Does iMessage count as a Text message or as a data charge?

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 25, 2013
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Just curious if iMessages are consider data that goes against your data plans or actual text messages. Does anyone know?
 

tvotony

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2013
196
1
It's counts as data since you have to have a internet connecting to use that feature
 

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 25, 2013
2,440
787
Does iMessage count as a Text message or as a data charge?

So if I was using an Android device these same iMessages would actually be SMS (text) messages that would be "free"?
 
Last edited:

Partridge

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2007
353
76
So if I was using an Android device these same iMessages would actually be SMS (text) messages that would be "free"
Yes they would not count towards your data. iMessage doesn't use that much data really. Have a look in settings under cellular, then under data use select system services. Mine has used 252mb since the last time it was reset. In comparison, during that time I used 35 GB of data. So iMessage, including all the pictures sent and received (which were a lot), was a whopping 0.7% of my usage.
 

numlock

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2006
1,588
88
was trying to send texts to my aunt (lives abroad) and the bubble was blue and they were blue for some time after being sent but then transformed to green.

whats the deal with that? i wouldnt have sent them if they would go as regular texts
 

Partridge

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2007
353
76
Then whats the advantage of iMessage if regular text message is free?
Lets see. End to end encryption. Multiple devices (my iMessages go to all my devices, i can reply from any of them, pick up conversations on the iPad when I pick it up, etc). Delivery and read receipts if you want them.

was trying to send texts to my aunt (lives abroad) and the bubble was blue and they were blue for some time after being sent but then transformed to green.

whats the deal with that? i wouldnt have sent them if they would go as regular texts
If your phone can't deliver the message as an iMessage for some reason, it will automatically fall back to SMS and send it that way instead.
 

gavinstubbs09

macrumors 65816
Feb 17, 2013
1,386
247
NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
was trying to send texts to my aunt (lives abroad) and the bubble was blue and they were blue for some time after being sent but then transformed to green.

whats the deal with that? i wouldnt have sent them if they would go as regular texts
I noticed when I go on trips or something and if it's tough to get 3G my phone will send as texts if I have 1x
 

sviato

macrumors 68020
Oct 27, 2010
2,274
44
HR 9038 A
So if I was using an Android device these same iMessages would actually be SMS (text) messages that would be "free"?
iMessage to another Apple device uses data. Messages to and from Android or other platforms are regular SMS/texting and do not use data. They require a texting plan.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,559
32
Then whats the advantage of iMessage if regular text message is free?
Lets see. End to end encryption. Multiple devices (my iMessages go to all my devices, i can reply from any of them, pick up conversations on the iPad when I pick it up, etc). Delivery and read receipts if you want them.
Free international texting, pics and vids aren't really compressed (they still look good), etc...
 

rusty2192

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2008
995
80
Kentucky
Lets see. End to end encryption. Multiple devices (my iMessages go to all my devices, i can reply from any of them, pick up conversations on the iPad when I pick it up, etc). Delivery and read receipts if you want them.



If your phone can't deliver the message as an iMessage for some reason, it will automatically fall back to SMS and send it that way instead.
You can also toggle that in settings. That way if you are like overseas where texting will cost a fortune but you are on wifi, you don't have to worry about it falling back on SMS.
 

gaanee

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2011
1,219
170
How is the regular text message sent then, it should need something to get sent over the network, is it not the same data?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
How is the regular text message sent then, it should need something to get sent over the network, is it not the same data?
At a technical level, SMS/MMS texting is data. But carriers don't charge it as such. They charge it as SMS/MMS.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
Then whats the advantage of iMessage if regular text message is free?
You can send messages to iPhone users in other countries for free whereas your carrier charges for international texting. Likewise, if you're roaming in another country and on WiFi, you can iMessage friends back home for free.

Plus, the amount of data used by iMessage is miniscule.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
At a technical level, SMS/MMS texting is data. But carriers don't charge it as such. They charge it as SMS/MMS.
MMS uses data. However, assuming GSM standards haven't changed, SMS doesn't use cellular data and I believe just uses dregs when communicating with the cell tower.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
MMS uses data. However, assuming GSM standards haven't changed, SMS doesn't use cellular data and I believe just uses dregs when communicating with the cell tower.
SMS uses a few packets of data interlaced between the rest of the cellular data. Some (most?) carriers don't count MMS as data usage in their plans.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,678
1,183
New Zealand
SMS is still circuit-switched; each message is essentially a very short phone call and that's why it's charged differently from other data.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,650
6,403
At the iPhone hacks section.
So if I was using an Android device these same iMessages would actually be SMS (text) messages that would be "free"?
What do you mean by free? You got unlimited texting then its free. If not they count and subtracted out of your text messaging amount. Texts dont use up your data.
If you send to any noniOS devices then they go through as text messages and count as text messages.
You cant send imessages on android devices obviously.
 

bniu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2010
985
179
Then whats the advantage of iMessage if regular text message is free?
Like others have said, security, multiple devices, free to text international for the other person as well, can text with people who don't have iPhones but have macs or iPads, convenient, works over wifi, so if you have no cell signal but you have wifi, you're still good.

iMessage doesn't use enough data for me to give a sh*% at all.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,869
3,406
Boston, MA
How is the regular text message sent then, it should need something to get sent over the network, is it not the same data?
And SMS "hitches a ride" with the radio pinging to and from the tower. It is rather efficient because it is using waves that are being transmitted no matter what. MMS actually uses data, technically speaking, though it doesn't count against your data allotment.

Carriers charging for text messages is the biggest sham ever. It literally costs them NOTHING, since they require you to have some sort of voice plan anyway. The thing is, people pay for convenience.

For those saying not much data is used, I do caution you with pics and videos. Being that they are uncompressed, this can add up quick. We are talking a couple MB per picture message. If you are on something like the old 200mb plans, you can imagine that getting you in trouble fast! (only applies when OFF of wifi of course)