Continuing off from this post here—
I’m going to quote something I said in Part I:
For the longest time, the only cellphone with a built-in messenger was Blackberry. I was a Blackberry user since 2006/2007, back when I had a red Blackberry Pearl 8100. Let me tell you… once the novelty wore off of it being a Crackberry, that fucking pearl pissed me off. I replaced it twice in the two years that I had the phone and after two years I also bought a new body for it so it would be an army green as opposed to the red I’d thought was so fucking cool (hey, my phone looked like Iron Man!). The big selling point to me was, of course Blackberry Messenger. I was all over this like flies to shit. I had a few other Blackberry users and get this – we could chat using just data transfer all we wanted. We could create groups that were like little chat rooms! It was fucking amazing. I loved it.
While I loved the groups and the fact that you could set a status message, profile picture, and little statuses for if you’re busy/away/whatever on BBM, many have to realize the BBM did NOT start out like that! Those features were available to corporate users and it wasn’t until later they became available to those on non-corporate Blackberry accounts.
[let me take a break to LOL over the fact that I’m still getting Blackberry e-mails, as one just came into my inbox now, advertising something on the new phones]
iMessage was released with iOS5 October 2011, so it’s still fairly new. Maybe two months old, if that. It is still in its baby stages which mean after beta, it is released to the general public. If there is significant interest, then I reckon Apple will be adding more features that other clients have (customization, etc). I’m hoping to see more but also it is supposed to be a sort of bare bones messenger service between all of Apple products (that support it) without the use of another app – so iPad, iTouch and iPhone users could all message one another! Awesome!
With BBM you had a PIN number, which meant no identifying information of yours was given to whomever you exchanged PINS with, unless of course you posted your name, a self photo, etc in your BBM profile. No one saw your phone number etc.
With iMessage you have to divulge an e-mail address that is your Apple ID, or your cellular number in order to use the service. I figure, if someone is going to iMessage me, then they will already have one of these – especially since I’m not a contact slut: I don’t go tossing my personal e-mail and cellular number around like loose change.
With Blackberry it had a D and R message indicator. Basically Delivered and Received. iMessage doesn’t have it as far as I know though I did enable the option for others to see when I’ve read their messages (not sure how it looks to them since no one else enabled it!).
Both BBM and iMessage work via data network. So if you do not have a data plan on your phone, you have to use wifi. There’s no difference with BBM but with iMessage, messages send via data has a blue ‘send’ button and a blue chat bubble. SMS have a green ‘send’ button and green chat bubbles. If the message is unable to be sent then the ‘send’ button is greyed out – and this was a common issue the first week of iMessage usage (likely overloading of the servers to be honest).
In closing, I can see where the poster was coming from (and oddly, found his article by looking up something relating to iMessage – I forget what now) but you have to look at the pros as well. In a very competitive market, while Apple was last (or second last, I’m not sure Android phones have their own Android-only messenger) to get a personal messaging system, it’s still something that drew me to the iPhone… and it is my most used application on my iTouch prior to my iPhone.
I’ve only had my iPhone 4s for 12 and a half hours but so far there are no complaints. I’ll be sure to post about it again after a month’s use but I can pretty much say with guarantee, my views will not change.