Sending an iMessage from an iPhone to a roaming iPhone

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by djang0, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. djang0 macrumors member

    May 20, 2015
    I'm trying to send an iMessage to a friend that's currently traveling overseas. We both have iPhones. When I sent her a message to her number from my iPhone, it sent it as an iMessage (blue). However, about 5 minutes later, it switched to a SMS (green). She's most probably not data roaming, might have taken out her SIM card, and is connecting to Wi-Fi intermittently. I do have the "Send as SMS" option enabled in the Messages settings.

    Which makes me wonder, will she receive my message?

    And besides, when iOS sends a message as SMS, does it discards the original iMessage?

  2. niji, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003

    there are a lot of variables you indicate in your post that make it impossible to know if she actually received your message.

    but, before we get into roaming, non-roaming, and apple ID issues, here is a simple way to know in some cases:

    1 when you normally send her an iMessage in the USA, after she reads it, does it indicate to you as Read (meaning does she have Send Read Receipts turned on) ?
    if the answer to this is yes, then she has NOT received your message since it isn't indicating Read.
    it would be very unusual and unnecessary for her to have turned off "Read receipts" just for the time traveling abroad.

    2 when you sent her the iMessage, does yr iPhone indicate it as "Delivered" ?
    if your phone does not indicated Delivered then her phone is not registered as logged on to any phone network in the world, roaming or non-roaming. for example, if you send her the message and she is literally in the air (still in flight not connected to any WIFI or network) then the Delivered message does not show at all.

    No data roaming while abroad: if she was prudent we can assume she has in fact turned off completely Data Roaming to avoid data roaming charges or, maybe even have turned off Cellular Data for good measure.

    Do you know if her apple ID and her USA mobile number are associated with each other?

    Here is one thing to try: send another iMessage to her apple ID, not to her USA phone number (in Messages, click new message and in address book make sure her apple ID is being used).
    Sending a message to her apple ID makes 100% sure that no matter where she is, irrespective of roaming or whatever, if she is on WIFI then she will get your message if it is not too old.

    there could be other issues, however: if she has totally taken out her SIM card then it was overkill and bad advice (if done to avoid data roaming charges). as above, just turning off Data Roaming and Cellular Data was enough to avoid excessive data charges).
    another issue is if she for some reason turned off Messages and is trying to turn it back on, Message requires it to be activated again for her to send/receive messages and it might be having issues in Activation.
    also, if she has 2 factor authorization turned on, then Messages would require a separate app password in order to be Activated, and she may not be aware of this.


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