Is iMessage worth the occasional hassle?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| November 13, 2013

The combining of devices was probably inevitable. We've combined just about everything there is to combine, even things that we probably didn't necessarily need to. I mean, we've got touchscreens in refrigerators now. Sure, that's cool and all, but it's probably not essential. On the other end of the spectrum, adding things like a phone, a camera and an MP3 player  into one piece of tech was genius, and I'm glad I got to see that day come along.

I was getting really tired of hoisting around different devices every single day.

So we've drawn together the hardware, brought (hopefully) the best of multiple worlds together, under one roof, and we've called it a good day. Companies, designers and everyone else in between involved with creating new devices tries with each new handset to create a better one than the one before it. Basically, we live in a revolving door, where things just keep getting better and better with each full rotation.

Now that we've got the hardware thing figured out, we obviously had to move on to other areas to start combining. Software, features and services are obviously the only course of action. The services we're seeing get combined these days are messaging services. While BlackBerry's BBM got plenty of attention as a standalone app, and there are obviously plenty of alternatives if you want to go that route. But if it's any indicator how much Apple's iMessage is still in the rotation of dialogue, along with Google's new Hangouts that integrates SMS, we can pretty much guarantee we'll be seeing more apps like it sooner rather than later.

But, is it worth the hassle? We haven't been hearing a lot about any hang-ups with Hangouts quite yet -- or at least I haven't yet -- but that's definitely not the case with Apple's service. Not a day goes by that I don't see someone on my social media feeds bringing up the troubles they have with iMessage, and how frustrated they are.

It's obviously not a small, minor or secluded event. iMessage issues aren't new, and it doesn't matter how many updates it receives, either, apparently, because the same issues seem to keep popping up. I've felt the trouble of switching off an iMessage device, and going to another platform with regular ol' text messaging. It's pretty much a disaster if you forget to turn "off" iMessage and switch to another handset.

People who were trying to send you iMessages before will apparently still try, whether they like to or not. And the degree of which everything is broken can be drastically different from one experience to another. Some can get it fixed just by telling iMessage-using users to "send by SMS if iMessage is unavailable." Other people can try to turn off iMessage on another iOS-based device if they have one lying around. 

Others, though, have to call Apple and go through loopholes to get their number removed from iMessage, get tokens reset, and whatever else. It's not an easy process at all, and it can all be started just by forgetting to deactivate something before you switch phones.

What happens if Google's Hangouts gets an issue like this, or something worse? Or something just as bad? Are these converged pieces of software and/or features worth the hassle? When it comes to iMessage, I know a ton of people who would say it isn't, and yet another large batch of folks who would say it is. So, time for you to chime in and let me know what you think. Is iMessage, or other converged services, worth the hassle? Let me know what you think.