How Does Text Messaging Work on an iPhone?

Last updated: May 23, 2017 - 10:51am EDT

Are you new to the world of mobile devices, or just got your first iPhone and looking to learn more about text messaging and how it works on your new device? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll be giving you an introduction to iPhone text messaging and telling you a bit about how texting works, both in general and specifically on iPhones.

Let’s start out with the basics. What exactly is text messaging and why should you use it?

What is text messaging?

Text messaging is a mode of communication that allows you to send a message from your mobile device to another mobile device. Using your mobile carrier network, you can send and receive text messages to/from any mobile device on any network. Your monthly cell phone plan likely includes text messaging.

New iMessage conversation

Get in touch with your personal mobile carrier for more information about pricing and plans for text messaging. However, due to advancements in Internet-based communication, text messaging is usually standard on any phone plan, and is often, unlimited.

How does text messaging work?

Text messaging works by allowing you to send messages over your cell phone network to one of your friends or family members on their mobile device. The message sends from your device to your carrier, and then transfers the message on to the intended recipient, viewable on their mobile device.

SMS (short message service) text messaging has been around since 1992, and MMS (multimedia message service) since 2002. These messaging services are available on pretty much every type of mobile device. In 2012, Apple introduced their own messaging system called iMessage, exclusive to their range of devices. It’s similar to SMS and MMS text messaging, but has some differences that make it unique.

That’s a general introduction to text messaging. Now, let’s get into some details specific to iPhone text messages.

What is iMessage?

iMessage is Apple’s own messaging system that allows users to send messages from their Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer) to other people who also have Apple devices. This system is different from text messaging as it uses an Internet connection to send messages rather than your mobile network.

If you’re using an iPhone, your regular text message conversations will appear with green message bubbles, and iMessage conversations will have blue speech bubbles. iMessages can only be sent to contacts who have an Apple device with iMessage enabled. Your device will automatically detect whether the person you are messaging can receive iMessages or normal SMS text messages.

If you’d like to learn more about it, check out our free iMessage course.

Why is text messaging so popular?

Text messaging or “texting” is popular because of its convenience. People like to be able to communicate as quickly and efficiently as possible, and don’t want to spend a lot of time having long, drawn-out conversations on the phone or over e-mail. Texting allows you to get the message across faster.

Pros and cons of text messaging

People love text messaging for many reasons:

  • It’s a quick and easy way to communicate with your friends and family
  • It can save you time spent talking on the phone
  • It can save you money by allowing you to avoid long distance phone call fees
  • Text messaging is available on all kinds of mobile devices and with any mobile carrier, so unlike iMessage, you don’t have to have a certain device to send or receive SMS or MMS text messages

On the other hand, some people may still prefer to have a conversation on the phone rather than texting. In addition:

  • If you want to have a long conversation or need to say a lot, texting may not be the right way to get your message across
  • Texting also doesn’t allow you to hear someone’s tone of voice or see their facial expression as you would in normal conversation, so you may not be able to get as good of a sense of their feelings or emotions
  • With the rise in use of mobile devices, many people have become somewhat addicted to their phones, and texting just adds on to this

 

That’s it for our introduction to text messaging and how it works on iPhones. Be sure to read through the rest of the articles in our iPhone texting course to learn more.

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