Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Texting and using iMessages, part of iOS 7: iPhone and iPad Essential Training.
Unless you've been living 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 those times when you want to ask a question or say something to a friend or co-worker 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 not possible.
Or just inconsiderate. In addition to text messages, you can even send and receive photos and short video clips via messaging. Those are commonly referred to as multimedia messaging services, or MMS. So let's take a quick walk through texting on the iPhone. To send a message from your iPhone, tap the Messages icon. If you've never sent a text message before the first thing you'll see will be a new message screen asking you to enter the name or number of the person you want to text. If you have received texts 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 a person's name appears in your contacts, iPhone will offer suggestions. If one of the suggestions is correct, tap the name so you don't have to type the entire thing out. Additionally, you can tap the plus symbol, to go right to your contacts list and browse to the person you want to send a text to, and you can even send the text message to multiple recipients. For example maybe you're on a vacation and you want to text the three other people you're traveling with to let them know you're in the hotel lobby waiting for them. Just enter another number or browse through your contacts list. But 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 the other people you texted.
If everyone is on an iOS device, though, you can all converse back and forth and you'll all receive each other's texts. I'll just cancel this for now, and send my message just to Scott. Type out your message by tapping in the Text field. Then, tap Send. And that's all there is to it, within moments your recipient will receive your text message, as long as their phone is turned on of course. If the phone is currently off, they'll 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 Message app, it appears like this. Now if I'm not currently in the Messages app when I receive a message. Let's say I'm checking out the weather, and a text 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 disappeared after a few seconds. And stay in the Weather app, or I could've tapped the notification to close Weather and go back to my conversation to type my reply. If i missed my chance to tap the notification, remember I can drag down from the top of the screen, to open Notification Center. And here I can go to All and select the message from here, which takes me right back to Messages. And that's the gist of texting. Now, when it comes to sending a picture or a video, all you need to do is tap this little 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 up and you can take a picture but, for this example, I'll tap Choose Existing. Browse for the photo you want to send, 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, just start typing. And then tap Send. And that's it. You can do the same thing with short videos. Just select a video clip instead of a still photo. But be aware that the video will be compressed, and it 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. The people you're messaging with don't have to have iPhone to send and receive photos to and from your phone. They just need a phone and a plan that accommodates text in MMS. Now only 50 messages or so stay in your message list at once, so if a friend sends you a photo of a video you want to keep, tap the image to view it at full size, then tap this button in the lower left-hand corner. And tap Save Image. That stores the image in your Photo Library where you can access it at any time.
So that's the basics of 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 a 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 an iOS device as you like. All without being charged by your wireless carrier. And iMessage also works over both cell networks and WiFi networks. So you can text to and from non-cellular devices like the iPad and iPod touch.
Now if your on an iPhone your phone number is all you need to use iMessage, but if you're on a WiFi only device like and iPod Touch or even a Mac, you can use your Apple ID as your contact for iMessage. Let me show you where to enter that. Go to Settings > Messages, and here turn on iMessage. And all you need is your Apple ID. Tap Use your Apple ID for iMessage. And enter your ID and password. Next, I'll see a screen saying that people will be able to send me messages through the email address I've associated with my Apple ID, as well as my phone number.
I'll tap Next. And now iMessage is on. Other options we have here are Send Read Receipts. When switched on, this lets people who have sent you messages know that you've read their messages. If the iMessage system is unavailable for some reason, you can turn on Send as SMS to automatically have messages sent as regular text messages. Under Send & Receive you can double check the email address and numbers you're using to receive and send iMessages. Under Start New Conversations From, you can specify whether you want to start new messages from either your email address or from your phone number.
But, one of the real advantages of iMessage is that you can use the same Apple ID across multiple iOS devices. So, if I were to sign in to my iPad with the same Apple ID I've entered on my iPhone. My iMessages would be sent to both devices, and I could respond to them from either device as well, but again, iMessages only work with iOS devices. Also, any time 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 your 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.
So just as an example I'll go back to my messages. With iMessage turned on I can text Scott as usual. Notice it says iMessage right in the text field there. And since Scott is on iPhone as well, my messages do default to iMessages. You can tell a type of message or conversation you're having by the color of the text bubbles. Traditional text messages appear in green bubbles. While iMessages appear 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. Notice another advantage of iMessages is that you can get a time stamp showing when your message was delivered or read.
You can also see time stamps for all of your messages simply by swiping across to the left. Alright, so that's how to send and receive text and multimedia messages. Let's finish out here by looking at how we manage our text conversations. So on the main Messages screen is a list of all the text conversations you've had. Or more accurately, this is a list of all the people you've had conversations with in chronological order, with the most recent conversations at the top. This is nice because the people you chat the most frequently with 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. Again, to go back to the messages list, just tap the Messages button. Now, you can also delete conversations from this list if you need to. Either swipe your finger across the entire conversation you want to delete, which reveals the Delete button, or tap Edit and tap the little red icons next to the messages you want to delete. Similarly, you can delete portions of individual conversations. Maybe, for example, a friend of yours sent 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 your phone. Just tap and hold down any section of the conversation you want to delete. And when this menu appears, tap More. If necessary, you can tap to check any other sections you want to remove. Then tap the Trash icon. And then confirm that you want to delete the selected messages. While in this mode you can also tap Delete All to delete the entire conversation from here, but it's easier to do this from the main Messages screen. By just sliding your finger across the conversation. 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 the conversation is getting heated or it could just be that there are too many details or too much to type. In those cases, tap Contact. Here you can tap the available buttons to immediately place a call to this person, open a Face Time video chat, or you can tap the I button to view this contacts information, and that's texting and using iMessage with your iOS device.
- What's new in iOS 7?
- Accessing Control Center
- Setting up an Apple ID
- Learning finger gestures
- Selecting, cutting, copying, and pasting text
- Syncing music, movies, photos, contacts, and calendars with your computer
- Making and receiving phone calls
- Setting up email
- Surfing the web with Safari
- Playing music
- Shooting photos and video
- Finding directions with Maps
- Setting up events, reminders, and alarms
- Using Siri to voice control your device