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richard371

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 1, 2008
3,601
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Right now I use my phone number as my default for imessage with an email address as an option. I will be traveling internationally for 2 weeks so when I put in a different sim I assume anytime I start a new message or reply it will come from that number or the email address if I choose it. If people try to reply to any of my messages with my USA number will it just sit in pending and be delivered as an sms when I get back into the country?

Thanks
 

RedOrchestra

Suspended
Aug 13, 2012
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CORRECT.

I suggest you use your email address for all outgoing / incoming ... less confusion over the foreign SIM phone number.

I did have an initial problem sending iMessages to telephone numbers in my contact list and that was because I didn't have a + sign in front of the country code in my contact list i.e. +1 (000) 000-0000 - anyway I fixed that and no further problems.
 
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RedOrchestra

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Aug 13, 2012
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You get a foreign data SIM card for all kinds of reasons not just for iMessage ... syncing an old / used iPhone seems a pretty BS work around for a 2 week trip or any trip for that matter ... if it even works.
 
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BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
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Get a cheap used iPhone and put your USA sim in that. Sign into both with Apple ID and they will sync. Any message sent to your USA number will go to foreign number handset. Works brilliantly and you can even reply from USA number

Are you saying that both numbers will be listed in Settings>Messages>Send & Receive>YOU CAN BE REACHED BY IMESSAGE AT? And that the US number can be selected on the iPhone with the foreign SIM installed under START A NEW CONVERSATION FROM?
 
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RedOrchestra

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Are you saying that both numbers will be listed in Settings>Messages>Send & Receive>YOU CAN BE REACHED BY IMESSAGE AT? And that the US number can be selected on the iPhone with the foreign SIM installed under START A NEW CONVERSATION FROM?


I'll be interested to read the reply to that?
 

stiwi

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2010
279
50
Dubai
I'll be interested to read the reply to that?

Well, yes @Kingofclouds is right on this. Frankly speaking I don't use iMessage anymore, Apple implementation of it makes it cumbersome when you travel and change SIM even if you have 2 iPhones. I have one older iPhone and a newer one, but whenever I change the country, I simply swap the SIM cards. Then iMessage asks on both phones if you want to use it for iMessage as international fees may apply for activating it etc. Once you swap back upon returning the same story all over again. But yes, it is possible to have two numbers registered under iMessage and use simultaneously. But it is cumbersome, as you always have to make sure both have been activated when you swap the SIM card, something that my wife has never really understood, so we switched to Telegram. Less hassle and no issues when you swap SIMs.
 

RedOrchestra

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Aug 13, 2012
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Less hassle and no issues when you swap SIMs.


I guess I travel so much that my friends and family are conditioned enough to know when an iMessage doesn't show delivered they switch to the email address - the hell I would go through all that, that you and others are showing as a workaround ... carry 2 phones, sheesh.
 
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stiwi

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2010
279
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Dubai
I guess I travel so much that my friends and family are conditioned enough to know when an iMessage doesn't show delivered they switch to the email address - the hell I would go through all that, that you and others are showing as a workaround ... carry 2 phones, sheesh.

Yes but that's the pain for not very tech friendly persons. Sometimes it shows iMessage is available for particular number only to find out it isn't later on and the message was not delivered. Also some may not notice and keep sending international SMS. Telegram suits me better due to group chats, seamless sync including drafts and not being tied to SMS, also swapping SIMs do not require re-activation of the service, not to mention being cross-platform.
 

unclemax

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
289
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Just to reiterate, if you use the same iPhone to register a new (foreign) number, it will deregister your old number. The key to using two numbers is not to deregister the old number by not removing the SIM card or not switching on that phone.

On the other hand, I use iPad and Mac to reply iMessages as well, and there my iMessage/FaceTime ID is my primary email and somehow I've never had an iMessage lost between four countries.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
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The work-around might actually be useful for me as when I travel to the UK I have a safe base of operation to leave the second, old iPhone that would contain my US SIM...I wouldn't have to carry it with me.

In this scenario, I'm wondering if I would need to move my US SIM to the old iPhone while still in the USA or if I could do the switch in the UK. I'm on StraightTalk.
 

unclemax

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
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The work-around might actually be useful for me as when I travel to the UK I have a safe base of operation to leave the second, old iPhone that would contain my US SIM...I wouldn't have to carry it with me.

In this scenario, I'm wondering if I would need to move my US SIM to the old iPhone while still in the USA or if I could do the switch in the UK. I'm on StraightTalk.

To activate iMessages you need to be able to send and receive texts. For you it means no roaming - no activation. If you are going to have roaming in the UK then there's no difference when to swap phones.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
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Baltimore, Maryland
To activate iMessages you need to be able to send and receive texts. For you it means no roaming - no activation. If you are going to have roaming in the UK then there's no difference when to swap phones.

I think you're saying I should put the US SIM in the old iPhone while still in the US.

So...when I get to the UK and put the UK SIM in my current iPhone, the UK number will be added to iMessage. Not sure if anyone answered for sure that, at that point, I'd be able to select my US number as "START A NEW CONVERSATION FROM" on the current iPhone with the UK SIM in it.
 

unclemax

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
289
247
I think you're saying I should put the US SIM in the old iPhone while still in the US.

So...when I get to the UK and put the UK SIM in my current iPhone, the UK number will be added to iMessage. Not sure if anyone answered for sure that, at that point, I'd be able to select my US number as "START A NEW CONVERSATION FROM" on the current iPhone with the UK SIM in it.

What I mean is, it's not enough to put a SIM card into the phone. You have to switch it on and wait until the iMessages/ FaceTime are activated with this number. This involves something like sending and receiving a text and can take from instantaneously to several hours. If your American number can send texts in the UK then there's no difference where you activate. If you expect your number to not work abroad, do it while still in the US. As long as both numbers are active in iMessages you can choose either to start a new conversation, e.g. can choose American number while using an iPhone with a British SIM
 
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Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,865
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New Orleans
Get a cheap used iPhone and put your USA sim in that. Sign into both with Apple ID and they will sync. Any message sent to your USA number will go to foreign number handset. Works brilliantly and you can even reply from USA number
What's awesome about this is it's not restricted to just iMessage. Leave the cheap iPhone at home and all SMS you receive will get sent to your main iPhone with the new SIM card. As long as you have a data connection (Wi-Fi or cellular) you can text people back home for no additional fees.
 
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unclemax

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
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What's awesome about this is it's not restricted to just iMessage. Leave the cheap iPhone at home and all SMS you receive will get sent to your main iPhone with the new SIM card. As long as you have a data connection (Wi-Fi or cellular) you can text people back home for no additional fees.
True, but in order to be able to do this you need to turn on the (Settings -> Messages ->) Text Message Forwarding on the device you leave at home.

Also, it has to be physically on all the time (not the case for just iMessages).
 
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Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
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True, but in order to be able to do this you need to turn on the (Settings -> Messages ->) Text Message Forwarding on the device you leave at home.
That takes like 5 seconds one time and it's done.

Also, it has to be physically on all the time (not the case for just iMessages).
Maybe you're just informing OP so he knows exactly what to do to achieve this, but it almost sounds like you're arguing against doing this. Sure, iMessage in this scenario is slightly more convenient, but not everyone has iMessage and I'm simply explaining to OP that it's possible to text as well.

All it would take is plugging your iPhone in at home before leaving and this "problem" is solved.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,629
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Baltimore, Maryland
What's awesome about this is it's not restricted to just iMessage. Leave the cheap iPhone at home and all SMS you receive will get sent to your main iPhone with the new SIM card. As long as you have a data connection (Wi-Fi or cellular) you can text people back home for no additional fees.

Drawback for me on that scenario would be not having a working iPhone between home and the US departure and arrival points.
 

unclemax

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
289
247
That takes like 5 seconds one time and it's done

I'm just specifying that it's not done automatically for the benefit of people who want to follow your advice. Also, as opposed to call forwarding (Calls on other devices), one has to generate and enter a 6 digit code per device you want to forward texts to.

Maybe you're just informing OP so he knows exactly what to do to achieve this, but it almost sounds like you're arguing against doing this. Sure, iMessage in this scenario is slightly more convenient, but not everyone has iMessage and I'm simply explaining to OP that it's possible to text as well.

All it would take is plugging your iPhone in at home before leaving and this "problem" is solved.

Yeah, I just don't like to leave electric devices on when I leave. But you have a point, that way you can really text domestically from abroad.
 
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cameronjpu

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2007
1,366
78
Lots of good advice here. I am just posting because I wanted to confirm the basic thrust of the posts above, that the best, and really only, way to keep your iMessages working seamlessly when you are overseas with a new SIM card is in fact, as stated, to keep your USA SIM in a burner iPhone stateside while you travel. Yes you will be able to start new conversations from your USA phone number while overseas. I've done this a few times and it's a huge pain, but for people traveling for, say, a semester abroad, it's the best way to do things. The real goal is to prevent people who do not know you are overseas from being confused about why they can't reach you. Hopefully you have family stateside still who can keep an eye on your burner iPhone to keep it up and running. I imagine that even if it stopped working, your texts would continue, if not indefinitely, for some time. I haven't tested that, because I didn't want to risk something going wrong, but I don't see why the USA phone would have to remain on after the initial activation of the overseas number.
 

Agit21

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2016
384
1,542
I know it’s an old thread but did things change for iMessage regarding this „issue“.
I’m in Russia right now and using a local sim because my German Provider would charge me way too much money for using it here.
So I just want to keep my German number in iMessage. Is this too hard to do Apple?
WhatsApp doesn’t have this problem and that’s why I’ll be using that app now and not iMessage.
 

profets

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2009
5,114
6,144
Another thought given this is an old thread - I wonder if switching to use an eSIM for my primary line, that when I travel I can use a local sim for data / calling and my primary number will still be registered with iMessage via the eSIM?
 
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