Understanding the Difference between MMS and iMessage on Your iPhone

Use Messages to send text and picture messages to your friends, family, or other contacts.  When you use Messages, your texts and pictures are sent using one of two different ways. If you use Straight Talk, Net10 Wireless, or Tracfone you should understand the difference.

Like any other smartphone, Messages can text messages and picture messages to any other cell phone user using SMS and MMS. SMS and MMS are the way the different phone companies exchange messages. If you use the Apple iPhone and you send a message to someone who uses a Samsung phone, your texts and pics are sent or received using SMS and MMS.

Messages can also deliver your messages using iMessage. iMessage is an Apple service that lets you send texts and pictures to other iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Macintosh users.  The service is unlimited and free if you are using your iOS device on a Wi-Fi connection. It will also use your cellular data connection to deliver messages and the cost for that depends on your data plan.

To use iMessage you need to turn in on in the Messages settings. It uses your Apple ID, email, and cell number to connect to other users using iMessage.


If you look carefully in Messages, you can see if your text or picture messages was delivered using SMS/MMS or iMessage. Messages sent using SMS & MMS appear in green.  Also notice that Messages shows the the message is a text messages (SMS) in the second screen.

bt-mms bt-sms

Messages sent using iMessage appear in blue.


This is why if you are using Straight Talk or Net1o Wireless you often can send and receive text and picture messages with other iPhone users but not people using other smart smartphones.

If you are using Straight Talk, Net10 Wireless, or Tracfone and have Wi-Fi or cellular data your iPhone will send messages without issue. I

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