Government // Mobile & Wireless
News
5/10/2012
08:30 PM
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Tip: Why Are People Not Getting My iMessages?

Do you find that messages sent through the Messages app on iOS are unreliable? If all you want to do is send an SMS text message, you can make it work better with a Settings change.

same as caption
I was recently trying to send an instant message to a colleague via the Messages app on my iPhone. She wasn't responding, and then I noticed that I got an error message indicating that it wasn't delivered. What was up?

Turns out Messages makes decisions about how to send your message based on what it knows about the sender and recipient's connections. Sometimes it will send SMS text messages but it will usually try to route them over the Internet through their own servers from one user to the other. It can be confusing since the same app is used for both message types and Apple doesn't specifically tell you which method it chooses. It does tell you though.

same as caption
Notice the message with the error above: it has a blue background. That means Messages is sending it out over the Internet. The message to the right has a green background. That means it's sent with SMS, directly through the phone system.

As a general matter, it's a good idea for Messages to try to use the Internet where possible. The cost of messages over the Internet (or at least the marginal cost) is zero. SMS Text messages use SS7 signaling over the phone network and carriers charge for them. It may be that you have an unlimited texting plan so your marginal cost is zero, but you did pay for the plan.

But the opportunities for things to go wrong with messages sent over the Internet are many, and so such messaging is less reliable.

Would you like to change Messages so that it only uses SMS messaging? Here's how:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Scroll down to the Messages settings entry. it's grouped with other iOS entries like General and iCloud. Touch Messages.
  • If the iMessage setting at the top is on, touch it to turn it off. The screen should look like the image below this article.

Now Messages will only use SMS.

Thanks to Neil McGrath of Acision for pointing this out to us.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government, May 2014
NIST's cyber-security framework gives critical-infrastructure operators a new tool to assess readiness. But will operators put this voluntary framework to work?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.