The iPhone finally gets iMessage in iOS5, which is like Blackberry’s Blackberry Messenger (BBM) or PIN messages. Like BBM, iMessage is fast, reliable, shows delivery and uses data rather than SMS (short message service or text messages).
The biggest test for iMessaging in the Gulf Coast region will be during natural disasters. Making phone calls during natural disasters usually results in either busy signals or “try your call again later” recordings. Furthermore, SMS messages are often delayed because of system overloads. This made it difficult to communicate with family. Fortunately, I had a landline and I always keep a phone handy that does not require plugging into an electrical outlet.
During the Hurricane Rita evacuation crisis, stranded evacuees could not make phone calls so SMS was the most efficient form of communication because there were fewer SMS users. However, a few years later when SMS users had significantly increased, the Blackberry PIN was the best way to communicate during Hurricane Ike, as SMS were delayed.
You do not need to buy the iPhone 4S to use iMessage, it is available in the latest iPhone operating system software update (on at least a 3GS). Plug your iPhone into iTunes and update the software. Change your iPhone message settings to avoid getting iMessages to your iPhone, iPad and iTouch. See photo.
- iMessages are blue.
- SMS are green.
- Shows when someone is typing
- Shows delivery
- No idea what radio frequency iMessage uses.
Read more on iOS5 features on the Apple site.