Originally Posted by Cory Bauer
As soon as I saw them messaging between iPad and iPhone, i wondered how this would work. Would the iPhone have two separate messaging apps, one called iMessaging for chatting between iOS users and another called Messages for everyone else? Would messages from your iPad be free but messages from your iPhone still count toward your texting plan? Now it sounds as though neither is true, and that there is a single messaging app that happens to send messages to iOS devices outside the carrier's messaging plan. But assuming a person doesnt know who in their address book does and doesn't have an iPhone, how will the user know which messages are costing them and which are free? Will they be visually marked somehow? What if my friend has an iPad and an android phone; will iMessaging somehow notify me which he's texting me from so that I can know if its counting against my cellular texting plan or not? It all seems very confusing.
I dont have access to the developer preview, so I cannot say with certainty, but thinking like Apple would think... i'd say it'll go like this. SMS+imessage is rolled into one app called iMessage. When you launch a new text, it will ask you for the users name, and if you have both a phone number and an apple ID for them, it'll prompt you to start a new message via SMS or iMessage (similar to how if you want to facetime someone and you press facetime from within the contact name you get the option to facetime their cell number or an email address). When you select the phone number it will SMS them in the traditional way, still using your text message plan. If you select iMessage it'll route via 3G or WiFi thru apples servers via their apple ID and back to their device. You'll get better pictures/video quality than the crappy videos your MMS now, plus the ability to see when they're typing and if they've read/received it. The only indication of the difference between the services will be the slightly grayed out "iMessage" or probably "SMS" text that in the type field just before you go to type... (this i noticed from one of the screen caps from the keynote had iMessage in the type field before he began typing in the message box). That, and the fact that if you think you're iMessaging someone and you don't see the typing indicator before they type or the read/received receipts... then you're probably SMSing them.
It'll probably be just as, or slightly less confusing than using the similar service on Blackberry... and thats not at all complicated.
It *could* be similarly confusing as it is now (but hopefully not) when you click "text message" from within a user's contact card and it asks you if you want to text their email address or cell number. If you choose email address, of if you get texts from the same user with different cell phones, but you've already had a chat going with that user on another number, they will just show up as two separate entries in your chat list with no immediate visual indication of which point of contact your messaging with "John Doe". Hopefully with iOS 5 they can at least indicate what form of service you're using next to the recipient's name in the messaging list. Or color them differently.