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How to Receive iMessages in Your iPad's Mail App

The Messages app on your iPad lets you exchange iMessages with anyone using an Apple i-device with iOS 5 or higher or with a Mac running OS X Mountain Lion or OS X Mavericks. First things first. Decide whether you want to hear an alert when you receive a message:

  • If you want to hear an alert sound when you receive a message, tap the Settings icon on your Home screen, tap Sounds→Text Tone, and then tap one of the available sounds. You can audition the sounds by tapping them. If you have a Mac, you can create your own text tones in GarageBand.

    You hear the sounds when you audition them in the Settings app, even if you have the ring/silent switch set to Silent. After you exit the Settings app, however, you won’t hear a sound when a message arrives if the ring/silent switch is set to Silent.

  • If you don’t want to hear an alert when a message arrives, (instead of tapping one of the listed sounds) tap the first item in the list of alert tones: None.

  • If you don’t want any messages, you can turn iMessages off. The Do Not Disturb feature that arrived with iOS 6 lives up to its name. Flip the switch in Settings so the setting is turned on, and you see a moon icon in the status bar. Even easier, turn Do Not Disturb on via Control Center, and you won’t be inundated with messages.

The following pointers explain what you can do with iMessages that you receive:

  • Receiving a message when your iPad is asleep: All or part of the text and the name of the sender appear on the Unlock screen. Slide to the right to reply to a specific message, as shown with the first message in the figure (you still will have to get past any passcodes first).

    image0.jpg
  • Receiving a message when your iPad is awake and unlocked: All or part of the message and the name of the sender appear at the top of the screen in front of whatever’s already there. If what’s already there is your Home screen, you’ll notice that the Messages icon displays the number of unread messages.

    All these notifications are on by default; turn them off in the Settings app’s Notification Center pane if you don’t care for them. And you’ll also see any notifications for messages you’ve received in Notification Center.

    image1.jpg
  • Reading or replying to a message: Tap the Messages icon on your Home screen, swipe downward from the top of the screen to display the Notification Center, or tap the notification if you can be quick about it (it fades away in a few seconds).

  • Following the conversation: Each conversation you have is saved as a series of text bubbles. Your messages appear on the right side of the screen in blue bubbles; the other person’s messages appear on the left in gray ones.

    When your message has been delivered, that fact will be noted just below the last bubble in your exchange. If there was a problem delivering the message, you will see Not Delivered instead. If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

    image2.jpg
  • Forwarding a conversation: If you want to forward all or part of a conversation to another iMessage user, press against a text bubble and tap the More button. This brings up a Forward button at the bottom-right hand corner of the screen (it appears as a curved arrow).

  • Tap any additional text, photo, or video bubbles you want to forward (the one you pressed to summon the More button is already selected) so a check mark appears in a circle to the left of all bubbles you want to forward. Then tap the Forward button at the lower right of the screen. The contents of the text bubbles with check marks are copied to a new text message; specify a recipient and then tap Send.

  • Deleting part of a single conversation thread: Press against a text bubble and tap More. A circle appears to the left of each text bubble. Tap a text bubble and a check mark appears in the circle.

    When you’ve added a check mark to all the text bubbles you want to delete, tap the Delete button (it resembles a trash can) at the bottom of the screen, and then tap Delete Message(s). Or, to delete the entire conversation in one fell swoop, tap the Delete All button at the top of the screen and then tap Delete Conversation.

  • Deleting an entire conversation thread: Tap the Edit button at the upper left of the Messages list, tap the red – (minus) icon that appears to the left of the person’s name, and then tap the Delete button that appears to the right of the name.

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