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Every now and then, a jailbreak package comes along that seems like it should have been a part of Apple’s own implementation of iOS. The new Merge tweak that has been unveiled by Joshua Tucker and Andrew Richardson during the JailbreakCon event in San Francisco is one of those creations and it wouldn’t be surprising if Apple actually adopted it going forward. Merge greatly improves the iMessage feature on compatible iOS devices by merging conversations into one on a per contact basis.

The default behavior of iOS 5, iOS 6 and iMessage is to start a new conversation thread for every different address that a message is sent to or received from. That way of handling conversations was all well and good when messages were only coming from mobile numbers, but the introduction of iMessage allows messages to be sent and received from email addresses, too. It can sometimes get a little confusing if people change the caller ID of their iMessage account, leaving multiple conversation threads from the same person.

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When installed, Merge greatly improves that system by effectively merging all conversations into one that come from details that are saved against a single contact. The package does a great job of handling the conversations seamlessly and even appends the conversation user-interface to show exactly what number or email address the message has been received from. The messaging flow is made a lot easier to follow, but the integrity of the sending details is preserved and available at all times.

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Deciding what number or email address to reply to is always extremely easy when using Merge. Holding down on the contact button, or contact icon if using an iPad, will invoke a new action sheet containing all of the available address details for the recipient. Simply tapping on and selecting one of the addresses will allow the message to be sent. One of the great things about Merge is that it works right out of the box with no options or settings to configure. A real solution to a real problem and definitely a package worth checking out for those who do a lot of iMessaging.

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Merge is available as a $1.49 download from the ModMyi repository and requires a jailbroken device running iOS 5 or above.

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