New Mountain Lion Feature: Receive iMessages Even With Messages.app Closed.

As we all know, Apple released the latest Developer Preview of Mountain Lion on Wednesday. The question still remains what new features have been added, what bugs have been exterminated, and what new bugs have crept in. Well, we were lucky enough to pick up on at least one of the hidden features that have been added.

The one complaint I’ve seen passed around Twitter that’s probably one of the biggest gripes people have had, that even while Messages.app was open iMessages were still being sent to all devices, appears to have been fixed in the latest Developer Preview 3. Now, while this is great news for those of us that have multiple devices linked to our iMessages account, that alone wouldn’t be noteworthy of a post; maybe a Twitter post, but not a news post.

We have also been able to discover a feature that has been added, that just by itself, might make Messages.app a must have. This new feature is something that I personally have been hoping to have integrated, as I felt without it, iMessages on the desktop environment was just a novelty feature.

So, enough of a lead-in, I am now pleased to inform you that iMessages are now received in the background AND a notification is pinged to Notification Center in this latest build. What this means is, you are no longer required to have Messages.app open to receive notifications of your iMessages, just as you do not need to have Messages.app open on your iOS device. This convenient feature shows that Apple has great plans for iMessages, as they want it in the forefront, regardless if you are using other chat protocols or not.

For those who share computers and are worried about iMessages coming through while you personally aren’t at the computer, there is a fix. All you have to do is set the iMessage account to “Offline” in Messages. This prohibits iMessages from being notified, although in addition, it also disables receiving of iMessages until you reconnect (which requires logging in again).

So there you go, Apple has pushed a small backend update to Messages.app in terms of iMessages, this backend feature doesn’t (at this time) work for protocols such as AIM or Yahoo messenger, although with Apple opening up Push Notifications into OS X, there is some off-shoot chance that we could see this feature there as well.