Neil Gupta

Apple Fixed iMessages's Multiple Alert Problem

393 words • 2 minutes to read

Anybody with multiple Apple devices that are synced to the same iCloud account has experienced the problem of being bombarded with iMessage alerts. Each message would cause all of your devices to light up and beep. This got so annoying that I finally turned off vibrations and sounds for texts on my phone.

There have been many suggested solutions from the community, almost all of which overcomplicated things by requiring some sort of configuration by the user or constantly keeping track of device location. Anything that makes you order your devices by alert priority is not really a solution because it defeats the point of iCloud, which is simplicity and convenience. Keeping track of your device locations or even your overall last used device to choose the one nearest you would drain battery and invade privacy, two of Apple’s biggest no nos.

Luckily, with iOS 6, Apple seems to have solved the problem in a rather intuitive way. You see an alert on the last device you replied to that person from first, and then your other devices will get the notification 2 seconds later.

In other words, if I’m out and about with my iPhone, texting Paul and Eric, their texts will come to my phone. Pretty straightforward.

When I come home, their texts will continue to come to my phone first and my other devices will alert me a couple seconds later, if I don’t look at the text on my phone in that time.

Since I’m sitting at my computer by now, I decide to reply to Eric from my computer. His next text goes straight to my computer and doesn’t cause my phone to buzz this time. But when Paul finally replies, it buzzes my phone.

I reply to Paul as well from my computer, and now my phone is entirely silent.

However, if I didn’t reply to Paul and he messaged me again, it would go to all of my devices at the same time.

I am not sure why the last device used is person-specific, as in why Paul continued to send to my phone until I replied to him even though Eric’s texts prioritized my computer.

Now I just wonder why Apple can’t use this same iOS 6 push notification syncing feature to automatically keep my other notifications in sync, like Facebook or Twitter.

Written on September 25, 2012 in Chicago.