imessengers be warned

iMessage, one of the headlining features of iOS 5, has a peculiarity with handling multiple recipient messages that you should keep in mind.

There have been a number of instances where I’m seeing peoples’ replies to messages that I received from someone else. In some cases it has been clear that they were intended as a private response. If you send a text to multiple iMessage users, anyone who responds inline will have their message sent to everyone. I previously thought this was an issue with people having “Group Messaging” enabled in Settings→Messages, but apparently this functionality comes standard with iMessage. As far as I’ve been able to determine, you can’t turn it off without disabling iMessage itself.

These messages will show an address bar at the top, so you can see that multiple people are in the conversation. However, this still poses a few problems:

  1. When you get one of the new banner notifications or lock screen alerts, it only lists the sender. There is no indication that it’s part of a group message. If you happen to jump in and respond quickly without being mindful of the contacts listed at the top, you very well may send your message to people you weren’t intending to.
  2. When you’re sending multiple people a message, you should assume you’re also sending around a list of everyones’ contact information as well. How can you privately send multiple people the same message? It doesn’t appear that iMessage gives you that option.

I could be missing something, but I’d imagine this is not going to work for everybody. If you have some information about this that I don’t, please fill me in. Otherwise, message multiple recipients with caution in the meantime.

October 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm

@skoda on @technochocolate on