How to Switch from Text Message to iMessage

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.

Top benefits of both text messages and iMessage, and why you may want to interchange at times

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.

Pretty sure those of you wanting to switch from text message to iMessage are starting to have second thoughts.

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.

Live chatting

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.

Read also: How to Sign Into iMessage on iPhone, iPad & MacBooks

How to switch from text message to iMessage on iPhone

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.

Read also: How to Change Green Messages to Blue on iPhones

How to switch a group message from iMessage to text

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.