
Set up iMessage on your iPhone by navigating to Settings and then Messages. In the Messages preferences turn on iMessage and sign in with your secondary Apple ID. Do the same for the iPad or iPod Touch if you own those devices. Next, in the same messages settings window scroll down and tap on "Receive At." This step is really important especially if you are an iPhone user.

In the section under "You can be reached for messages at:" there should be two entries. One for your phone number and one for your secondary Apple ID. If only the email for your secondary Apple ID is displayed then restart your iPhone by holding the top Sleep/Wake button and sliding to power off. This should force iMessage to verify your phone number as well. Double check by navigating to Settings and Messages again. In the "Receive At" section it should now read "2 Addresses."

Step 3:
Now for more tricky settings. Navigate back to Settings, then Messages, and tap on Receive At. Phewww. Flick to the bottom and tap on "Caller ID." If you're only an iPhone user then select your phone number as your Caller ID. When messaging your friends your phone number will display on their Caller ID and everything will be veggie gravy. Done.

If you own multiple iOS devices and would like to keep your text message conversations synced between all of them then select the email address for your secondary Apple ID as your Caller ID. Since the iPad and iPod Touch are not capable of making phone calls there will not be an option to select your phone number. The only downside is that you now have to tell all your friends to always message you to your Apple ID instead of your phone number. If they message you to your phone number then only your iPhone will receive it. Does that make sense?

Step 4:
One last thing to remember. When beginning a new message make sure to select the contact with a blue chat bubble next to it. This is an indication that you are now sending a message to their iMessage account and everything is well and FREE.

Step 5:
Review. Primary Apple ID is only used for purchasing music, movies, apps etc. Sign up for a Secondary Apple ID to use with iMessage. If you manage all the iPhones in your home then make sure every iPhone user has a unique Secondary Apple ID.

Set up iMessage on your device using your Secondary Apple ID.

For iPhone users make sure your "Receive At" settings display two entries. Phone number and email.

Caller ID. Use your phone number if you're only an iPhone user and use Apple ID if you have multiple iOS devices.

Salud to FREE messaging! Until next time.


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