Texting to a list of numbers (iPhone 4)

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Kak-en-Betaal, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Kak-en-Betaal macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    I have a need to text a list of numbers like these:

    (not real numbers, obv.)

    Essentially I have many lists like this, and sometimes need to text an urgent message. Sometimes there can be 30 numbers in one of these lists. On my Nokia E90 each list is stored in my calendar, and takes a single copy and paste to address a single SMS to all the recipients in one go. The copy and paste from my Calendar works just fine on the iPhone, but it then turns the recipients into a single long number in the SMS and thus fails.

    Anyone have a suggestion or solution? I did try a search or two, but I'm not sure I used the right keywords. I'd be quite happy buying an app to do this.
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    What would happen if you used the Notes app, with each number on a different line.

    Edit* It works, just tried it!
  3. Kak-en-Betaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    Thanks, but, no, that doesn't work for me. When I do this, the copy and paste works just fine, both from notes and from a calendar appointment. The problem is with the default SMS application - it turns the list of numbers into "1 recipient" as soon as you click away into the message text area. Sorry if I didn't make my description clear enough.

    My current work-around is to paste the list of numbers into the MSG text area, and then cut and paste them up into the recipient input box one by one. Painful when I'm hurriedly trying to send out an urgent update to the group.
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Isnt that what group texting is for.
    If you have them all saved as contacts on your phone you can send them a group text all at once.
  5. Kak-en-Betaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    I could put them all into my contacts, but they are transient contacts, so that's again more work, and will clog up my personal contacts with people I'll likely never hear from again after the appointment.
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    You can try some texting website online or something.
    Or maybe do it thru email cause that would be more like what you're trying to accomplish.
  7. Kak-en-Betaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    A simple group SMS? My Nokia could do it easily. As much as I like my iPhone, the texting app is not very advanced. No delivery reports, no auto retry of messages that failed to send, no outbox, poor processing of recipient entries, etc.
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Noone said the iphone has every single feature of every phone out there.
    It does groups sms's fine but your situation is not very common. People dont usually spam a bunch of numbers that the dont have on their contact list:D
  9. Kak-en-Betaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    Spam? Where would you jump to that conclusion?
  10. Kak-en-Betaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    In fact the default text app is so p1ss p00r it can't even do group texts, where you can define a group as a list of specific contacts. Need an app to do that, or you can only add them individually.
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Go to settings/messages/ and make sure group messaging is turned on.
    Then open up messages and on the top right corner hit the button to create new message. click the + to add recipient from contacts and keep hitting the Plus sign to add as many as you want to the list.
  12. Kak-en-Betaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    There is no group messaging setting under settings/messages on iPhone 4 4.1, not on my phone. I don't think this matters anyway, as I can do what you describe:

    Yes, I can text multiple people by adding them via +, but you'll have to individually select every member of that group by hand every time you want to send a text to that group. That's not group messaging in the way that most phones are capable of doing, i.e. creating a group of contacts and then once selecting that group for a text. You need an app for that on the iPhone. Comprende?
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    You're trying to be rude to me? I was the one trying to help you figure it out you ungreatfull newbie.
    And you're wrong, once you send a group text to that particular set of people you can go back in and send more messages to them again at any time without creating a new group message again.
    You're welcome:rolleyes:
    And there is no apps that will duplicate or modify the way the stock messaging works.
  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    So you are trying to spam people?
  15. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    It would seem so.
  16. mihirwani macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    Mr. Kak-en-Betaal,

    I understand your trouble. I feel that it is a genuine problem. It is indeed very easy to do that in a nokia. I spent hours on the internet & called up apple tech support.. but no answers to this simple question. I need to send the sms to 100 ppl and there is no point saving them as contacts coz next time i will have to sms another set of ppl.

    I know that iphone uses comma (,) as a delimiter. So, when u type "8888888,9999999" in the To field it does recognize 8888888 and 9999999 as two separate numbers. But, when you copy and paste it only recognizes them as 1 number.

    Anyone listening???
    Pls help.
  17. Tobester macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2010
    I totally get it.....

    Kak-en-Betaal, I uderstand your dilemma and I have the very same problem. No, Kak-en-Betaal is not trying to spam anyone. He has transient phone #s and doesnt want to clog up his contact list. I have the same problem. Let me explain my situation.

    I teach private music lessons and have a roster of 50 or so students. I keep their attendance info and scheduling info on an excel spreadsheet. I also keep their contact info on the same spreadsheet for quick reference. Students families may have 3 cell phones...Student, Dad, Mom that are on the spreadsheet.

    Students reschedule their days & times freequently (at least 5 per week) not to mention students will drop lessons and I will replace them with another student from my waiting list.

    Trying to duplicate and update all these #s in my iphone contacts on a daily basis would simply be way way way too much work.

    What I would like to do is say for instance I needed to text just my Tuesday students. I want to copy & paste the numbers from my spreadsheet, which is always up to date, and paste them into the "recipients" field of my iphone's text app. I do this using an app called "myPhone" & "myPhone Desktop" to transfer text from my computer to my iphone or vise verse.

    I was hoping that a delimiter would work like a tab, a hard return or a semicolon to separate the individual numbers and make the iphone text app recognize them as separate numbers but it sees the text as one giant number regardless.

    No, I don't want to add them into the text recipent's list one by one from my contact list and no, I don't want to create groups in my phone because I would have to maintain & update that list separately from my ever-changing spreadsheet which is way too cumbersome and time comsuming to even think about. Much less, if I should forget to do so and cause a major miscomunication.

    So, I get what Kak-en-Betaal is saying and I would like to be able to copy and paste phone numbers to text from an external list also without committing those people to my phone book contact list.

    So far I've found no work-around either.
  18. X2thaP, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010

    X2thaP macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2010
    As far as I can find, there is indeed no real way of doing what you guys are trying to do exactly. So besides what the original helper, Applejuiced, said (which was my first thought as well), I might suggest something like ABContacts (lite)?
    This does however, again, require you to input those numbers as contacts once, but can make groups and send group texts easily. So for people with a lot of texts to send to a lot of people, but different people at different times, this could be a solution.

    Just a quick question: if you're on a Mac/PC, there should be some easy solutions to convert or import your list into your contacts to make a separate group, no?

    So for Tobester for example: if you were able to convert/import your list (excel sheet or whatever it is) into your contacts on your Mac/PC in some sort of 'one-click solution', you would only need to do like 5 steps to get it all updated?
    1. update list on Mac/PC // 2. convert/import // 3. sync with iTunes // 4. create/update group in ABContacts // 5. group-text
    Now I'm googling to see if this one-click solution exists... **EDIT**: *click* This might help...

    For what the OP (with the lovely nickname, if you understand Dutch...) is asking, which is, if I understand correctly, a different set of numbers every time (so no number is used multiple times (correct?), I don't see a solution. I tried stridemat's idea and it doesn't work here, also what mihirwani said (using the comma as a separator), does indeed not work as it becomes 1 recipient.

    So long story short, try something like ABContacts (lite is free) and see how far it gets you. If it doesn't work for you, well, you didn't waste a lot of time or money.
  19. siltears macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2010
    why dont you do a group text on mms, then just leave that group text there, and each time you want to text all the same people, just use that group text?
    like...not copy and paste the numbers, but just send the a "test" text to everyone, and then just use the one text with all your contact on it. the problem with that is if they text you back, it will be on the separate conversations you had with them before this text.
  20. FlashBangBandy macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2011
    another issue with this is that when u add around 20 or so numbers, the little plus button disappears down out of view below the qwerty key pad and essentially u cant add any more numbers. I used this function previously to text friends / fans about gigs my band was doing locally. It was how a lot of people relied on finding out about where we were playing and now its hard for me to actually tell a large chunk of people about our shows. Any ideas?
  21. crashnburn macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2009
    I have a similar issue where I have a LIST of numbers in an excel file of prospective people who want to come rent an apartment of ours.

    I dont want to add each of them into my phone with names & numbers.

    I can copy past them in whatever format / style into Notes and synch it from PC to iPhone, but I am wondering what format to keep it in so that I can literally just copy & paste into the TO: field in Messages or BiteSMS?

    For e.g in email clients its usually emails separated by a comma or semi-colon.

    Please help. Thanks.
  22. asan, Mar 1, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

    asan macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    Any update here, folks? I adopted to smartphone in Nov 2012, purchasing an iPhone 5. I currently work for a nonprofit that holds free educational programs for families in need. Sometimes, I'm required to reach out to many at a time (e.g. 50-plus individuals). I have a similar recipient base to the author of this thread, Kak-en-Betaal (i.e. transient contacts). We utilize various mediums (e.g. in-person flyer, word-of-mouth, phone call, email, ... text). Many of our clients only have basic phones, so iMessage/MMS is out of the question. Some don't even *have* cell phones.

    Just discovered the 5-recipient limit of Google Voice. Have been scouring for a solution (i.e. tinkering with default iPhone Message app, almost purchasing Group Text! app, desktop SMS app(s), etc.).

    As others have noted, the ability to copy & paste plaintext (i.e. a list of numbers) would be great.
  23. cigarill macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2013
    I bought this iPhone app and it fills my need.
    It reads from a txt file (you can create one in-app). Numbers separate by [enter]
    Will be separated.

    I created a MacRumors account just to tell you about it :)

    Check it out:

  24. MrMacMack macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2012
    Only thing that comes to mind is manually adding them one by one by tapping the (+) button. You'll only have to do that once.

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