iMessage clarification

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by simple20, May 27, 2012.

  1. simple20 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010

    So I'm leaving the country for a couple months and there's people that I really want to stay in contact with. I don't want them or myself getting any ridiculous phone bills. If I bring my iPhone, and don't deactivate my service, can I still send imessage for free to other ios5 people IF I'm an AT&T customer, NOT on wifi? I'm jailbroken on 5.1.1 if that matters...

  2. MastahRiz, May 27, 2012
    Last edited: May 27, 2012

    MastahRiz macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2010
    If you're NOT on wifi, then you'll have to be data roaming for the iMessage to be sent... And you probably will get slapped with a bit of a bigger phone bill. I believe AT&T is 20 dollars/mb on roaming, at least in some countries. Others may be more or less.

    The best thing to do is to use Wifi to send your imessages, and also turn the option off in imessages that will send the message as a normal plain text message if the iMessage fails to go through.

    Alternatively, you can get an app like Viber (free) or WhatsApp which will let you send texts/IM's to other people who also have these apps on their phones, but unlike iMessage, these messages will always be delivered either via push or when the person opens the App. These apps also need some type of data connection such as Wifi or 3G etc, but in my experience, they are more reliable when abroad than just iMessage alone, at least when you're trying to NOT use roaming.
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    If you're not on wifi you will still incur international data usage charges.

    Likewise, they'll have to pay for the data used, as normal.

    But neither of you would pay for SMS.
  4. simple20 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Ok, thanks guys!

    So if I sent a imessage in japan via roaming, I would be charged the data rate for however many kbs the text is, but the recipient in the states would not be charged anything, as long as it is sent as an imessage?
  5. MastahRiz macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2010
    Yup, but I think (someone please correct me if I'm wrong!) AT&T rounds up to the nearest MB, so if you roam even once abroad, you get billed for at least 1MB.
  6. simple20 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Not to keep asking questions, but, would it be better to get an international data plan, or texting plan if I want to use it solely for imessage (as in, imessage would be the only thing I would consider doing/using off of wifi)?

    Also, it seems Japan is UTMS 2100. Will my unmodified iphone even work there?
  7. MastahRiz macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2010
    Which iPhone do you have?

    I would probably get a text plan if I knew I was only getting it for texting purposes, reason being that it's pretty common for an iMessage not to be delivered and then get resent as a regular text. Anytime the person on the receiving end does not have 3G or wifi, he can't receive your iMessages. For me, this is pretty common with traveling in subways, elevators, etc.

    Since either option will basically achieve the same goal though, you might as well just go with whatever's cheaper for now and consider this a trial run.
  8. simple20 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    I have the regular 4. I dont want any outrageous phone bills but I can easily afford an international text or data plan. My main concern is my friends getting charged outrageous fees because I sent a text instead of an imessage. I'll talk to att. Really appreciate the help MastahRiz.
  9. simple20 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Thought I would update.

    I went with a international data plan only. Have used viber as my primary means of texting back to the states and imessage as my secondary. I turned 'send as sms' off, and over the course of last month I sent roughly 1500 text messages, and I incured a fee for 1 international text. Not bad. I use wifi when I can, but I'm roaming on softbanks service constantly.

    So to confirm, if you find yourself in a similar situation, data plan is the way to go if you want to text back to other iphone users (imessage) or smartphone users (viber).

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