Why Can't I Use My Phone Number on Messages.app?

By Tim Butler | Posted at 21:25

Zach Phillips explains my most significant frustration with iMessage on the iPad and Mac:

It would only take one feature to make Messages on iPad and Messages.app useful. Allow me to use my phone number as my iMessages account. My phone number has always been my unique identifier through which I choose to receive these short bits of text (for good reason). If I can't use my real “address,” there's not much point in signing up for a different delivery company. The package will not arrive where I need it.

Since iOS 5 launched, it has puzzled me why Apple designed the system so that iMessages sent to my Apple ID go to my Mac, iPhone and iPad while iMessages sent using my phone number only go to my iPhone. It creates a confusing (and technologically needless) situation where one ideally needs to give up iMessages' brilliant capability of seemlessly replacing SMS to reap all the benefits of using it.

Apple should fix this in iOS 6.

Re: Why Can't I Use My Phone Number on Messages.app?

The question is whether Apple sees it as something broken or something intentional. We have to remember Apple's ultimate goal is not making the customer happy. It just happens that making the customer happy is often a piece of the goal of making money for shareholders. And, of course, making customers happy is sometimes about telling us what's going to make us happy, forcing us into it, then sitting back with a smug grin when we find we really do like it.

So, while I wish I could get all my text messages to all my iDevices (including my MBP) so I wouldn't have to pull my phone out of my pocket when I was already sitting at my computer, I do wonder if Apple doesn't have some sort of long range plan in mind that's going to change texting.

Or, maybe there are privacy/security/permissions/programming problems that have to be fixed before a broken attempt is launched that throws our mail all over the highway. :oops:

Posted by Caedmon Michael - Apr 14, 2012 | 8:45

Re: Why Can't I Use My Phone Number on Messages.app?

This has been one of my biggest frustrations with the rollout of iOS 5. It just does not make any sense! A fix to this issue in iOS 6 would be a huge win… not that I would shy away from my iDevices without the fix….

Posted by Dan Duckworth - Apr 14, 2012 | 17:34

Re: Why Can't I Use My Phone Number on Messages.app?

I don't shy away over it. It just means messages is nothing other than funny blue bubbles for texts when the other end is also on an iDevice. I don't use it for anything else or have any compelling reason to use it for anything else.

I'm starting to think this is simply the, “Let's get it out there in benign format then start adding good stuff to it” model Apple has used with such projects before.

Posted by Caedmon Michael - Apr 14, 2012 | 17:54

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