Our road trip through new iOS 6 features takes us to Apple’s Messages app, which now includes a promising new tool for iPad users.

Messages, which arrived with iOS 5, is supposed to provide users with a streamlined messaging service, regardless of your device. However, one of the drawbacks of the current version is that you can’t message users on the iPad via your iPhone number.

In iOS 6 beta 2, you now can.

Messages App - iOS 6

Messages App – iOS 6

However, this feature isn’t activated “out of the box,” at least in the most recent iOS beta release.

To activate this new feature, beta customers need to log out of their iMessage account and then log in again.

This is done by selecting Messages in the Settings app. 

Once this is done, you’ll see both your email and phone number as available messaging options.

As part of my tests, I synced my accounts on the iPad, following the steps above.

Then, someone sent me a text message via my cell phone number, which I promptly received on both my iPad and iPhone.

And yes, I can confirm that this functionality doesn’t somehow go through the iPhone first. In other words, even when your handset is off, you’ll receive the message on your iPad.

One concern I do have, however, is what happens if you change your phone number or delete your phone service altogether?

I assume that in this case Messages will sync to reflect the change or deletion of this account. Plus, since everything is tied directly to your Apple ID, even if someone else gets your phone number, they won’t be getting your future messages. At least that is my understanding.

What this means for iDevice owners, of course, is that you’ll never again miss texts from your friends or colleagues, no matter where you are, or what device your are currently using (even when your phone is off). And, with Messages arriving for OS X Mountain Lion in a matter of days, this streamlining is only going to get better … or so we hope.

We thank a reader in Oregon for this tip. If you have a tip to give us, simply email us at [email protected].

Be sure to check out our previous Quick Picks: Waze Maps IntegrationMusic PreviewApp Store purchasing changesMail app changes in iOS 6 and That Stretchy Thing.

What other iOS 6 features would you like AppAdvice to highlight in the coming weeks and months?