How to iMessage Non-iPhone Users
By Jeff Grundy
With the iMessage app, you can send messages to other iPhone users over a data or Wi-Fi connection. When using the app to message other iPhone users, you don't incur text-message charges from your wireless carrier. You also can use iMessage to send free messages to Mac users who have installed the app as well as non-iPhone users; however, you must configure iMessage to send texts to non-iPhone users automatically or manually select the SMS option before sending.
Message iPad, iPod Touch and Mac Users With iMessage
Ensure that you have an active Internet connection on a 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi network. Press the "Home" button and then tap "Settings." Tap "Messages" and select "Use your Apple ID for iMessage."
Enter your Apple ID and password and tap "Sign In." Tap both your phone number and email address, and then tap "Next."
Slide the "iMessage" switch to the "ON" position, and then tap "Send & Receive" on the iMessage menu. Tap your phone number and email address again to place check marks next to them. Press the "Home" button to return to the Home screen.
Slide the first Home screen to the left to view the second Home screen, and then tap "Utilities." Tap the "Contacts" icon.
Tap the "+" symbol to open the New Contact screen.
Enter the first and last name of the contact. Enter the Apple ID email address of the person and tap "Done." Press the "Home" button.
Tap the green "Messages" icon on the Home screen and select "New Message." Tap the "+" symbol in the upper right corner of the New Message screen.
Scroll down to and select the name of the person you want to message.
Type your message into the New Message window and tap "Send." If the person you are messaging has an active Internet connection, the message appears in a blue bubble on the screen after a few seconds. This indicates that iMessage sent the message successfully. If the person is not online, iMessage cannot send the message and the bubble turns red.
Send Text Message in iMessage
Create a contact entry for the person if you have not already done so. When creating the new contact, enter the person's cell phone number instead of his Apple ID email address.
Press the "Home" button, tap "Settings" and select "Messages." Slide the switch next to the "Send as SMS" option if it is not already active. Press "Home" to return to the Home screen.
Tap the "Messages" icon. Tap "New Message," tap the "+" symbol, and select the contact name of the non-iPhone user.
Type your message text in the New Message window and tap "Send." After a second or two, the message appears on the screen with a green bubble around it. This indicates that your iPhone sent the message as a normal SMS message rather than as an iMessage.
- With the "Send as SMS" option enabled, the iPhone will send messages as texts if an iPhone user is not online. If you want to ensure that the phone does not send iPhone users regular SMS messages, turn off the "Send as SMS" option after sending a message to a non-iPhone cell phone user.
- When using iMessage to send SMS messages to non-iPhone users, your wireless carrier may charge you a fee. Refer to your wireless plan agreement or contract to determine if your account includes free text messages or if you must pay for each SMS you send.
Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.