Some would call iMessage on iPhones glorified SMS; technically, they’re not wrong. Coming out first in 2011, it was clear that this was Apple’s replacement for SMS, only with better features. One of them is that it’s exclusive to Apple devices; there’s no iPhone you’d see today that doesn’t have the iMessage feature.
In addition, it sends text messages and media much faster than regular SMS because it uses an internet connection with cellular data or WiFi.
The iPhone automatically detects if the recipient of your messages uses iMessage; if they do, then your texts would send in blue. If your recipients don’t have the iMessage app, then your messages would be sent via the regular SMS app and appear in the color green.
But what if you had to switch from iMessage to text messages in the case one of your friends recently swapped their iPhone for an Android device? Or you had to switch from text message to iMessage because one of your friends started using an iPhone? There are easy ways around these. Keep reading this post to find out more.
Just because the iMessage app has better features than regular SMS doesn’t mean it doesn’t have drawbacks. SMS has its pros and cons the same way iMessage does. So let’s look at both benefits and why you might want to switch from text message to iMessage and back sometimes.
Pros of SMS
Here are some of the benefits of text messaging over iMessage.
It saves you data as it does not require an internet connection (WiFi or cellular data)
This has to be the most significant benefit of using SMS. Of course, it’s not faster at sending messages but you do not need a WiFi connection or your cellular data to send and receive messages. So for those frugal with their data plans, this would be a good appeal to them.
Even though one would argue that the iMessage app doesn’t even consume that much data, the fact remains that whether it consumes much data or not, SMS would save you that much-needed data that you’d instead use to play clash of clans or Apex legends.
You can send messages to anybody with a working device
Unlike iMessage, where you’d have to switch from text message to iMessage if there’s been a change of devices, SMS allows you to send and receive text messages to and from any device with a cell phone network. So whether you’re using an Apple device or not, you can chat with your friends and family without hassle.
Pros of iMessage
Besides that iMessage sends not just text messages but pictures, videos, and gifs, there are other reasons and benefits if you switch from text messages to iMessage.
Your messages are secure
iMessages have end-to-end encryption, so you can send and receive messages without fear of your information being compromised by hackers.
You can sync your other apple devices
You can read and send messages via your other Apple devices with your message history on all synced devices. So you can always communicate with people on your Apple computer, Macbook, iPad, or any other Apple device.
Features of stickers and other effects
Using standard emojis is yesterday’s news; it’s time to move with the times and improve your texting. With iMessages, you can send stickers and effects; for example, you can send exploding confetti when you want to type in “Congratulations.” Thereby providing you with more creative ways to communicate.
You can view read receipts
This is no doubt one of the most useful features of iMessage. You can confirm whether your recipient has received and seen your messages. When you successfully send a text on iMessage, you’ll see a tag beneath the text bubble that says Delivered. It changes to Read when the recipient has opened the message. So you don’t have to sit around anxiously wondering if the recipient has seen that important message.
This bears a resemblance to the read receipts. The iMessage lets you see when the other person is typing with a few dots at the bottom of the message. It looks like this “…”.
Uses internet connection
This app works using the internet, so you all have to find a WiFi connection to send that important text.
If these don’t make you want to switch from text message to iMessage, then I don’t know what would.
You’ve been convinced and want to switch from text message to iMessage but don’t know how. It’s pretty simple, so you don’t have to worry. Just follow these steps:
1. Check internet connectivity
The first step is for you to check whether both you and your contacts are connected to the internet. This is because internet connectivity is a prerequisite for both sender and receiver for iMessage to work correctly. So either WiFi or Cellular Data must be turned ON and within range for it to work. To check your internet connection, go to Settings, open WiFi, and turn it ON. Or, in the Settings menu, open Mobile data and turn it ON.
2. Configure your message settings on your iPhone
This is the second step. You have to turn ON iMessages and turn OFF SMS for you to be able to send and receive messages using iMessage.
Head to Settings >> Messages >> Turn ON iMessage. Tap OK to confirm. Next, toggle the Send As SMS switch OFF.
You’ll still be able to receive text messages, but all messages you send will be sent as iMessages.
3. Manage send & receive
For the next step, you should revisit your settings to ensure you can send and receive messages.
Head to Settings >> Messages >> Select Send & Receive. Under You can receive messages to and reply from, make sure all your email addresses are ticked.
4. Test if it’s working by sending a message
Now that you’re all set, check if your iMessage app works by following these steps.
On your iPad or iPhone, head to your Messages app, start a new message to send to another iOS user.
The new message would be sent as an iMessage and appear in a blue bubble once delivered.
Your iPhone, by default, sends messages addressed to multiple recipients as group MMS messages. This means that when you send a message to multiple recipients, the message is sent via MMS, and the iPhone header displays “New Group MMS.” Turning this OFF and using standard SMS, your messages are sent as individual texts, and people do not see responses from the group. Here’s how you can do this:
- Step 1: From your Home screen, navigate to Settings >>Messages.
- Step 2: Tap the Send as SMS switch to turn it on.
- Step 3: Tap the Group Messaging switch to turn it off.
Now that it’s turned ON, here are a couple of things you should know:
- Messages directly sent to multiple recipients are sent as individual messages.
- Your message recipients can only reply to the sender; they cannot reply to the group or see the other message recipients.
How to switch a contact from iMessage to text message
Unfortunately, you cannot just turn off your iMessage for one contact; the iPhone doesn’t work like that. But the good news is that you can still switch from iMessage to text message for your Contacts. Here are some ways to do this:
Your receiver should turn off iMessage or deregister from the app entirely
Instead of going through hoops, you can have the receiver turn off their iMessage app. First, they must go to Settings >> Messages >> Toggle OFF the app. It’s as simple as that. And if the receiver has entirely switched from iOS to Android, they would have to deregister from the iMessage app.
Send your message as an SMS
For this to work, you must enable the Send As SMS option on your device. Go to Settings >> Messages >> Toggle on “Send As SMS.” Then turn OFF your internet connection and send a message to the contact. If your message wasn’t sent, you would see an exclamation mark icon beneath the text bubble. Tap on it and select the “Send As Text Message” option.
If your iMessage texts are delivered as standard SMS texts, even to Apple devices, then the iMessage setting could be turned off. You can check if this is the problem by going to Settings >> Messages >> and seeing if the iMessage option is enabled.
If the iMessage setting is turned ON and your messages are still going through as SMS messages, then that will be a little tougher to troubleshoot. One reason for this could be because you just switched iPhones. In this case, you may need to return to the old device and turn the iMessage setting OFF.
And it’s also very possible that the iMessage service isn’t working properly, or you have a poor Internet connection. So make sure to check all these, and if it still isn’t solved, then you should contact Apple support.
- Difference Between Sent and Delivered on Android and iPhone
- If Someone Blocked Me Will They Still Get My Texts?
- What does Message Blocking Is Active Mean on Android & iPhone
John follows everything happening in the tech industry, from the latest gadget launches to some of the big-name moves in the industry. He covers opinionated pieces and writes on some of the biggest names in the industry. John is also a freelance writer, so he shares articles on freelancing every now and then. email: email@example.com