Of all the Apple tools available, iMessage might seem like the most targeted for teenagers, friends, and families. The ease it offers in sharing multimedia, stickers, emoticons, GIFs, for example, makes it the ultimate consumer product. But it’s consistently included in a powerful business messaging solution and collaboration tool. You can even think of it as a basic – and free – alternative to Slack or Microsoft Teams. It’s a view that will only become more real with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, which will expand the enterprise capabilities of iMessage when they arrive this fall.

iMessage has been around for over a decade and offers many advantages over standard SMS and MMS messages. It boasts media and file support, group chats, read receipts, the ability to integrate content from a range of other apps, and tight integration across all of Apple’s core product lines.

Some recent additions make it even more useful for business users. Last year, Apple introduced a new Shared with You feature that displays content received in the Messages app directly in a connected app. URLs appear automatically in Safari, for example, and songs or albums in Apple Music. Along with expanding this feature across platforms (including macOS Ventura), Apple will expand support for third-party apps and direct in-app collaboration.

More on that in a moment. First, let’s see what you can do now.

Messages in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and Monterey

While iMessage will receive major collaboration improvements in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura, let’s take a look at how to use Messages on Apple’s operating systems as they exist now.

There are three main parts to any business chat and collaboration platform:

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