How to use iMessage on iOS 5, save blushes with fool-proof guide

By Alan Ng - Oct 13, 2011

Don’t worry if you are feeling slightly silly after updating to Apple’s brand new iOS 5 software update, but are wondering where on earth the new ‘iMessage’ app is located on the device. What a lot of consumers don’t realise, is that iMessage is actually built into the existing Messages app on your device!

We’re here to help you out of course, and to make sure that you are not alone in your personal embarrassment of not being able to get iMessage working after installing iOS 5. Apple hasn’t really made it fool-proof like the other new apps on iOS 5 which give you a little introduction message before using – instead you’ll have to go to your iPhone settings menu to get everything working yourself.

Simply head to the Messages tab under your settings and make sure iMessage is enabled first of all. Once you have done that, you have the option of turning Read Receipt on too, which will allow you to see when a user reads your message, similar to the ‘double tick’ on WhatsApp for those that use that app regularly.

Another option that you may like to turn on is the Send as SMS feature, which will send your iMessage as a standard SMS to the recipient (normal text charge applies) whenever you do not have a 3G or WiFi connection available.

Once you have sorted your settings out, you can now go ahead and try sending a iMessage to your friend. As you input the number or contact to send to, Apple will automatically identify if he or she is using iOS 5 and you’ll then see that the message you are sending, changes to an iMessage which will make your message free of charge! Then of course you are free to send as many messages and pictures as you possibly want, providing you maintain your 3G or WiFi connection.

Hopefully these little steps will help you, as although you may have thought it was common sense, the fact that iMessages is built into Messages may throw some consumers off course at first. If this guide helped you, let us know how you’re getting along with iMessage so far – does it work as smoothly as Apple had advertized?

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  • NewIPODS

    I have the iPhone 3Gs and so does my wife. My kids have the iPod Touch 4generation. Thats 4 devices on my iTunes Account. When iMessage is enabled on all 4 devices everyone gets the message. Is there a way to segragate these msgs so that doesnt happen?

    • Rusty Schelling

      was there a response to this?  I have two kids (iTouch) along with my iPhone all on the same account.  trying to figure out the above question so not everyone gets the messages at once.  do you have to open seperate iTunes accounts?  I would prefer to keep them all on one…  

      if you know how, please respond or email

  • i upgraded and was sitting in front of a friend who upgraded but the my ip4 refused to id him as imessage enabled 

  • SFStaggie

    I’m figuring out how slow my friends are to upgrade since they aren’t switching over to iMessage yet.

  • SmwUK

    Ideal and precise information- in a snappy style. Thank you… all sorted now whoop whoop.

  • Kayla Ryan

    does it work with sending messages from say an iPhone to an iPad?

    • Alan Ng

      Yes it does Kayla! 🙂

  • Jonathan Mark Taylor

    Great thx!

  • Smccreath

    Brilliant article very helpful indeed – thanks for taking the time to share!

  • it works well! I am having fun texting friends who’re in another country!