Merge is a brilliant jailbreak tweak that combines messages by contact instead of by address

By , Sep 29, 2012

The idea of iMessage is great. It allows you to easily chat with friends and family across all iOS devices and Macs without incurring SMS fees from carriers.

Though iMessage is extremely convenient, it does have plenty of opportunities for improvement, which isn’t surprising, considering it’s only been out for a little over a year. But Apple has been steadily making improvements, for instance, the latest update to OS X, allows Mac users to sync iMessages sent and received from phone numbers.

Another major issue that iMessage runs into is organization. For example, if you’re chatting with a friend that has three separate iMessage ID’s, each chat started with each individual ID will result in a new iMessage thread for that contact. That’s a total of three threads, just to talk to a single contact. This, obviously, can become extremely disconcerting when trying to carry on a conversation. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily combine messages by contact, instead of iMessage ID?

That’s the exact premise behind Merge — a new jailbreak tweak from developers Joshua Tucker, and Andrew Richardson. Take a look inside as we explain how Merge works…

From the developer description:

Merge improves Messages by combining all messages by contact instead of by address. Instead of each contact’s phone number or email using its own conversation thread, Merge combines them all together and marks a line to show you which number or email is being used. Merge also offers a quick way to switch the address you are sending to. To change to a different address in a conversation, hold down the Contact button or contact icon on the iPad to choose another address to send to. Holding the contact’s name down in the New Message composition view allows you to switch addresses also.

In my humble opinion, a tweak like Merge just makes sense. In fact, when you think about it, it’s hard to understand why Apple didn’t take this approach in the first place. I’m sure they probably toyed with the idea, as it seems like common sense; perhaps there was some other logistical reason behind their decision.

After installing Merge, you’ll notice that all of your iMessage threads are instantly sorted together by contact instead of individual ID. This made my personal list of threads contained within the Messages app drop from 20 to 12 different threads.

Within each thread, it’s easy to discern which number or email address actually sent or received a particular message. This is accomplished using the little grey status message above the message bubbles.

Switching between a contact’s email or phone number is as simple as tapping and holding the contact icon on the iPad, or contact button on the iPhone. Doing so presents a list of all of the valid email addresses or phone numbers contained within the individual contact.

Merge is available now on the Cydia’s ModMyi repo for $1.49, and it’s compatible with all jailbroken iOS devices running iOS 5.x. Merge, like the previously mentioned Emblem, was just revealed by Josh at this year’s JailbreakCon in San Francisco, CA.

What do you think about Merge? Is it something that you would use? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • aa

    cool!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Paik4Life Paik4Life

    Jeff, you didn’t blur out all of Sebation’s details in certain shots. Just a heads up.

  • coolboy

    Oh no that’s gonna reveal my real identity. I used to change my email address to fool some of my friends..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=773465022 Neil Popson

      No it wouldn’t. Your friends would have to a) have this tweak installed and b) have your “secret” email address in their contact information of you.

  • czbird

    Will it work with BiteSMS?

    • http://twitter.com/nosdrew Andrew Richardson

      Not at the moment, but this is something we’ll be looking into adding in the future. BiteSMS will continue to work fine with Merge installed, you just won’t see the merged conversations from BiteSMS itself.

      • http://twitter.com/Nullbrand Niclas Ullbrand

        Gaah!
        I bought it.
        Since the description didn’t say it was not compatible with one of the most used tweak/app in cydia. I assumed it was. Dev’s really got to list incompatible tweaks! :(

      • http://the-david.com/ David Christenson

        I don’t really see this as an issue of incompatibility. The tweak is advertised as altering Messages.app. BiteSMS is not Messages, so you can’t assume that it will also be altered.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Matthew.Alner DrunkenTramp

        Darn I bought it too, I just assumed it would work with bite sms should have googled.

      • http://twitter.com/nosdrew Andrew Richardson

        Sorry about that! BiteSMS support is coming soon, we’re working on getting it out as soon as possible.

  • p0sixninja

    Oh no! that’s gonna reveal my real identity,. I used to change email address to fool around with my friends but it’s still cool though :)

  • MsQueenn

    But wasn’t this addressed in iOS 6? Is this tweak for users on iOS 5??

    • http://twitter.com/nosdrew Andrew Richardson

      It still works the same way in iOS 6, actually. The difference in iOS 6 is the fact that you can use your phone number as an iMessage address on other devices. Merge is currently only compatible with iOS 5, but iOS 6 support is coming.

      • http://twitter.com/cchrissh Chris Hockuba

        2 months and still no iOS 6 support shame… :(

      • seb114

        11 months and still no iOS6 support…

  • http://twitter.com/i_am_millski millski

    But does this mean messages sent to my iPhone number will appear on my iPad? Cos that’s really annoying, that iMessages aren’t shared across all of my iMessage addresses…

    • http://twitter.com/nosdrew Andrew Richardson

      Unfortunately not, it’s something that’s practically impossible without being Apple. You’ll have to upgrade to iOS 6 for that (which Merge is not currently compatible with, but will be soon).

  • Well_Said

    This is Jeff with idownloadblog blog

  • http://www.way2hype.com 1976Hoosiers

    does this work with bitesms?

    • http://www.facebook.com/Matthew.Alner DrunkenTramp

      nope

  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck Willie

    I bet sebestien will go “JEFF? Why are you spamming me?

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Sweet… Apple should focus on bringing these sort of innovation instead of whatever they are doing now… God bless the jailbreak community..

  • Skippy76

    I plan on jailbreaking my ipad 2 very soon and I was wondering if imessage would be functional after. Is there a “how-to” guide that I could use to make sure I don’t get blacklisted once I jailbreak?

  • Nicole Dashiell

    I wish I could get this RIGHT NOW; iMessage is driving me insane. But my phone isn’t jailbroken and I’m not savvy enough to do it. Ugh.