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Unless you've been living in a cave or on a remote island for the past several years, you probably know what texting is. But briefly, texting or as it's officially known Short Messaging Service or SMS is a service for sending short messages usually under 200 characters or a few sentences from one phone to another. The idea behind texting is that it's immediate communication in the same sense that a phone call is immediate but it's also less formal than sending an email to someone. Texting is for times when you want to ask question or say something to a friend or coworker, but don't want to speak on the phone either because it would be unnecessary or because you or your recipient are in an environment where talking on the phone is just not possible or maybe inconsiderate.
In addition to text messages, you can even send and receive videos and short video clips via text messaging. Those are commonly referred to as Multimedia Messaging Services or MMS. So, let's take a quick walkthrough of texting on the iPhone. To send a text message from your iPhone, tap the Messages icon. If you've never sent a text message before, the first thing you will see will be a new Message screen asking you enter the name or number of the person you want to text. If you have received text before you'll see a list of all your past and current conversations in which case, tap the New Message button to create a new message.
Start typing a name or number. If the person's name appears in your contacts the iPhone will suggest it. If one of the suggestions is correct tap the names so you don't have to type the entire thing out. Additionally, you can tap the Plus (+) symbol to go right to your Contacts and browse for the person you want to send the text to from here. I'll just cancel that. You can even send the text message to multiple recipients. For instance, maybe you're on a vacation and you want to text to three other people you're traveling with to let them know you're in the hotel lobby, just enter another number or browse your Contacts list.
Be aware though that if you text multiple recipients the replies of anyone not using an iPhone may only come to you and not to other people you texted. If everyone is on iOS device though, you can all converse back and forth and you all receive each other's texts. Next, type out your message by tapping in the text field, then tap Send, and that's all there is to it. Within moment your recipients will receive a text message as long as their phones are turned on. If a recipient's phone is currently turned off they will receive the message when they turn it back on.
If the person I'm texting sends a message back to me while I'm still in the messages app it appears like this. Now, if I'm not currently in the messages app when I receive the message, maybe I'm checking the weather and a message comes in, I can read the first line of the text in this notification that pops up. As we saw in the movie on Notifications in chapter one, I have the option to either ignore this message, which disappears after a few seconds and stay on the Weather app, or I could tap the notification to close weather and go back to my conversation to type my reply. If I miss the chance to tap the notification, remember I can drag down from the top of the screen to open Notification Center and tap my message from there.
And that's gist of texting. Now, let's take a look at how to send a picture or video. And I'm going to send this one just to Scott. So, I'm going to go back to my main messages list, and here's a previous conversation I was having with just Scott. To send a photo or a video, tap the Camera icon. That gives you the choice of shooting a new photo or video or choosing an existing one from your photo library. If you choose to shoot a new photo, the camera will open and you can take your picture. But for this example, I'll tap Choose Existing. Browse for the photo you want to select and then tap Choose.
If you want to type a caption, your reason for sending the photo or some other text to go along with it go ahead, or you can just leave this blank and tap Send, and that's it. You can do the same thing with short videos. Just select the video clip instead of a still photo. But be aware that the video will be compressed and won't look nearly as nice and sharp on your recipient's phone as it does on your iPhone. You're also limited to sending clips that are only about a minute long but you can use the iPhone's editing tools to trim down your clips before sending them. And of course you can receive MMS messages from your friends as well.
They don't have to have iPhones to send and receive photos to and from your phone. They just need a phone and a plan that accommodates text and MMS. Now, only 50 messages or so stay in your Message list at once. So, if a friend sends you a photo or video that you want to keep, tap the image to view at a full size. Then tap this button in the upper right-hand corner and choose Save to Camera Roll. That stores the image in your Photo Library where you can access it at anytime. So, that's the basic gist how to send and receive text messages. Now, I also want to point out that if you're texting with friends who are also on iOS devices whether it's the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you can take advantage of feature called iMessage.
iMessage works just like text messaging except unlike regular text messages iMessages are free so you can send as many messages back and forth between you and your friends on iOS devices all without being charged by your wireless carrier and iMessage also works over both cell networks and Wi-Fi networks. So, you can text to in from non-cellular devices like the iPad and iPod touch. Now if you're on an iPhone, your phone number is all you need to use iMessage. But if you're on a non-cellular device like an iPod touch or even a Mac, you can use your Apple ID as your contact for iMessage.
Let me show you where to do that in iOS. So, all you need is an Apple ID, to turn on iMessage go to Settings>Messages and here make sure iMessage is turned on. So, you can see here on my iPhone under Send & Receive I currently see my phone number. If I tap that, I can tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage and here enter your Apple ID and your password and Sign In.
And now, I can see that my friends will be able to contact me through iMessage through both my phone number and my Apple ID. Now other options we have here are Send Read Receipts. When it's switched on, this lets people who have sent you messages know that you read their message. This is also where you can switch on the options for MMS Messaging, Group Messaging and you can also include a Subject Field and a Character Count, but those are off by default. But the real beauty of iMessage is that you can use the same Apple ID across multiple iOS devices.
So, if I were to sign into my iPad with the same Apple ID I've entered on my iPhone, my messages would be sent to both devices and I could respond to them from either device as well. But again, messages only works with iOS devices and Macs running the Messages app. Also anytime you use your Apple ID on an iOS device to enable iMessage you'll get an alert on your other devices letting you know that that ID was used on that device. This is just a safeguard to let you know on the off chance that anyone else has used your ID to access your messages. But just as an example, I'll go back to my Messages.
With iMessage is turned on, I can text Scott as usual, and since Scott is on an iPhone as well my messages default to iMessages. You can tell what type of message or conversation you're having by the color of the text bubbles. Traditional text messages appear in green bubbles while iMessage appears in blue. And yet another advantage of iMessage is that you can see when the person you're texting is replying. Notice this bubble with the ellipses, this tells me that Scott is typing something back to me.
Okay, so that's how to send and receive text and multimedia messages. Let's finish here by looking at how we manage our text conversations. Here in Messages is a list of all the text conversations you had, or more accurately this is a list of all the people you had text conversations with in chronological order with the most recent conversations at the top. This is nice because the people you chat with most frequently will always be at the top of this list. So, if you want to send one of these people a text message you don't have to type in their number or search through your contacts.
Just find the previous conversation you had and tap it. Even if the previous conversation happened three weeks ago their information is still here so you can just type your message and hit Send. To go back to the Message List, tap Messages button. Now, you can also delete conversation from this list if you need to. Either swipe your finger across the conversation you want to delete, which reveals the Delete button -- I'll cancel that by tapping Done -- or tap Edit and tap the little red icons next to the messages you want to delete, and then tap delete.
Similarly, you can delete portions of individual conversations. Maybe for example your friend sent you an embarrassing photo from the weekend, you can't do anything about the fact that your friend has this photo, at least not with your iPhone but you can at least get the copy off of your phone. Just tap Edit and check the circles next to any parts of the conversations you want to delete, then tap Delete and then tap Delete Selected Messages. Lastly, you'll sometimes come to the point where it becomes apparent that texting is not the proper medium for the conversation you're having.
Maybe things are getting heated or could just be that they are too many details or too much to type. Just scroll up or tap the top of the conversation to scroll all the way to the top. And here you can tap Call to immediately place a call to this person. You don't have to close messages and open the phone app to do so. Notice here you can also tap Contact information to see the person's contact info. If you have a long conversation history with this particular person you will also see Load Earlier Messages here as well, and that will allow you to view more than the 50 messages currently saved on your phone.
And that is texting and using iMessage with your iOS device.
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