This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2012-10-31 at 5:10 p.m.
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Communicate Better with “Take Control of Messages in Mountain Lion”

by Adam C. Engst

In OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple replaced the long-standing iChat program with Messages, which takes its interface cues from the iPad version of the program. Although Messages looks easy, many people have had trouble understanding how to integrate different chat services and Apple devices, now that messages can appear on Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

For instance, should you use iMessage or AIM to chat with your friend? What if he’s home on his Mac or out while using his iPhone? Can you add someone else to the chat? What if you want to switch to an audio chat? To video? For video, should you use Google Talk or FaceTime? And so on. The mechanics may be simple, but the setup and human interactions can be anything but simple.

To bring some sense to the situation, we asked networking guru Glenn Fleishman to explain how you can bend Messages to your will, and the fruits of his labor are now available for only $10 in the 113-page “Take Control of Messages in Mountain Lion [1].”

As noted, the basics of using Messages aren’t difficult, but we’ve found all sorts of confusions and gotchas that the book explains. With it in hand, you’ll discover:

If you’ve found Messages awkward, “Take Control of Messages in Mountain Lion [2]” has the explanations you need to make Messages work for you (or, in a few cases, to say, “Sorry, that’s just not possible”).