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Sending, Receiving, and Managing Texts and iMessages

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Explore the texting and messaging functionality of your iPhone.

This chapter is from the book

You can use the iPhone’s Messages app to send, receive, and converse; you can also send and receive images, videos, audio, and links with this app. In this way, you can maintain any number of conversations with other people at the same time, and your iPhone lets you know whenever you receive a new message via audible and visible notifications you configure. In addition to text conversations with other people, many organizations use text messaging to send important updates, such as airlines communicating flight status changes. You might find messaging to be one of the most used functions of your iPhone.

Getting Started

Texting, also called messaging, is an especially great way to communicate with others when you have something quick you want to say, such as an update on your arrival time. It’s much easier to send a quick text, “I’ll be there in 10 minutes,” than it is to make a phone call or send an email. Texting/messaging is designed for relatively short messages. It is also a great way to share photos and videos quickly and easily. And if you communicate with younger people, you might find they tend to respond quite well since texting is a primary form of communication for them.

There are two types of messages that you can send with and receive on your iPhone using the Messages app.

The Messages app can send and receive text messages via your cell network based on telephone numbers. Using this option, you can send text messages to and receive messages from anyone who has a cell phone capable of text messaging.

You can also use the iMessage function within the Messages app to send and receive messages via an email account, to and from other iOS devices (using iOS 5 or newer), or Macs (running OS X Lion or newer). This is especially useful when your cell phone account has a limit on the number of texts you can send via your cell account; when you use iMessage for texting, there is no limit on the amount of data you can send when you are connected to the Internet using a Wi-Fi network and so you incur no additional costs for your messages. This is also really useful because you can send messages to, and receive messages from, iPod touch, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac users. The limitations to iMessage are that it only works on those supported devices, and the people with whom you are messaging have to set up iMessage on their device (which isn’t difficult).

You don’t need to be overly concerned about which type is which because the Messages app makes it clear which type a message is by color and text. It uses iMessage when available and automatically uses cellular texting when it isn’t possible to use iMessage.

You can configure iMessage on multiple devices, such as an iPhone and an iPad. This means you have the same iMessages on each device. So, you can start a conversation on your iPhone, and then continue it on an iPad at a later time.

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