The iMessage app in Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion allows you to chat, call and send files to other Mac users, as well as the users of iPhones, iPads or even iPod touch devices. With iMessage in Mountain Lion you can also send instant messages to IM accounts from the likes of Gmail, Yahoo or AOL.
We've heard reports of people having problems with iMessage in Mountain Lion, so here is our simple guide to using iMessage to contact other Mac users, iPhones and iPads in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
How to use iMessage in Mountain Lion
First open the iMessage app - it's the blue and white bubble icon sitting in the dock. If you're already signed in to iCloud via your Apple ID, it should automatically know who you are. If not, you will need to enter your Apple ID details.
Your Apple ID is the email and password you use in order to purchase iTunes and iOS apps. If you haven't already got one, head over to appleid.apple.com and click 'Create an Apple ID'. You'll be asked for a valid email address, a password and some other personal details. Open the App, enter the details and hit the log in button.
Now to send a message. Back in iMessage click the 'Create Message' button. It's adjacent to the Search bar. Enter the name of the recipient. iMessage will know your current contacts, including any contacts that you have previously backed up to the cloud. So if you are an iPhone or iPad user and you are signed up for iCloud, you should find that all your regular contacts are there.
If you want to message someone who is not in your contacts but has an Apple ID, you have to type in their smartphone number to send a message. You can then, of course, add them to your contacts. If they are using an iDevice they will recieve an iMessage from an email address, and can add you to their own contacts.
Once you have entered the name or number of the recipient, simply type your message and press the Send button on the screen.
If you know someone you wish to chat to doesn't have an Apple ID you can still contact them via iMessage if they use IM accounts from Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and Jabber. In iMessage, simply hit Message, and then select Preferences. Choose Account, and '+'. Then select your IM account and add in the details, and you can use your IM account from iMessage.
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