iMessage, Apple’s cross device messaging service for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac, has been a relative success since first appearing with iOS 5 and subsequently, OS X Lion. Yet like most fledgling services, it has had its fair share of teething issues, with a notable lack of proper blocking / reporting feature in place for spam messages. iOS 7 will allow users to block Apple IDs causing offence as we already know, but now, the Cupertino has also rolled out a nifty spam reporting feature enabling users to take action against any kind of intrusive or otherwise unwanted behavior.

There was quite a furor earlier this year when it was revealed that a security flaw within the iMessage infrastructure allowed just about anybody to spam another’s device with a simple DoS-like attack. A spate of such episodes, which affected a significant portion of the developer community, highlighted the need for a more stringent approach to security with Apple’s messaging service, and since then, we’ve seen the company make significant strides in an attempt to do exactly that.

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The new spam reporting tool, while perhaps not a long-term solution, enables users of iMessage to report nuisance correspondence in a relatively swift fashion. It involves sending a message to imessage.spam@icloud.com, including a screenshot of the message you received. You also need to include the full email address / contact number from which you received the message, as well as the date and the time.

Here’s the complete process as outlined by Apple itself on its website:

iMessages spam reporting

Of course, it’s not quite as streamlined as a spam report button would be, but we’d expect such a feature in due course. Once Tim Cook’s men have finished meticulously piecing together iOS 7 with its upgraded iMessage system, we should expect to see a typically-Apple security enhancement ensuring that iMessage users are better protected than they are at this point in time.

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Of all the divisive features to have sprouted up from iOS over the past few revisions, iMessage is arguably the most useful in the day-to-day routine, and while the downtimes are still a bit too frequent for the liking of many, it’s good to see that work is being done to ensure a much improved overall service moving forward.

However, you can still block unwanted iMessages to an extent if you’re running firmware older than iOS 7 beta, check out this post we’ve outlined here on how to block iMessage alerts from a contact on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch.

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