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Keeping track of iMessage conversations
By Jesse Hollington | 07.10.13

Q: How can I access iMessaging information? For example, my cell phone carrier doesn’t list the numbers of who I text if I am using iMessage. Is there a way to see those numbers that I send iMessages to?

- Lori

A: There’s no way to do this directly, other than of course keeping the conversations in your Messages app and referring back to them manually. Unlike traditional text messages, since iMessages don’t actually cost anything, there’s less of a need to track the number of messages you send or the numbers you communicate with.

That said, however, there are a number of third-party Mac and Windows utilities that can collect this information either directly from your iPhone or from the iPhone backups made by iTunes and store this information in a separate database.

If you’re a Mac user, Ecamm’s PhoneView ($30) is a particularly good choice as it syncs with your iPhone whenever it’s connected via USB and keeps an archive of all of your previous iMessage and text message conversations, even long after they’ve been deleted from the iPhone itself. Archived conversations can be viewed even when the iPhone is not connected and can be exported to PDF or text formats. PhoneView also provides the ability to archive your voicemail messages and call logs from your iPhone and view and export them in much the same manner.

For Windows users, CopyTrans Contacts ($15) provides a similar capability focused specifically on contact, calendar, and message information, viewing Messages from within the app or exporting them to a web page, Microsoft Word, Excel, or plain text formats.

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