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#40858 - 06/06/16 05:32 PM Apple Messages: why bother?
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Today, a popup from Notification Center told me that I had a message. This is the first time that I ever saw this and I didn't know what to do. I clicked on the popup and Messages launched, with a message from a dear friend. It took awhile to figure out what to do (when in doubt, consult the Help menu!) but I managed to reply.

She also sent an email, which I downloaded as usual. My question: Why would I want to bother with Messages? I have never used it and didn't even know it existed until today.

What is the difference between email and Messages?
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Jon

OS 10.14.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#40859 - 06/06/16 09:15 PM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: jchuzi]
MacManiac Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Messages is the OS X iteration of the iMessage app on the iPhone......in other words, it allows you to message with folks using your computer instead of your phone.

If you happen to be on the computer AND have your iPhone close at hand when an iMessage (or SMS in green) comes in, you will see it arrive on both devices simultaneously....
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#40860 - 06/07/16 02:33 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: MacManiac]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
I figured that it had something to do with iPhone. I don't have one and, although it is capable of messaging, I don't use my "dumb phone" for anything except calling my wife when I'm out of the house (she's the only one that knows the number). Yet, I have received emails that say "sent from my iPhone (or iPod)". Do those emails originate from a different app on the sending phone?
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Jon

OS 10.14.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#40861 - 06/07/16 03:10 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: jchuzi]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Yes, they're sent from the iPhone's Mail app. Sent from my iPhone is the default signature appended to such emails.
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#40862 - 06/07/16 04:12 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: MacManiac]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
Messages is the OS X iteration of the iMessage app on the iPhone......in other words, it allows you to message with folks using your computer instead of your phone.

Couple of questions……

1. Is this a function that only begins with a particular version of the OS? I am 10.8.5 but have never got a message in this manner, although I receive messages on my iPad.

2. Does it also allow junk messages to start appearing on your computer as well as your phone, or does it do some sort of check against the folks listed in Contacts?

Like Jon, my phone is only reasonably bright (Motorola Razr) and I only use it to phone. However it does receive messages and most of those are either "wrong numbers" or junk.


Edited by ryck (06/07/16 04:15 AM)
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
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#40863 - 06/07/16 05:03 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: ryck]
MacManiac Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
It is a simple analog of the SMS / iMessage capability of an iPhone....it receives and sends text messages like a dumb phone and receives and sends iMessages like an iPhone.

Like most apps on the Mac, if it's not open in the background it won't respond or display any activity.....thus the iPad showing a message and the computer not.
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#40864 - 06/07/16 09:50 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Another way to look at Messages is it is Apple's way of rolling up all the various messaging services available on Apple devices into a single app. Like FaceTime, Mail and Safari, Messages is included in the current versions of iOS, watchOS, and OS X. It can be configured to receive any SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (Multimedia Message Service) messages addressed to your...
  • iPhone number
  • iPad phone number (if your iPad has cellular data capability it has a phone number)
  • AOL messenger ID
  • iCloud email account (not email messages, SMS text messages
  • alternate email address(es)
  • and several other messaging services.
As to Apple's other communications services
  • Mail has enough complexity to remain free standing app on all the platforms
  • Phone for either incoming or outgoing voice appears only on the iPhone and Apple Watch
  • Incoming voice calls directed to an iPhone number can be received, but not originated, through the FaceTime audio function on the iPad or on the Mac.
  • Facetime video video sent to or received from an iPhone number or a iCloud email address through the FaceTime app on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. (There is no camera on the Watch so no FaceTime video either.
I know that around our house there are times when my phone, watch, mac, and iPad all ring at the same time for a single incoming call or message. It can be a bit overwhelming at times.
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#40865 - 06/07/16 09:59 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: MacManiac]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
Messages is the OS X iteration of the iMessage app on the iPhone......in other words, it allows you to message with folks using your computer instead of your phone.

Preamble: Pardon my complete and abject ignorance on the topic. The only thing I know about mobile devices is that I'll never have one until I can understand the jargon (eg, "data" and how the simpleminded can determine how it might be calculated), how such can be used simply and in foolproof fashion (which from all discussion in these forums would indicate that such will never happen) and the pricing of access is simplified into a single, unchanging fee (so that I don't wind up with a bill in the thousands of dollars that some individuals have encountered, according to horror stories in the media).
I would add to that that every time somebody hands me a mobile device (eg, iPhone, iPad), I have no clue what to do with it. Just touching it alters the screen in some inscrutable way or sometimes even disables it, such that I have to give it back to its user to take me through whatever he/she wants me to see.

Queries:
1. How can one use a computer (tied into the Internet) to access "telephone" messages?
2. How can one use a computer to send messages to an iPhone or other such mobile device?
3. There are email addresses and phone numbers, but they aren't the same. So how does that work?
4. If I were to send a text message via my computer, how would that work? Normally, I just send an email message, somehow it's picked up by the recipient's mobile device and is replied to via the latter, reaching me as an email message.

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#40868 - 06/07/16 01:17 PM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: grelber
Queries:
1. How can one use a computer (tied into the Internet) to access "telephone" messages?
2. How can one use a computer to send messages to an iPhone or other such mobile device?
3. There are email addresses and phone numbers, but they aren't the same. So how does that work?
4. If I were to send a text message via my computer, how would that work? Normally, I just send an email message, somehow it's picked up by the recipient's mobile device and is replied to via the latter, reaching me as an email message.

  1. That all depends on what you mean by "telephone" messages. If you are referring to voicemail messages you cannot access them on your computer. If you mean SMS or MMS text messages sent or received on a cell phone that is another matter altogether. Text messages are data and go through a different communications mechanism than phone calls.
  2. Without going into the gory details of the various communications protocols suffice it to say the Messages app handles everything on the client end (your iPhone, iPad, Watch, Mac) and Apple makes the connection and handles the data transfer from the server side
  3. Your iPhone number is linked to your Apple ID (email address) on the servers at Apple data centers located across the US and around the world. That link is established during the initial setup of the particular device. So as far as Apple is concerned the iPhone number, iPad cell number, and email address are synonymous.
  4. step by step
    1. Open Messages
    2. click on the icon to create a new text message
    3. enter one of the following
      • a name from your contacts list that has an associated cell phone number
      • the cell phone number of the intended recipient
      • the .Mac, .Me, .iCloud email address of the intended recipient
      • the AOL message id of the intended recipient
      • the message ID for any other messaging service recognized by Messages
    4. At the bottom of the window enter the message you wish to send (up to 140 characters) including emojis or click on the microphone icon or you can record a brief voice message.
    5. press the return key to send
    6. the message will travel via internet to the Apple data center where it will be routed from there generally arriving on the recipients phone, pad, computer or third party messaging service with a very few seconds.
    7. You can also link into the Message system through Contacts, Photos, and a number of other apps including third party apps by going to File > Share on the menu bar to send MMS content including brief video images.
  5. It works the same way whether you are on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. WatchOS works a little differently because of the different I/O limitations and abilities but from the watch I can send a dynamic drawing as I am drawing it, or my heartbeat as it is picked up from my pulse.
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#40869 - 06/07/16 01:31 PM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
3. Your iPhone number is linked to your Apple ID (email address) on the servers at Apple data centers located across the US and around the world. That link is established during the initial setup of the particular device. So as far as Apple is concerned the iPhone number, iPad cell number, and email address are synonymous. ... It works the same way whether you are on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Thanks for trying to make the "save", but I'm no closer to knowing what's going on than I was before ... nobody's fault but mine.

I've got no iPhone number, no Apple ID — I never interact with Apple at any level — etc. The only thing I've got is my iMac running OS X Lion (10.7.5) and Firefox as a browser. (My usage is to browse the web and do email — nothing more fancy.)

My illiteracy in this regard is essentially "universal", another reason I've avoided getting involved with mobile devices. And I'm wholly unwilling to take a course in how things work. (I understand the workings of black holes and string theory far better than any of this stuff — probably because those things are totally intellectual rather than practical.)

Let's say I were to download the Messages app which does this stuff. What then? (To this point I've got nothing to hang my hat on.)

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#40871 - 06/07/16 03:20 PM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The message app is downloaded only as a part of the standard OS X installation and is not otherwise available. If you do not use text messaging and do not text message with anyone it would be useless to you. You may be forced into text messaging at some point in time as more and more secure sites are using text messaging to verify transactions and account changes.


Edited by joemikeb (06/07/16 03:21 PM)
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#40872 - 06/07/16 05:23 PM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: grelber]
MacManiac Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
To kind of bring all this back to the original topic and avoid Grelber's attempted hijack, let's just admit that there are folks in different generations that communicate differently.....and that's perfectly normal.

The use of the phone as a phone and only as a phone is most comfortable and natural to one generation.....the next generation still maintains a connection to the phone, but their comfort level and preferences have expanded to encompass email and text messaging on their phone - however, their preferred means of communication remains primarily the phone....the next generation almost shuns the phone, accepts emails but is most comfortable and embraces messaging on their smart phone - they will grudgingly accept a phone call, but truly prefer to text.

We've seen that well illustrated here!

So, in answer to the original post, the Apple Messages application is not for all and that's OK. If you don't embrace messaging on your phone, then the app is not for you and you shouldn't lose any sleep over not using it.....it's most likely not in your comfort zone and certainly not your preferred way to communicate.
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#40873 - 06/08/16 02:22 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: MacManiac]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
To kind of bring all this back to the original topic and avoid Grelber's attempted hijack, ....

I apologize for the impression that I was attempting to "hijack" the discussion, but I was only trying to understand the issue and its underpinnings, with the possibility of bootstrapping myself into a newer generation. Mea culpa.
In future I'll try to gather intelligence in other ways.

Given joemikeb's comment that the Messages app is not a standalone download (ie, that it's part of OS X download — which it isn't in Lion), the point is totally moot.

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#40874 - 06/08/16 04:12 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: grelber]
MacManiac Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Simply start a new thread with your intelligence gathering questions and all is good.

Topic drift just makes it harder to sort out the info later when trying to do a forum search and gather intel from existing threads.
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#40875 - 06/08/16 05:46 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Grelber your questions are legitimate and I hope you will accept the invitation to start another thread to gather information. From many years teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level I can say with certainty that if one person, you, has a question there are most certainly others with the same or similar questions.

By-the-way Message is an evolved version of iMessage — which is in Lion.
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#40877 - 06/08/16 06:06 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Another way to look at Messages is it is Apple's way of rolling up all the various messaging services available on Apple devices into a single app….

For this post, and your other contributions in this thread, thank you. All of that information is going to be very helpful…..once I've read through a few times and get it locked down.
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Super Duper on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#40878 - 06/08/16 06:19 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: MacManiac]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
The use of the phone as a phone and only as a phone is most comfortable and natural to one generation.....

Sounds like Jon, me, and a whole bunch of people I know.

Originally Posted By: MacManiac
.....the next generation still maintains a connection to the phone, but their comfort level and preferences have expanded to encompass email and text messaging on their phone

Yup, describes my daughters and probably 100% of their friends.
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS High Sierra 10.13.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 320GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro
Super Duper on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#40879 - 06/08/16 07:55 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: joemikeb]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
By-the-way Message is an evolved version of iMessage — which is in Lion.

I believe joemikeb means iChat.
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dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors

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#40880 - 06/08/16 08:32 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: dkmarsh]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Quote:
By-the-way Message is an evolved version of iMessage — which is in Lion.

I believe joemikeb means iChat.

I hate getting old! Thanks for the correction.
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#40881 - 06/08/16 09:17 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: dkmarsh]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Quote:
By-the-way Message is an evolved version of iMessage — which is in Lion.

I believe joemikeb means iChat.

Indeed it is.
I just went through The Missing Manual's 24-page coverage of same and realized that there's no way I could come to terms with it at any level. Movin' on ....

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#40901 - 06/13/16 10:36 AM Re: Apple Messages: why bother? [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
It was just mentioned at the WWDC that Message is far and away the most often used app.
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