iMessage is simply another form of text messaging, BUT, it uses your data package, versus your text messaging plan. The person you're conversing with MUST have an iOS device, i.e. not a BlackBerry, or Android, etc.
The benefits of this is that you can see when someone is typing a response to you, and if they have their 'read receipt' on, you can see when they have read the message, too...
Does anyone know about how much data it uses for a text? I know it will vary and also be more when multimedia is evolved but just looking for an average of a sentence about this size. I would think its very small and won't affect people's data that much.
Not true. Just having the app open with the cursor in the message box does not show the active typing indicator. It shows the typing indicator only if you did in fact start typing, and continue typing. You can type half a sentence and the indicator will show while you are typing it. If you stop typing for 5 seconds it will no longer show the typing indicator to the other party--not until you start typing again will it reappear for the other person.
I am looking at it right now between my iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. Works exactly as you would expect it to work.
iMessage is good if you want to sent a video through text. If you are on 3G the quality of the video will be reduced but on WiFi it isn't. That's why I use it. Other than that is pretty much useless if you are on unlimited texting plan
To clarify, not only must they have an iOS device, they must have a device running iOS 5.
As far as its real benefits, my girlfriend and I both have 4Ss, mine on AT&T, hers on Sprint, and we use iMessage all the time. Most of my outbound messages are colored blue, which tells me they're sent as iMessage. I can see when she's typing a reply, and I enable the read receipts, so she knows when I read a message...and if I don't reply right away, she knows I'm probably driving or busy. But it confirms it got there. It's more flexible than texting in the types of files you can attach. MMS also uses the data plan to send the file, so it's a wash. We both have unlimited texting so there's little advantage other than the fact that when there's no data service available, it does revert to texting very well.
Message for me is pointless. I have unlimited text and so do most people I know. I also have unlimited data so it's not a big deal but most people I know do not have unlimited data so they have turned iMessage off so it doesn't eat up their data plan.
And I have no need to text to iPods. That's a high school/middle school kid thing.