How do I know the character count when writing Text Messages?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Flying Dutchman, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2007
    Hey yall,

    I had a quick question about text messaging. I don't know how this is being done in the US but here in Holland you receive a certain number of text messages (each month) within your contract (/abonnement we call it). But, this is based on a message of 160 letters. You cross it by one, you'll have to pay/credit for 2 text messages. Is there any way of a counter/ limiter to the amount of letters in a single text message? Does the iPhone "signal" you when you enter the second one?

    Thanks/ Dank je wel :)
  2. macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2006

    One SMS can only hold 160 characters. This is the same everywhere the GSM standard is used, so you don't have to explain this in so much detail :) To answer your question: no, it doesn't. AT&T wants to bill you as much as possible, so the only way of making sure you're only sending one message is by counting the characters.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    The iphone is the only phone I have ever used (that supports sms) which doesn't have a built in counter. I can't believe apple overlooked it. Even worse, 3 updates later (4th prolly coming soon) and still nothing.

    While I don't mind as I don't come close to go over my texting plan, my friends are always complaining that I go over by only a few characters and they end up with 2 texts. I explain to them that my phone doesn't have a counter and they laugh at me. "Wait, your $600 phone doesn't count the characters for you?" or sometimes, "That's what you get for buying an apple".

    Apple, please fix this!!! I'm trying to get friends to switch over, but you're not making it easy!!
  4. macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2007
    I was surprised about that too. That really sucks. Kinds couldnt believe it too. I hope they ll fix it
  5. macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2007
    No matter what, people will always say,'thats what you get for buying apple'. its just the way the world is.
  6. Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Everybody I've talked to says AT&Ts limit is 460 characters. :confused:
  7. macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2007
    That's because what seems like one message is actually three concatenated messages, minus a few characters used internally by the phone to join messages together.
  8. macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2007
  9. macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2004
    Deep South UK
    SMS is Short Message Service and was included in the GSM standard so that short messages such as voicemail alerts or telemetry for programs could be was never meant to be a text messaging service as it is currently used. Each SMS is 160 characters long as this is the standard 160 7-bit characters. In total each SMS can only be 140 Bytes before you have to overflow to the next one hence going even 1 character over your 160 limit causes you to send 2 texts.
  10. macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    How do I know the character count when writing Text Messages?


    I am a relatively new iPhone user.

    Is there anything on the iphone that gives you a count of the number of characters that you have typed when composing a text message? I can't seem to find anything that will tell you.

    Many cell phone plans will not display text messages greater than 160 characters. I find that I am going over this limit and while the iphone will send the message, the recipient cannot see the whole message.

    It would be quite helpful, if i knew how many characters i was typing. How can I best handle this?


  11. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2008
    Katy, TX
    dont think you can know on an iPhone but I could be wrong....One thing that sucks about iPhone texting is there is no cancel button nor is there a thing that tells you hen your sending multiple messages. I guess they assume that everyone you text has an iphone. But yah as far as I know there isn't a way to get the count unless you want to count each individual character
  12. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    There is no way other than counting. I would set up a text and count the characters. Make note of approximately how large the text looks on screen and attempt to not exceed it ... that is if you actually care if your novels come across as multiple texts on someone else's phone.

    I usually try to limit my text until I know the recipient's phone model. If they have a device that is a BB, iPhone, BlackJack etc, I usually just type away. Otherwise, I try to "text speak" best I can. Abridged is hardly a word I use so it is hard for me. ;)

    No, I don't think they assume everyone has an iPhone. I think they assume that if you have to type that much you will either write an e-mail or the receiving phone will break the texts up for the recipient.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2008
    Katy, TX
    haha good point jessica!!
  14. macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2008
    in a swag
    this is a feature i want for the iPhone as well. Not so much because it will break up on other peoples phones but because it cost me more. 1 character over the normal txt size and it cost double the normal amount. Not everyone has unlimited messages so this feature would be handy.

    Another related sms feature would be to be able to see how many smss you have sent, similar to the data counter in settings.
  15. macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Maybe it's me, but if you need that many characters to send a message, then a phone call or email is the better solution. I hate long texts.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2008
    Enron by the Sea
  17. macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2008
    um not all my recipients will have a data plan to check their email or are within the same area to justify a phone call.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2008
    Some carriers have this feature. For T-Mobile, I believe you just call #674# and it will show you your monthly allotment for sms.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    SMS Character Count

    Is there a setting to turn this feature on?
  20. macrumors G5


    Aug 17, 2007
    Unfortunately, no there is not. I wish there was.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    Is there an App in the App Store that allows you to send SMS with a character count?
  22. macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    It shouldn't matter, should it? The phone shows that you have sent one message. So you should only be charged for sending one message. I've never been warned that I've been going over a 'character limit'.
  23. Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    The iPhone's UI shows it as one message but as SMS has a character limit of 160 including spaces so if you send messages above that you will be sending multiple text messages at a time.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2007
    Exactly. If you have written a message that is 165 characters long you will get charged for 2 messages where in reality you could trim your message to fit within the 160 limit and only get charged for one message.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2008
    it's been mentioned and mentioned and mentioned again. unfortunately apple don't seem bothered about adding it. probably because it would ruin the "feel" of it being like a chat app rather than SMS. i send a lot of texts and found that i was going over the limit because you view it as a chat app and start treating it as one. i just cut my tariff down from the £35 a month tariff to £30 and added the unlimited text bolt on as i don't use many minutes.

    try submitting it as a feature request if they are still accepting those. that's what i did when i first got an iphone. was on the apple website somewhere, google it.

Share This Page