A Reddit thread citing an unimpressed iMessage user’s blog post has shed light on a number of gaping holes in Apple’s handling of the platform, especially in relation to old iMessages and large conversations.
For starters, all you get in the name of storage management on iMessage is an option to ‘Auto Delete Old Conversations’. When enabled, the option indiscriminately scraps any and all iMessage texts that are over one year old.
This is quite possibly the most significant, but also (theoretically) the most easily fixable, gripe iMessage users have with the platform. You can choose to selectively keep or delete photos or videos you receive as iMessage attachments from the Photos app, so why isn’t there a similar option for iMessage conversations?
Why doesn’t iOS’s resident messaging app have an option to selectively manage the storage space each iMessage conversation takes up when third-party competitors like WhatsApp have had one for ages?
In pursuit of top-notch security and privacy features, it looks like Apple pretty much neglected the iMessage Search feature. While Apple’s proprietary instant messaging platform does have a search feature, it’s sub-par at best.
In fact, the farther back in time you want the search feature to go, the lower the chances of it returning accurate results, it seems.
“Searching for particular iMessages is not useful because it’s not reliable when searching for iMessages that are 2+ years old. The results miss the broader context of the conversation or, in my case, old messages simply don’t show up in search,” wrote disgruntled and disappointed user Spencer Dailey in his blog post.
Since search doesn’t work very well, the only option you have left is to scroll through the entirety of a conversation to find what you’re looking for. If you’re doing this while someone is actively messaging you, it pushes you back down to the latest message, a major pain point.
Also, if the conversation’s particularly long, you can’t even do that — trying to manually scroll your way to the top of long iMessage conversations crashes the app on both iOS and Mac. The platform is flawed across Apple’s entire ecosystem, complain users.
While iMessage is a convenient way to chat between Apple users, the messaging feature still lacks features for group conversations, as competitors such as Facebook’s WhatsApp is better.