Find iMessage Users & Contacts

iMessage is a great addition to iOS and OS X that lets you send unlimited text messages, pictures, videos, documents, and even files, between other iMessage users. Though you probably know at least a few people who are using iMessages, chances are good that more of your contacts have set it up and you just didn’t know about it yet. The good news is that iMessage users are easy to find, and as long as they have it configured properly on their iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac, you’ll be able to find who is using the service and who can receive things sent through the iMessage protocol.

Here’s how to find out who can receive iMessages easily in both iOS and on a Mac with OS X.

Find Other iMessage Users on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
You’ll need iOS 5 or later to do this:
  • Launch the Messages app in iOS (set up iMessage if you haven’t yet)
  • Tap the Compose button in the upper right corner to start a new message
  • Type the contacts name, or just put the first letter of their name and have a list populate
  • iMessage users will show a blue iMessage icon alongside their name

Now that Apple has brought iMessage compatibility to the Mac, the same functionality is provided but in a slightly different way.

Find iMessage Contacts with Messages for Mac
  • Messages for Mac is available to OS X 10.7 and OS X 10.8 users only:
  • Open Messages for Mac (download the beta for free if you haven’t already)
  • Hit Command+N or click the “Compose” button in the upper left corner of the iMessage window
  • Start typing a name to see the contacts list populate
  • Look for the blue iMessage badge next to names of users who can receive iMessages

One thing missing is that you won’t know what device they’re using, so whether or not you’re sending a message to a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or all of the above, you just won’t know. With how iMessages sync between devices, that doesn’t really matter much, but it would be a nice bonus to be able to find out what hardware they are using at the moment.