All about iMessages
iMessages is a great way to communicate with your contacts. You can easily send text messages, photos, and videos using this app, and you can also have group conversations with multiple people. Plus, you can keep track of your conversations by archiving them or deleting them when you’re finished.
iMessage is not a VoIP service
Despite being very similar to other forms of instant messaging, iMessage does not use Voice over Internet Protocol. Instead, it uses SMS or MMS for text messages and data connection or Wi-Fi to send and receive media. This is why you need a cellular data or Wi-Fi connection to use it, and not just the service’s available on your carrier.
You’re probably thinking: “Can I send as many text messages as I want through iMessage now?” No, Apple still limits each text message to 160 characters (similar to SMS). However, Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 5 that allows you to send an unlimited amount of photos and videos within the same message.
Just like with normal text messages, iMessages will be free if you’re sending them between two people who use iPhones on the same carrier network (SMS messages still count against your text messaging plan). However, if you’re sending a message to someone who uses an Android phone or another non-Apple device, it will use your data connection and count against your monthly data allotment.
What’s the cost of iMessages?
One important issue that is essential to understand about iMessage is that when you send a message to someone, Apple will first check your iMessage account to see if you have a free texting plan or not. If you do, Apple will send the text via iMessage, but if you don’t have a texting plan, it will use regular SMS/MMS and charge you for sending that message to the recipient’s phone number.
What if I don’t have a free texting plan?
Apple will charge you for sending an iMessage to another person on a non-iPhone device or if the sender doesn’t have a free texting plan. Any message sent as an iMessage will be routed through Apple’s servers, and this determines if it is send as regular SMS/MMS or as an iMessage. Apple says that on average, messages sent between two iPhone users are about five times more data intensive than SMS/MMS messages.
What’s the deal with group messages?
If you’ve ever tried to send a long text message to more than one person at once, you know how difficult it can be to get everything typed in right on your phone. Apple’s iMessages simplifies this process by letting you add more contacts to a conversation, and it automatically splits up the messages that each person sends so they don’t overlap.
Can I use iMessage over 3G or 4G?
When iOS 5 first launched, many users were disappointed to learn that iMessages can only be sent and received over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. Apple claims that this is to prevent the service from being disrupted by third-party apps running in the background on your device. However, this still means you won’t be able to use iMessage if you don’t have access to a reliable Wi-Fi connection.
Does iMessage show up on phone bill
Yes, iMessage texts will show up on your phone bill. If you send or receive an iMessage, it counts as a text message. So if your plan is limited to 200 texts and you go over that amount, expect an overage fee from your carrier (or be warned beforehand). If you want unlimited texting for one month, most carriers offer this service at around $5/month.
There are a variety of features that make iMessage stand out from other forms of instant messaging, but its most unique feature is undoubtedly the ability to send an unlimited number of photos and videos within one message.
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