Recently upgrading to iOS6 broke all the queries I used on my database - the sneaky devils look like they've changed the database format.
Nothing stays the sameThe most obvious change is that there are no longer non-normalised numbers in the message table; previously you could have '+44 7966 123 456' and '+447966123456' in the address field. This has sensibly been replaced with the id column in the handle table.
As you can see below the tables are castly different after upgrading from iOS5.
The 'handle' table
$ sqlite3 -header db/sms.db sqlite> SELECT * FROM handle WHERE id LIKE '%68' LIMIT 1; ROWID|id|country|service|uncanonicalized_id 266|+4479xxxxxx68|gb|SMS|
The 'message' table
Most of the columns appear to be self-explanatory, except for the date fields. Some further searching reveals an existing article about the iOS6 sms.db and that the dates are in fact Mac Absolute time.
Extracting useful dataYou can explore the tables and learn much more than I'm writing in this post, but you'll probably want a quick way to extract messages and senders.
The X most recent messages
sqlite> SELECT h.id, m.text, m.service FROM message m JOIN handle h ON m.handle_id=h.ROWID ORDER BY m.date DESC LIMIT 1; id = +4479xxxxxx68 text = Testing No Cellular Data service = SMS
All messages from +4479xxyyzz58
sqlite> SELECT h.id, m.text, m.service FROM message m JOIN handle h ON m.handle_id=h.ROWID WHERE h.id='+4479xxyyzz58' ORDER BY m.date ASC LIMIT 1; id = +4479xxyyzz58 text = Testing service = SMS
What services have I received messages with?
sqlite> .mode column sqlite> SELECT DISTINCT(m.service) FROM message m; service ---------- SMS iMessage
What accounts have I received messages for?
sqlite> .width 40 sqlite> SELECT DISTINCT(m.account) FROM message m; account ---------------------------------------- p:+4479xxyyzz68 e:firstname.lastname@example.org p:+4479xxyyzz22 p:+4479xxyyzz58
Once I realised that this database had been examined and written about in far more detail than I currently have time for I decided to stop; if you want to read a far more thorough article describing the database, please check out "Who's Texting? The iOS6 sms.db".