What are iMessages?
iMessages is a free message service provided by Apple via it's free iCloud Service. iMessages (technically called "Messages") is similar to "old fashioned" text messages (see below) without many of the limitations of old style text messages. iMessages can only be sent or received on iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads and Mac's. On iPhones the iMessages app also sends and receives old style text messages but automatically sends messages via the iMessage service to other iPhone users.
What are text messages?
Text messages, also known as txt, SMS, or MMS messages, is the 15+ year old technology used for sending simple messages between mobile phones. Most mobile phone providers charge for text messaging services. Text messages are limited to 140 characters and only more recently with the advent of "MMS" (Multimedia Messaging Service) can photos and videos be sent.
What is the difference between an iMessage and a text message?
These are a few of the key differences and drawbacks of text messages and iMessages:
- iMessages are free and message sizes are unlimited
- Text messages are usually not free, and limited to 140 characters
- iMessages can only be sent or received on Apple devices
- Text messages can be sent or received on virtually any mobile phone manufactured after 1995
- Text messages use the mobile carrier's SMS network
- iMessages use Apple's iCloud service via wifi or the phone's data-connection (i.e.; 3G)
- iMessages (optionally) appear and sync across all Apple devices that you own, allowing you to send, receive and reply to a message regardless if you are on your iPhone or sitting at your Mac (or other device).
- On Apple devices, iMessage windows or 'bubbles' are blue and text messages are green