Just days before Apple was set to launch iOS 6, the tech giant experienced a potentially damaging incident regarding its mobile operating system. On Monday, iMessage – Apple's answer to SMS messaging – went down, which prevented users from sending "text" messages via the iMessge system. While the service was eventually up and running later in the day, the event showcased why many answers to SMS messaging are still pretenders and why traditional texting will continue to reign supreme.
Apple release iMessage last October, a service that runs on the SMS application but uses data networking. The advantage of this service is that users can send messages to other iMessage users when they only have Wi-Fi and are unable to connect to their carrier's local tower. However, incidents like Monday's show that any advantages gained can easily be lost.
Michael Harper, a contributor for the online publication RedOrbit, covered the story and mentioned that users had to switch off their iMessage service and revert to standard SMS texting.
"Therefore, iPhone users were still able to text normally with everyone," Harper wrote. "iPad, iPod Touch and Mountain Lion users, on the other hand, were out of luck when it came to iMessage yesterday, and likely had to resort to sending old fashioned email or just pulling their phones from their pockets and sending a text."
Companies should remember this incident when executing mobile marketing campaigns. Using channels such as iMessage or various social networks can hit a decent number of people, but if and when these services go down your marketing efforts will be wasted. SMS marketing relies on carriers to deliver messages. Therefore, not only will this communique hit a greater number of people, it has proven to be more reliable. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools marketers need to launch effective SMS campaigns.
The nation held its collective breath and prayed for the safety of the faculty and students at the University of Texas on Friday morning, as reportings of a bomb scare reached news outlets around the country. Thankfully, the incident was a hoax and no one was hurt, but many are saying the University should use the incident as a learning experience and adjust its emergency broadcast policies, particularly those concerning text alerts.
According to an article in the Daily Texan, the school sent out a text alert around 9:50 a.m., roughly 75 minutes after University officials were aware of the threat. The school used a text alert service to send a message to student's phones, telling them to evacuate the campus. Many are now upset, stating that the alert was sent too long after the threat was made and, had there actually been a bomb, the indecisiveness could have put everyone in danger.
"I think 9:50 a.m. was way too late to decide they were going to evacuate," said Daniel Cortte, a freshman at the University.
According to University of Texas Police Department chief Robert Dahlstrom, the threat stated that bombs were going to go off around 10:05 a.m. Had this happened, the students would have been given a window of only 15 minutes to evacuate the campus, even though the threat had been received 90 minutes before the text messages were sent.
This underlines the importance of finding a valuable emergency text service. In these situations, officials must not only relay important information, but they must do so in a timely manner. The school is fortunate that no such incident took place, but next time they may not be so lucky. Organizations looking to improve the efficiency of their emergency broadcasting efforts should look into an SMS services provider. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools to send powerful messages to a large number of people in a short amount of time.