Related to those several billion messages, what I like about iMessage is also a little bit what I don’t like about it: that I can use it on all my devices. It’s great to have a chat in the messages app on my Mac and then leave to go on an errand without having to say “BRB” or “TTYL”. But, it’s a bit annoying when an incoming message causes all my devices to beep.
While iOS and OS X are much smarter at this than they used to be — if I’m mostly using my Mac to talk to someone on iMessage, then an incoming message notification won’t ping on my iPhone right away — but it’s still not perfect. If my Mac’s messages app is in the “background” and I don’t bring it to the front as soon as a message arrives, then a few seconds later the message notification pings on my iPhone and iPad.
It’s not just iMessages either — it’s also reminders and calendar notifications. As I said in my calendar-centric interview with Lex, when an event reminder goes off at my desk, it’s like a fire alarm.
But this is a hard problem to solve, no doubt. Short of reading my mind and being acutely aware of which device has my attention at that moment, what should the logic be? How can my iOS and OS X devices know where my attention and focus is? Maybe they can’t. And, just throwing this out there, but maybe some sort of Apple wearable device could help.