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iMessage vs. SMS/MMS – What is the difference between these messages on iPhone

Many owners of iPhone they do not know how to use even 50% of the capabilities and characteristics of the device. Many of the applications and utilities installed on iPhone are not fully exploited, and as for the Messages application, many do not know the difference between iMessage and SMS / MMS. iMessage vs. SMS / MMS

Message application features on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac

Before we see what happens with the three services, iMessage, SMS and MMS, let's see what are the features of the Messages application. Application that we find each one iPhone, iPad, Pod Touch, Apple Watch and Mac.


Although many associate the Messages application with sending and receiving text messages of type SMS, the Messages application also supports MMS services si iMessage. Each service has its own characteristics and using separate data transmission and reception protocols.

iMessage vs SMS/MMS – What is the difference between these services

SMS (Short Message Service) is the text messaging service supported by mobile operators. When we receive or send an SMS message, it uses operator's GSM protocol. Images, video content, documents or other files cannot be sent via SMS. SMS text messages can only be exchanged between phone numbers.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is also a service offered by mobile operators, but through MMS small media content can be sent. MMS uses the entire GSM cellular network and most of the time MMS messages are additionally charged by mobile operators.

iMessage is the messaging service of Apple, and it can only be used between users in the ecosystem. It is necessary that both the sender and the recipient have a device iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac and have the service iMessage activated.
By iMessage you can send both text messages and media files (pictures, videos), documents, voice messages, emoji, stickers and other files. The connection in the conversation is made on the basis Apple ID, and not on the phone number as in the case of SMS and MMS.
Service iMessage requires internet connection.

The confusion of many users arises due to the fact that so iMessage as well as SMS / MMS, I use the Messages application. That's why we often send pictures or videos to non-users iPhone, and these messages reach the recipient as MMS, and we are charged by the mobile operator.

How we distinguish conversations iMessage SMS / MMS?

An SMS or MMS conversation in the Messages application on iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch or iPad, is marked in green, while a conversation iMessage is marketed in blue. Both the recipient's phone number and the phrases sent in the conversation are differentiated by these two colors.

iMessage vs SMS or MMS
iMessage vs SMS or MMS

When we want to start a new conversation and look for the recipient contact, compatible phone numbers iMessage they are marked in blue, while the incompatible ones are green.

iMessage vs SMS/MMS
iMessage vs SMS/MMS

They may not appear marked in blue and green as soon as you search. Wait about two seconds Apple check the status of contacts in your address book iMessage vs SMS / MMS.

iMessage pe iOS 16

Apple added in iOS 16 new features of Messages for the service iMessage. Users can edit words in a sent message, delete a sent message, or mark a conversation as “unread".

iMessage vs. SMS/MMS – What is the difference between these messages on iPhone

About the author


I am pleased to share my experiences with computers, mobile telephony and operating systems, develop web projects and provide the most useful tutorials and tips.
I like to "play" on iPhone, MacBook Pro, iPad, AirPort Extreme and on macOS operating systems, iOS, Android and Windows.

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