Messages (iOS) vs. Messages (OS X)

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by desertman, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. desertman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 14, 2008
    Arizona, USA
    I have to admit that I do not understand the differences between Messages (iOS) and Messages (OS X). Since both are from Apple and both are called Messages I would actually assume that they do the same - but that seems not to be the case.

    Can I use Messages (OS X) to send a text message to a) an iPhone, and b) any cell phone?

    If this is not the case - what is the one Messages for and what is the other Messages for?

    Is it in any way possible to start a text conversation in Messages on my iPhone and then continue this conversation on my Mac or on my iPad?


  2. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Messages on the Mac is used for iMessage, Apple's messaging service that uses data rather than the cellular networks. (If the Mac were able to send texts, it'd need a SIM.)
  3. desertman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 14, 2008
    Arizona, USA
    What does that mean? That Messages (OS X) should actually be called iMessages and can only be used from Messages (OS X) to Messages (OS X)? Or are Messages (OS X) and Messages (iOS) actually both iMessages but Messages (iOS) is Messages and iMessages while Messages (OS X) is only iMessages?

    Your answer is not really bringing light to my questions.
  4. BiigBiscuit macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages on OS X functions the same way iMessage does on your iDevice meaning it only sends iMessages. It exists to extend the functionality of Apple's iMessages that allows for continuing conversations on your Mac and communicate with not just iDevices, but other Macs as well.

    In short: Messaged on OS X only send iMessages and Messages on iOS allows for both texts and iMessages.
  5. desertman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 14, 2008
    Arizona, USA
    Ok, thanks.

    Does that mean that I should have an iMessages app on my iPhone (which I don't), or how else do I send iMessages from it?

    And again: Is it in any way possible to start a text conversation in Messages on my iPhone and then continue this conversation in Messages on my Mac or on my iPad (or vice versa)?

    Why do I not see messages that I got from someone with an iPhone on my iPhone in Messages on my Mac? This actually what I would like - kind of similar to IMAP email.
  6. TheRainKing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2012
    If someone sends an 'iMessage' to you it will appear in Messages on your phone and on your Mac. However, if they send you a text message it will not appear on your Mac. Why? Because when you recieve a text message it is coming from their mobile number, not their Apple ID. Message for the Mac has no way of recieving or responding to a text message because it has no sim card.
  7. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    Yes, that is the point of iMessages, although you will only be able to do this with iMessages (blue text) and not text messages (green text)

    It can be spotty sometimes, I know I get iMessages on my phone before I et them on my Mac. Unless I'm on my Mac then they come at the same time. Mavericks is suppose to patch up most of these spotty holes. Also, iMessages is out for some users now so that could have something to do with it.
  8. desertman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 14, 2008
    Arizona, USA
    Ok, thanks. It is getting clearer.

    However, when I start a message in Messages on my iPhone to someone who also has an iPhone it says in gray in the text field "iMessage", and when I start a message to someone who does not have an iPhone it says in gray in the text field "Text Message". Should that not also be the case the other way round, when someone is sending a message from his iPhone to me (who has an iPhone)? I'm asking this because I have never, ever seen any text message that has been sent from an iPhone to me to appear also in Messages on my Mac - and that is exactly what I would like. Why is a text message from my wife's iPhone to me not appearing in Messages on my Mac but only in Messages on my iPhone?
  9. BD1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2007
    Is there any way to send and receive a test message in OS without a SIM? Any Mac OS software that will do this somehow?
  10. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    General rule of thumb. If the incoming message is green in color its a SMS message, if it's blue it's an iMessage.

    What color was the text your wife sent to you?
  11. bbfc, Oct 5, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013

    bbfc macrumors 68040


    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle, England.
    Messages replaced iChat. It can also be configured for Facebook Chat and other chat protocols too.

    The ability to send iMessages is a feature of Messages, it isn't all it's about.
  12. paradox11 macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Just about to say that. It can also be used for AIM.
  13. WillFisher macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2011
    Can't work out if serious or just trolling...

    Messages for Mac sends and receives iMessages for your Apple ID.
    Messages on your iPhone sends and receives all Texts and iMessages for your number and Apple ID.
  14. Azy macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2012
    OP: It may be messages on your max (OS X) is not setup to receive iMessages from your mobile number. I don't have my mac in front of me right now but from memory if you launch it and go to preferences you should see where messages are received from. Email will almost defiantly be there but your mobile number may not. If you don't see your phone number on there then with messages on on your mac, get your iPhone out, go to settings, hit iMessage and turn it off and back on. Shortly afterwards you should see on your mac a message pop up asking about associating that number to your mac, ok it and from then on you should get your iMessages to both your mac and iPhone.

    Messages app on iPhone is the same for both SMS and iMessage, As you pointed out it will automatically determine if somebody has an idevice and send it the appropriate way
  15. Nothlit macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages on your Mac needs to be configured to receive messages for your phone number.

    Instructions from Apple
    Additional clarification from TidBits
  16. seclusion, Oct 6, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013

    seclusion macrumors regular


    Jul 15, 2007
    Yes I've been confused on this as well.
    On my iPad 3 3 G, I can't text someone not on iMessage.
    I can't add my iPad cell # in iMessage
    My iPhone 4S can.
  17. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages is a mess, on my iPhone 4s(7.0.2) and 10.8.5 iMac on my home wifi some messages are sent, some are not. Some are time stamped wrong. Some are completely skipped on one device, yet they show up on the other and versavisa. This is more than an inconvenience, Messages is really broken.

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