Thanks, I realise this yes. He said he had a message waiting to send to me but had fallen asleep before it sent. I said if that was the case the 3 dots/typing indicator would have been there the whole time surely? Confused.
The typing indicator only shows if someone is actually in the act of responding to an iMessage. If they started to respond and didn't finish the response, the indicator could show for an extended time.
I've kind of formed my own opinion of how this seems to work, just from observation. It looks like when the other person starts typing you get the 3 dots. The dots will stay on for a little while, even if they stop typing. After a certain number of seconds without typing the dots will go away. If they start typing again the dots will show up again. I've watched this and can tell when someone gets interrupted during a reply, then returns to typing.
I don't like that little three dogs thing for that and I wish I could turn it off for that very reason. At least u can turn the read receipts off. I ran into a crazy girl in the past and it's been off since.