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How to Send Text and Image for FREE with iMessage


Do you know you can send text, image, and video for FREE with iMessage?  iMessage is a free service from Apple.  Communications between iMessage users are free via WiFi.  You can have iMessage on iPhone, iPod, iPAD, and your MAC computer with OS X Mountain Lion.

How to set up iMessage?  

On iPhone, go to “Setting”, then “Message”.  You will see a screen like below.  Text for FREE with iMesssage

Usually, iPhone automatically turns on iMessage during activation.  If not, turn it “On”.  If you want to have the ability to send text when there is no WiFi, set “Send as SMS” to “On”.  This lets you send text via your cell phone’s cellular plan when iMessage service is not available, for example, text to someone with a cell phone other than iPhone.

Next to “Receive At”, you probably will see you phone number.  If not, you can put your phone number there.  You can also add an email address to receive messages.  In fact, you can add more than one email addresses to receive messages.

MMS Messaging” lets you send image and video files, in addition to texts.  “Group Messaging” allows communications among more than two persons.

Setting up on iPAD is similar.  You need iOS 6 to add a phone number to receive messages.  Otherwise, you can use the email address associated with you Apple ID.

Now you have iMessage set up, whenever you want to send a message (text or image), just tap on the “Message” button.

How to tell it is FREE?

I do want to warn you, messages over iMessage are only free when you use WiFi.  The easy way to tell if your message is free is by the color of the text bubble.  If the text bubble is blue, it is free.  If the text bubble is green, it is not free.  You can see the example below.  The one on the left is free, the one on the right is not.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Betsy

    Thanks for the good tip.

  • This sounds a lot like BBM, but expanded to computers. Once again, Apple sure knows how to be innovative and efficient. If only RIM could be half as decent, it wouldn’t have plummeted.

    • Apple innovations meet consumers needs, I think that is the key driver of their success.

  • Thanks so much for your input!

  • Love it! Thanks so much!!

  • Hi, I just tried this on iPAd 2 ,but no SMS option appeared 🙂
    Do I have to remove the email option first? Thanks

    • No. SMS doesn’t show up on iPAD, because SMS (Short Message Service) is delivered through phone service (cell phone plan), and iPAD is not a phone. Messages sent through iMessage use your iOS data plan, if there is no WiFi. You can still set up with your phone number to receive message (if you have iOS 6), but it is through your iOS service, not cell phone service. I know it is confusing. In case it is still not clear, hope this article helps.

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