iMessage is a great idea. It makes SMS and MMS a thing of the past, between iPhones at any rate, and is as fast and full-featured a one-to-one chat system as you could want. With the Messages app on the Mac and iPad as well, it’s the best of old-school chat and SMS, rolled into one.
At least, it’s supposed to be, theoretically. In real world usage, though, iMessage doesn’t always work perfect. It works best between iPhones, in my use at least, but can often get things messed up when syncing to the Mac. Then, Messages.app itself on OS X is a rather anemic messaging program, despite including support Jabber and other chat services that were traditionally included in iChat. It works for chatting, but if you need to dig deep into your chat archives to find a file someone sent you, you’re going to have a tough time.
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