iOS: Using Messages
Learn how to use the Messages application on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
You can send and receive text messages using the Messages app included with iOS. Messages supports SMS and MMS on iPhone, and iMessage on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can also send iMessages using Messages in OS X Mountain Lion.
iMessage allows you to send unlimited text, photos, videos, locations, and contacts using Wi-Fi or cellular data* from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac running OS X Mountain Lion. For more information on how to use iMessage, see the user guide for your iOS device.
You need a valid Apple ID to use iMessage on iPad, iPod touch, and OS X Mountain Lion. You need a valid phone number or Apple ID to use iMessage on iPhone.
This table shows the iMessage capabilities of each device.
|Send to Apple ID||Receive at Apple ID||Send to phone number||Receive at phone number|
|OS X Mountain Lion||✓||✓||✓||✓2|
- iMessage can send messages to registered Apple IDs and phone numbers.
- iOS users can see the addresses registered with iMessage by going to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
When you sign in to your Apple ID with iMessage using an iPhone with iOS 6, your Apple ID is linked to your phone number. This allows you to receive iMessages sent to your phone number on other iOS 6 devices signed in to the same Apple ID. If your phone number is not listed on an iPod touch or iPad, follow this article.
When another iOS device enables iMessage with your Apple ID, you will receive an alert:
Email Address Added to "[device name]"
"[device name]" is now using "[Apple ID]" for iMessage.
- On iPhone, if iMessage is unavailable, the message may be sent as SMS or MMS, depending on content. Carrier messaging rates may apply. You can adjust this behavior in iPhone at Settings > Messages > Send As SMS. Messages sent using iMessage appear in a light blue bubble, while messages sent using SMS or MMS appear in a green bubble.
- If a device registers with your Apple ID and you did not initiate that registration, you can reset your Apple ID password to remove it. You will then need to enter this new password on all devices using iMessage or FaceTime.
SMS and MMS
SMS and MMS messaging require an appropriate plan from your carrier for use on iPhone. For more information on how to use SMS and MMS messaging on iPhone, see the iPhone User Guide.
Note: Some carriers may automatically convert long SMS messages (ones that would require multiple SMS messages to send) into MMS format.
- You can change the address that new iMessage conversations are started with in Settings > Messages > Send & Receive > Start new conversations from:. Note that this setting applies only to new conversations. If you would like to change the address from which messages are sent, first change this setting, and then delete the existing conversation and start a new one.
- iMessage responses will be sent from the address the recipient most recently messaged. For example, a friend sends you a message to your Apple ID. Responses in this conversation will be sent from your Apple ID, even if you've selected new conversations to start from your phone number.
- If you experience an issue with iMessage, SMS, or MMS messaging, try the steps outlined in this article.
- Find information about linking your phone number to an Apple ID for use with FaceTime and iMessage.
* Cellular data connectivity requires iPhone or iPad (Cellular Models).