questionswhat is the best messaging app for the ipad?

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It is important to remember that an iPad is not a phone... Messages on the iPad is an instant messenger that works just like enhanced text messaging, but does not use text messaging services at all. It currently interoperates with other iPads, iPhones, iPod touch, and Macs running Mountain Lion. The Messages app on the iPhone is slightly different as it also incorporates the phone's carrier's SMS service, so when you try to message someone who is not using iMessage it has that to fall back on, whereas on the iPad it just tells you it can't work.
That said, for messaging others who have iDevices or Macs, iMessages are the way to go.
Now, moving on to alternative messaging tools that work well... If your friend has an AIM or Yahoo or Skype account, there's AIM or Y!Messenger or Skype for iPad. There are also other random chat apps like Kik & LiveProfile.
And one solid option if she wants actual text messaging on the iPad is to get a Google Voice account and corresponding app.
-=C=-

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Guess this says something about where my mind is at today. After reading your question, I was wondering how good a massage could possibly be from an iPhone app.