October 12, 2011

iMessage kills SMS? Nah.

Headlines and banner messages abound on the Internet today about iMessage killing off SMS. Here are some reasons why I am pretty sure that’s over inflated:
1. Not everyone has an iDevice (contrary to popular opinion). iMessage only works with iDevices. I don’t know what kind of phone all of my contacts ask and it’d be stupid to ask them – hey, I don’t want to SMS you anymore, do you have iOS? I’ll iMessage you instead. Come on. I’m not going to manage two different apps for text messaging.
2. iMessage REQUIRES a data connection. SMS does not. This is trivial if you live in LA, Dallas, DC, NYC, etc…but SMS is a voice delivered service which is FAR more reliable than the data services and when you are out in the sticks and got nothing but G bars, yeah.
3. SMS is about to be 911 compatible, iMessage? Notta.
4. iMessage is as bad as FaceTime in the realm of reaching out and touching someone – your ENTIRE contact list is presented, not just the iOS contacts, so how do I know when I can iMessage or SMS or FaceTime someone?

Great idea, baked into the OS, but without supporting all phone models and seeing to the data reliability things, it’s just another app that delivers messages to a subset of people.