iMessage on iPad only communicates with other Apple devices running iOS 5 or higher. That's other iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and they have to have at least iOS 5. It doesn't work like an instant messaging service like MSN IM, in that you can't see if someone is on or off line. And iMessage only works when on Wifi, not via 3G. Is your partner on an Apple device with IOS 5? If no, you won't be able to message him via iMessage.
There are apps in the App store, such as TextFree that do permit texting to any of your contacts, but it will assgn you a number and you'll have to let your contacts know the message is coming from you as they will only see a number from TextFree.
But isn't the entire concept of iMessage to replace iChat? Previously I've used my Macbook to connect with him, and I can use iChat to connect to him on both his Macbooks and iPhone. I don't have an iPhone so don't know how it works on those in terms of display, I use my android phone (same email address as apple id) so the Talk function on that and iChat on my macbook are interchangeable.
It just seems a bit pointless that I'll have to just negotiate for him/others to be online rather than being able to see when we are.
Is the short answer that I'll basically have to keep my iChat/phone on to be able to know when my contacts (all of whom also use the aforementioned products) are online?
iMessage is not an iChat replacement and iPad is not a Macbook replacement. iMessage was introduced with iOS5 and it has it's limitations, but it's better than the NO text messaging of iPad previously. To be honest, I iMessage with my partner when I know he's on his iPad. Otherwise, for all text messages, I use my iPhone. It can text to a cell phone number, whereas iPad can not.
Sorry, it is what it is. I believe I read that with iOS6 we'll see more texting flexibility, for now this is what we have.
Can I just straighten something out a little here ?
iChat will be replaced on the Mac OS by Messages.
This will be an App that can do the things iChat can do (IM to AIM, Jabber and Yahoo Buddies and do VIdeo and Audio chats plus Screen Sharing and iChat Theatre) PLUS send iMessages to iOS devices and other Macs using Messages.
That is to say that one thing Messages (the App) will do is send a certain style of messages called iMessages.
Another way iMessages is s form of Messaging employed by iOS devices, which the new App (Messages) will be able to join with the release of Mountain Lion. The current Messages beta has be able to give some people a test of this.
The Messages app on an iOS device and the Messages Beta currently should be able to iMessage to Apple IDs or Phone Numbers of iPhone - IF - those numbers are listed in the Contact's info.
You need to now the iPhone's Number before you can iMessage it.
Please, if posting Logs, do not post any Log info after the line "Binary Images for iChat"
iMac 2.5Ghz 5i 2011 (Lion 10.7.2)
G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
Mac OS X (10.6.8),
"Limit the Logs to the Bits above Binary Images." No, Seriously