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Take Control of Messages in Mountain Lion
Make your Mac into a communications hub with the Messages app!
When it's time for an online chat, Messages in Mountain Lion has all the chops for sending short text-based messages and cute emoticons. Messages can also transmit graphics, handle voice conversations, share screens, coordinate group chats, and even host a full-on video chat. But making Messages do your bidding can require some specialized know-how. Networking guru Glenn Fleishman shows you exactly what to do, and explains just what you need to know so you can communicate with confidence.
With this ebook in hand, you'll discover:
What is difference between SMS, instant messaging, and iMessage—plus why you'd care.
How to convert your iChat experience to the brave new world of Messages.
Why it is that Messages lets you communicate via accounts at five different services (plus Bonjour), and how to figure out which you should use.
In an iMessage account, how to configure which email address(es) and iPhone phone number(s) should receive messages on your Mac.
How to use Google Talk with Google two-factor authentication.
How to send messages—and set your online status—with an eye to etiquette and conventions.
What an instant-message buddy is, why it's awkward that iMessage doesn't have buddies, and how to add buddies, organize buddies, and even delete or block a buddy.
How to exchange photos, videos, business documents, and other files via Messages.
The best way to add a spoken conversation or video to a chat, whether through an iMessage/FaceTime chat or an instant-messaging service.
How to view and control the Mac screen of the person you're chatting with (or vice-versa).
And much more...
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Glenn Fleishman is editor and publisher of The Magazine, an electronic periodical for curious people with a technical bent, and he hosts The New Disruptors, a podcast about fundamental changes in the economy of making art and making things. He also writes for the Economist’s Babbage blog and the publication’s print edition, plus he is a contributing editor at TidBITS, where he built the content management software.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This ebook helps you navigate the ins and outs of the Messages app in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, including how to set up accounts, the proper etiquette when you talk to others, using audio and video chat, and screen sharing. This book was written by Glenn Fleishman, edited by Tonya Engst, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Messages is a new program in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion that takes the place of older software called iChat. Messages tries to merge text messaging, traditionally a cellular-phone feature, and instant messaging, which generally involves computer-to-computer message exchanges.
Messages retains iChat’s instant-messaging features while adding a new messaging service called iMessage that was developed by Apple first for iOS. The Messages app lets you create, send, and receive iMessages with little effort, although I walk you through the subtleties and options that you might miss at first glance.
While you may find that iMessage is enough to communicate with most people you know, it may turn out that some of your colleagues and friends want to communicate via instant-messaging systems like AIM (AOL Instant Messenger, which Apple used for iChat) or Google Talk. The instant-messaging features of Messages are more complicated because their components have been around longer and have been grafted together, although these features are also more powerful and they incorporate audio chat, video chat, screen sharing, and presentations.
The iMessage system and instant-messaging systems (AIM, Yahoo, Messenger, and Google Talk) and servers (Jabber) are separate, but they all appear nearly the same in the Messages program. In this ebook, I help you sort out which one to use when. I also explain how to configure accounts, and help you understand the best way to exchange messages, and even files, with others.
If you need help with a specific aspect of Messages, you can click a link below to start reading this ebook at any point. In particular, if you feel lost in the main Messages window, read Master the Messages Window.
The chapters build on one another, so I recommend that you read sequentially from start to finish—except that, if you’ve never used iChat, you should skip the “What’s New…” chapter.
This ebook is for users of 10.8 Mountain Lion. More specifically, we published this ebook shortly after Apple released 10.8.2, so the ebook includes a few changes to Messages that took place in 10.8.2.
Apple offered a beta of Messages for 10.7 Lion, but removed the download link before 10.8 Mountain Lion shipped. The company hasn’t provided a full release of Messages for Lion. This ebook doesn't cover the Messages beta for Lion.
This ebook is about Messages on a Mac. To the extent that a Mac user needs to know what might happen in iOS in order to communicate effectively, yes, this ebook has some pointers. Also, some the concepts covered, like the difference between an iMessage and a text message (SMS/MMS), would be helpful to know when working with Messages in iOS.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
October 26, 2012 -- Given that we just released this ebook, we have no immediate plans to update it.
November 20, 2012 --
The beta version of Messages for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which Apple released in February of 2012, expires on December 14. Those who participated in the Messages beta program should have received email from Apple alerting them to the expiration. However, it appears that Apple does not intend to release a final version of the software for Lion users; instead, Apple recommends that such users upgrade their Macs from Lion to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, which includes the final version of the Messages application. As Glenn says in a note accompanying his Introduction to Take Control of Messages in Mountain Lion, “I don’t cover the Messages beta for Lion as it was prone to crash and had other difficulties not necessarily found in the final (Mountain Lion) version.” For those Macs capable of running Mountain Lion, the upgrade to it is $19.99 from the Mac App Store.
—Michael E. Cohen
November 9, 2012 --
Though it lacks the drama of his recent championship run on "Jeopardy," Glenn Fleishman offers plenty of information about his latest book, Take Control of Messages in Mountain Lion, in his interview with Chuck Joiner on MacVoices. If you wonder where iChat went in Mountain Lion, tune in for the answers (this time, in the form of answers, not questions) .
—Michael E. Cohen
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