Can you text internationally for free with iMessage?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by saintforlife, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #1
    I have friends in Asia and wondering if I can text them without using international texting rates? Kinda like BBM.

    Also how can you make sure it always sends an iMessage because sometimes I've seen iMessages go through as regular SMSes. I don't want that to happen for international texting.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #2
    As long as they have iMessage too, then there should be no extra charge. It'll just use data.

    In Settings -> Messages, turn "Send as SMS" off.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #3
    Thanks!
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #4
    It really depends on both sides. If you have a data plan and your friend has a data plan then you will/can use iMessage. If your friend has no data plan then you will be sending international SMS rate.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    Jordan921

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #5
    You don't need a data plan to send or receive iMessages. Just have to turn off "send as sms" so that it doesn't revert to sending it as a regular text rather then an iMessage when they aren't on wifi.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    #6
    How about sending a message while connected to wifi? In that case if you don't have a data plan then what happens?
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    itickings

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #7
    WiFi is fine, it uses that then. No need for data plan.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    #8
    I don't have a data plan and I noticed that when I send a text message while connected to wifi, At&t charges for it. Also when I receive a message while not connected to wifi then does it use SMS service and does At&t charge separately for this?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    itickings

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #9
    If you don't have a data plan, and are not connected to WiFi, you definitely are not using iMessage, hence AT&T will charge for your text messages. And even if you are connected to WiFi, you need to use iMessage to not get charged. If you send normal text messages, AT&T will of course charge for them.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    Jordan921

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #10
    Is your iPhone on 5.0+? Do you have a texting plan? If you don't have a texting plan then yes they will charge for texts.
     
  11. gngan, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

    macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #11
    As I said, it depends on both sides. If both of you are connected to WIFI or have data plan then it will use iMessage. If both of you or either one of you are NOT connected to WIFI or have a data plan then it will use normal SMS.

    Or like what Jordan921 said, you can turn off "send as sms" and it should only send as iMessage but you won't send any other normal SMS.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #12
    Better to get whatsapp so it's definitely free texting with friends overseas
     
  13. sal
    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #13
    A note: if you are on your iPhone and send an iMessage to your friend's phone number instead of email, it will be sent as an SMS. To confirm that, your friend will see your phone number as the sender.

    If your friend initiates the conversation and send a iMessage to your email associated with your itunes account and you reply. It will not be sent as an SMS.

    I have not yet figured out how to send an iMessage from my iPhone and have it come from my email address instead of my phone number.

    Of course this all assumes you have turned off send as SMS in your preferences and you've enabled the "receive at" to include your email
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #14
    That's wrong. You will still get as a iMessage as long as both of the users are connected to internet (wifi/3g).
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #15
    Yes. But also, you both need to have iPhones of course for it to work.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    #16
    iPhones iPads or macs
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Nicolas4ever

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #17
    if you both have an iPhone with imessage enabled you can even text for free if your friend lives on Mars lol
     
  18. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #18
    Just to be safe, I'd give each your imessage email addresses so they don't get sent as a text or something, because occasionally they do.
    Sure you could disable the option, but its useful for many in country texts too.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    #19
    i think this may help...

    If you go into Settings > Messages > [scroll down to] Receive At

    Click on that, and you can add an email address, and I guess you can set a preference to receive at that address instead of your phone number.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #20
    If anyone sees this, and knows anything about iMessage please answer!
    I have an iPhone5 and Sprint as my carrier, with UNLIMITED data and text but NO international calling or texting plan. Im in the US so if I use iMessage to send text messages to my friend who lives in Ireland UK and also using iPhone5c with iMessage that's iOS 5+, will there be absolutely no additiional charges by Sprint regardless of whether I am connected to Wi-Fi or Sprint's network 3G? As long as we both have iPhones and are using iMessage, is that correct?
    (I don't always have a wifi connection so most times I'm using my 3G)

    Any info is greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    #21
    I believe as long as it stays blue yes. Because it's not a SMS. it uses data to send them
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    #22
    This. Everyone else's response is making this issue more complicated than it needs to be.

    iMessages will be blue. This uses data and not your SMS. So long as the message you're sending out is blue, you're good. If it's green, it means you're sending an SMS.

    Now, as someone said, you can make sure an SMS is never sent by making the appropriate adjustments in Settings. But I text people internationally using iMessage all the time with zero issues.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #23
    Thanks for the your replies. My main concern was whether I would still get charged with just using my 3G connection because a lot of posts I have read in different sites people say that it's only free internationally with a wifi connection and I don't have wifi at the moment.. I do however have unlimited data usage and as long as we're both using iPhones, iOS5 or higher and have both our iMessage turned on, then it's still FREE with ONLY my 3G internet?
    Sorry, don't mean to sound like I don't get what you're saying, I just share a plan with other people and although we all have unlimited everything, I don't want any issues with them about it. Yes I pay my own part of my bill but I am not the main account holder so there's no way for me to check if I was getting additional charges or not...

    ----------

    Also, I have turned my "send as SMS when iMessage is unavailable" off.. And when I say I wanna make sure I'm not getting an additional charges, I mean DATA charges. But if I have unlimited data then I'm assuming that shouldn't be a problem..
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #24
    Forget about iMessage. It is too much hassle. You can get charged for expensive international SMS if you are not careful. This is one of the biggest drawback. And it is limited to Apple iphones and outside the US you can only 15-20% of users.

    Use whatsapp or other IMs. This ensures you separate IM from SMS.
     
  25. macrumors demi-god

    iPhone1

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #25
    Just turn off SMS and use iMessage wherever you have data. I did this overseas and it was awesome. FaceTime audio is good for actual voice calls on wifi only.
     

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