How to fix intermittent iMessage and FaceTime activation issues

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2013

Judging by a growing thread on Apple’s support forums, an unknown portion of people seem to be experiencing issues activating FaceTime and/or iMessage after upgrading their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to iOS 7. On top of that, some of  those who’ve successfully activated the services complain about not being able to send or receive messages, iMessage not falling back to SMS, being able to receive messages but not media and more.

Turns out a few remedies exist to help fix these woes so I’ve included them for your convenience right after the break… Read More


iMessage comes to Android [video]

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 23, 2013

Just a word of caution before anyone decides to dive head first into this. You need to use this app at your own risk. Several prominent developers within the community have expressed concern about the potential security issues revolving around the APK used here.

Now that the warnings are out of the way, let me show you how iMessage works on Android. This new app, entitled iMessage Chat, brings real cross platform iMessage chat ability to Android. Yes, it works. I’ve confirmed it on video. Read More


Apple launches new iMessage spam reporting tool

By Cody Lee on Jul 30, 2013

A new knowledge base document has appeared on Apple’s support site this evening, introducing a new spam reporting tool for iMessage users. The document outlines a way for users to report unwanted messages, or spam, directly to Apple.

The posting comes ahead of the release of iOS 7, which adds a new Contact blocking feature for phone calls and messages. Apple has obviously discovered that spam is a problem for its messaging platform, and it’s doing something about it… Read More


Massive outage affects one in three iMessage users

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2013

We thought Apple by now has figured its customers have come to expect better than this, but here we go again: in a massive outage earlier today, the company’s messaging service for iOS and Mac devices went offline for nearly one-third of its installed user base, by Apple’s own admission.

Now, I know iCloud now has more than 300 million accounts (Tim Cook labeled it “the fastest growing cloud service ever” at WWDC last month). Likewise, I’m aware that with 800 billion iMessages sent and more than 7.5 trillion push notifications received, Apple no doubt has the scale and computing power to drive iMessage.

But something seems to be amiss here. The more I think of it, the more I tend to be bothered by the frequency and sheer reach of these outages. At the very least, I’m beginning to question Apple’s ability to cope with such an exponential growth of its cloud service… Read More


A closer look at Messages in iOS 7

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 14, 2013

Messaging is arguably one of the most oft-used features of mobile devices. And with folks overwhelmingly embracing services like WhatsApp, little wonder instant messaging has overtaken traditional SMS by volume. The October 2011 iMessage unveiling signaled an era of frictionless communication between Apple device owners, made convenient by blurring the line between SMS and IM.

iOS 7 elevates that experience by making it prettier while implementing a few evolutionary improvements. That said, the iOS 7 Messages app is nonetheless a pretty big departure from iOS 6. But don’t worry – iDB has you covered… Read More


See who you’re talking to with Messages Conversation Photos

By Cody Lee on May 15, 2013

If you’re looking for a jailbreak tweak that embeds your contact photos into your native Messages app, there’s several options to choose from. Just off the top of my head, I can think of Copic, ChatPic, and xMessages.

Today, we’re adding another one to the pile with Messages Conversation Photos. And like the others, it takes the images from your contact list and applies them to your messaging threads in the default Messages app… Read More


How to bypass the outgoing video size limit in Messages

By Cody Lee on May 13, 2013

Have you ever noticed that, by default, you can’t send videos from the Messages app longer than three and a half minutes? It’s a precautionary thing, so users don’t unknowingly eat up their monthly data allotments by sending large clips.

But some folks out there still have unlimited data plans, and would like to be able to send longer videos via a text or iMessage. And for those of you who fall into that category, we’ve come across a few easy workarounds to that size limit… Read More


Message Send Percent is a status indicator for your outgoing messages

By Cody Lee on May 13, 2013

We try to cover as many new jailbreak tweaks as we can here at iDB, from game-changers like Velox to the smallest of UI changes. And this next one we’re going to be talking about definitely falls in the latter category.

Message Send Percent, by developer greensnow, is a simple little UI tweak that adds a percentage indicator to your Messages app. This enables you to get a more precise readout on the progress of your outgoing messages… Read More


biteSMS’ new Quick Compose widget is here

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 29, 2013

Well, it’s not exactly what we were expecting, but it’s still pretty intriguing. biteSMS version 7.6.1 is here, and it brings with it a new Quick Compose widget, that, for a time, was referred to as Text Heads.

It’s a far cry from the Facebook Home inspired Chat Heads tweak brought to us recently by Adam Bell, but it’ll no doubt still be a welcomed feature for hardcore bite fans. Read More


TypeStatus 1.1 supercharges the ‘now typing’ indicator in your status bar

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 29, 2013

TypeStatus will always have a special spot in my heart, because it’s one of the few tweaks that I can say I envisioned. Brought to fruition by Hashbang productions’ @thekirbylover, it’s a tweak that allows you to see when a person is replying to an iMessage by means of an ellipses icon in the status bar.

The first iteration of TypeStatus was a very basic implementation of the idea, but it worked well. This latest version, TypeStatus 1.1, adds a ton of new features to the already excellent package. Not only can it show when someone’s typing, but it can also show you the iMessage address of the person typing right on the status bar. As if all of that wasn’t enough, TypeStatus 1.1 includes another new feature that let’s you see when an individual has read one of your iMessages.

The tweak was already awesome before this update, but with this update it’s quite possible that TypeStatus will make it on the “top jailbreak tweaks of year” lists. Want to know something even better? You can try it out right now via Hashbang Production’s beta repo. Take a look inside for a few more in depth tidbits regarding the update. Read More


Cash cow is dying as messaging apps overtake SMS by volume

By Ed Sutherland on Apr 29, 2013

For the first time, more messages are being sent via applications such as iMessage, WhatsApp and Viber than traditional texting. That’s the message of a new study which found that messages sent using such apps outnumbered those sent through carrier-based SMS in 2012.

That lead is expected to widen this year as chat apps send twice as many messages as texting. The study by Informa suggests the lucrative business of text transmissions could be winding down for carriers.

Although traditional SMS has a larger user base, iMessage, WhatsApp or other chatting apps are sending more texts per user, giving them the momentum… Read More


Swipe between conversations with MessageSwiper

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 14, 2013

MessageSwiper is a jailbreak tweak that allows you to quickly switch between ongoing conversations in the Messages app using swipe gestures. You can cycle through conversations via left and right swipes to instantly go forward or backwards through your various message threads.

This is an extremely simple tweak that focuses on one particular area and does a commendable job of doing so. I do wish there was a swipe animation implemented when switching between message threads, but according to the developer, that’s due in an upcoming update. Read More


‘Messages’ lets you compose and reply to messages from anywhere in iOS

By Cody Lee on Apr 7, 2013

Sometimes I feel like I’m one of the only people in the world that doesn’t use biteSMS. Don’t get me wrong, I really like some of the tweak’s features, like quick reply and compose. But in my experience, it’s not very stable and tends to clash with the stock Messages app.

That being said, you can understand my excitement when I saw ‘Messages’ pop up in my Cydia stream today. The new jailbreak tweak, by Ma Jun (the creator of Bulletin), offers up biteSMS-like quick compose and reply features, without all of the extra biteSMS fluff… Read More


Two years later, DEA learns the government can’t break into Apple’s iMessage

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2013

Apple’s iMessage platform has gone through its share of teething problems, ranging from issues related to iOS devices continuing to send and receive messages, even after being remotely wiped and having their SIM cards deactivated, to iOS saving deleted iMessage attachments to a recent exploit which involved denial of service attacks leading to a series of spam messages crashing the stock iOS Messages app. Although unpleasant and worrying, these problems are mostly localized.

When it comes to government surveillance, however, iMessage is bullet proof and the agile government, of course, has only recently become aware of this. According to an internal document from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), instant messages exchanged between iOS users through the iMessage platform are “impossible to intercept” due to strong iCloud encryption… Read More


Chpwn and other developers hit with iMessage DoS attack

By Cody Lee on Mar 30, 2013

Over the past few days, several well-known iOS and jailbreak developers have reported that they’ve been hit with an iMessage DoS, or denial of service, attack. The attacks feature a series of spam messages that end up crashing the iMessage app.

The list of affected developers include Sn0wBreeze creator iH8sn0w, Zephyr creator Chpwn, and others. And the perpetrator has been tracked to a Twitter account involved in selling things like provisioned UDIDs and Siri proxy servers… Read More


Doodle Message: compose doodle drawings within the Messages app

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 21, 2013

A while back, we covered a jailbreak tweak called Grafiti [sic]. It allowed you to instantly create and share drawings via the messages app, by acting as a keyboard replacement. WIth that in mind, it supported a lot more apps than just the stock Messages app; it worked with Whatsapp, Mail, Tweetbot, and more.

Doodle Message is similar to Grafiti, in that it allows you to create drawings from within the Messages app, and send those drawings to your friends via Messages. The big difference here is that Doodle Message only works with the Messages app. There are, of course, other smaller differences, as we’ll touch on inside. Read More


iMessage beware, Google Babble is coming

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2013

The Internet giant Google, reportedly adamant to solve its instant messaging conundrum, is working on consolidating its many chat services and folding them under a new brand name – Google Babble. Not sure whether Babble is just a code-name, but I’d definitely chose a different moniker because the term ‘babble’ doesn’t just denote chatter, it also means “to utter a meaningless confusion of words” and “talk foolishly or idly”.

Be that as it may, a new report Monday claims knowledge of an all-new IM solution from Google designed around organizing chats by conversation rather than by people, no matter what chat service they happen to be using. It’s said to support video, audio, file transfers and threaded conversations across all the existing services. Go right past the break for more tidbits… Read More


‘Compose’ adds new Mail and Message shortcuts to Notification Center

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 13, 2013

Looking for a quick and easy way to compose new messages and emails via Notification Center? Then perhaps Compose — a new jailbreak tweak that places shortcuts to each respective app in Notification Center — will suit your fancy.

Compose follows the same visual template that Apple created with its Facebook and Twitter Notification Center shortcuts, but it doesn’t work exactly the same. Instead of opening up a small pop-up box to type in any content you wish to share, Compose works more like a shortcut to each respective app. More details inside… Read More


‘SelectiveReading’ allows you to select who receives iMessage read receipts

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 7, 2013

There have been some really great jailbreak tweaks released for iMessage lately. A few weeks ago, we talked about TypeStatus, which allows you to see incoming “now typing” notifications for ongoing iMessage conversations. Now, there’s SelectiveReading — a jailbreak tweak that lets you selectively send read receipts to specific contacts.

I’ve always enjoyed the ability to send and receive read receipts between my iMessage friends. It gives both parties a peace of mind knowing that their message has been received and consumed. But I’ve always had a lingering beef with the feature as well. I never appreciated the fact that it was all or nothing with read receipts. That is to say, it was either enabled for everyone, or disabled for everyone, there was no middle ground.

Again, the jailbreak community has stepped in to save the day. SelectiveReading makes a feature that I’ve always wanted to use, but didn’t because of its limitations, actually usable. Take a look inside as I divulge more details about this long awaited jailbreak tweak… Read More


‘LastPic’ released on Cydia

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 6, 2013

LastPic, the jailbreak tweak that allows you to attach the last taken photograph into an iMessage conversation, has been released on Cydia. The tweak, which we discussed on Monday, is an iMessage implementation of a feature that has been a staple in the popular Tweetbot Twitter client.

LastPic is a free download, and it’s available on Cydia’s BigBoss repo right now. For those of you browsing this post on an iOS device, you can click here to be taken directly to Cydia for the download. Read More