iMessage was launched back in early October, 2011 when Apple launched iOS 5 with over 200 new features. Doesn’t it seem like a lifetime ago?  It’s available on iPods, iPads and iPhones and includes unlimited text messages, pictures and video messages at not cost to other iOS 5 users.  There’s no app to download either – it’s built right into your device – you can’t get much better than that! Although iMessage is extremely convenient to use from the get go, did you know there are ways to make it even more awesome? Read on for 5 awesome tips to reach iMessage enlightenment.

1. Do you want to know if your spouse read your message and chose to ignore it? Or maybe you iMessage’d your daughter to clean the dishes and she chose to defy you? Whatever the circumstances, iMessage has a built in feature to tell you whether your recipient read your message or not called Read Receipts – it is turned off by default (you can see if the messages are successfully delivered however).  If your recipient has turned on the Read Receipts function you can tell the moment the message has been read.  Turning on Read Receipts is easy – go to Settings, then Messages and then slide Read Receipts into the On position.

2.  Do you have multiple email addresses you would like to receive iMessages at? Easy!  Click Settings, Messages and then scroll down to the “Receive At” button.  Add all the email addresses you wish.  Apple verify your email addresses by sending you a confirmation email with a link to prove you own the address.  Now all of your contacts with your different email addresses will be able to reach you.  This is efficiency cubed.

3. Now it’s time to set your caller ID.  Go to Settings, Messages and then scroll to Caller ID.  This is where you decide what email address, or phone number, will appear when you send people iMessages.  We think it’s a good idea to choose your email address instead of your phone number if you use an iPhone along with an iPad or iPod.  Your iPad or iPod doesn’t have a phone number but it can show messages sent to (and from) an iMessage linked email address.  This way your messages will be synced across all devices.

Bonus Tip – Emoji!

Did you know the Emoji Keyboard comes standard in the iOS 5 keyboard? These beautiful little emoticons are already nestled into your device, you just have to draw them out! Go to General, Keyboard, International Keyboards and tap new Keyboard.  Select Emoji from the list and Voila! Now you can add some style to your iMessages.