Some scribblings from May 2014

Also known as Messages. It's Apple's way of providing a messaging interface that works even on their non-GSM devices such as iPod touches, Macs and non-GSM iPads. (You may want to read "GSM" as "Cellular" or device taking a SIM.) By iMessage service I mean your device talks to Apple's servers over the internet rather than SMS. As well as your phone number you can register your email address(es) which is necessary to make use of the service on non-GSM devices. On an iPhone the "Messages" client app uses conventional SMS if the recipient is a phone number and is not known to be using the iMessage service. Normally messages transported over SMS are in green bubbles and ones transported over the iMessage service blue. (Incoming messages are in grey bubbles for me.) If the recipients are a mixture I have no idea nor an iPhone which would be the only way to send such messages.

Well those are my words. There is also a Wikipedia entry. That in turn has a link to a recent article about iMessage's lead developer leaving.

iMessage problems

A quick Google reveals I am one of many people who see incorrect "Not Delivered" notifications even when it's quite clear from the conversation the recipient has read the message. Apple seem to be in denial on this or just don't care.

Some people write in Apple's foums instead but the chances of this actually getting a long standing bug fixed are minimal. I know this from experience.

I think some of the problem stems from the bad user interface and the rest from Apple's own people not knowing quite how it works. It doesn't help that they're always re-branding and coming up with new things like Facetime quietly forgetting about integration with what they pushed not all that long ago specifically iChat.

For me the misleading notifications appear both in the OS X Mavericks and the iOS 5.1.1 clients. (iOS 5.1.1 came out just a few days ago early May.) I believe the notifications they display must surely come from Apple's back-end messaging servers and the clients simply display them. I have an official bug report logged (#16668440). Or had. It's now been closed due to "insufficient information". They asked me to install a special profile on iOS to get debuggering output. The profile didn't install being declared as invalid buy the device and I am annoyed at having my time wasted like this after I explicitly asked whether it would work on iOS 5. It's not as if I haven't tried. And as I told them I get the same problem on the Mac and surely that's a much easier place to debug it not being locked down. Well thank you Apple for hammering another nail into the coffin containing my use of your kit. I have a shiny new Samsung phone which lets me do want I want to do without deciding it'll disable features because my carrier hasn't bribed them. It also has a 4G radio without missing important frequencies unlike other products sold here I could mention. I'm looking at you iPhone 5.

Notification meanings

This is how I guess it works though would welcome correction on imsg AT jschneider DOT net .
delivered screenshot goes here
The message has been delivered to at least one of the recipient's devices
read screenshot
The recipient has interacted with their device since delivery such that it can be assumed they have seen the message
red exclamation and not delivered screenshot
Can appear seconds after sending (maybe indicating that the recipient's device is napping) but often appears some time (hours) later. If this appears after delivered/read perhaps it means that the message was not delivered to all of the recipient's iDevices. If they have read it the notification is both misleading and confusing
What if the addressee list contains more than one recipient or some of the recipients are SMS and there's not delivery or read receipt ? I have absolutely no idea and doubt Apple do either.

Jon Schneider
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