In this detailed iMessage vs SMS guide, we take a look at iMessage and its features and of course, SMS messaging and its features. By the end of this article, you know all of the major differences between SMS messaging and iMessage and you can decide which instant messaging option works better for you depending on your preferences. Before we examine the differences between iMessage vs SMS texting, we should examine each service separately.
First of all, both SMS and iMessage are instant messaging services that let you send real-time messages using a variety of portable devices that are connected to the internet. Instant messages sent using iMessage and SMS usually include two parties even though you can send messages to group chats as well. When it comes to instant messaging, there are several different types of these services including emailing options, social media platforms, instant messaging apps, as well as cross-platform freeware messaging apps for portable devices such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and Viber.
Different Instant Messaging Options
When discussing iMessage vs SMS message, we have to take a look at different instant messaging options out there. Some instant messaging services that you have at your disposal today use push technology while more advanced services and apps integrated video chat options, voice messages, as well as hyperlinks that are also shared in real-time just like text messages.
Depending on the instant messaging protocol used, instant messaging services facilitate online communication between known users from buddy, friend, or contact lists and this is a point-to-point or peer-to-peer instant messaging transmission. In other words, real-time messages are transmitted from the sender’s device to the recipient’s device in real-time. Back in 2010, there was a decline in the number of users of such services especially after AIM shut down and extremely popular Windows Live Messenger turned into Skype.
However, in recent years there has been a massive revival of such messaging options following the launch of mobile compatible iOS and Android instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Wickr, Signal, Viber, and LINE. As estimated in 2014, these apps had more active users on a daily basis than popular social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and others. This leads us to iMessage vs SMS, and both work very similarly but still offer different features and more importantly different data privacy and security options.
iMessage Vs SMS – How They Work?
Developed and launched by Apple Inc. back in 2011, iMessage is a reliable, secure, instant messaging service that only works across Apple platforms including iOS-powered smartphones, macOS, and iPadOS. Just like other instant messaging services and apps out there, with iMessage you can communicate with others by text messaging. With iMessage, you can also share videos, images, files as well as read statuses.
What is very important to note is that iMessage is end-to-end encrypted and this means that no one including third-parties and even the company that launched the service can intercept, view, and tamper with your messages sent using the service. If you are using an iOS-powered device, you have probably noticed that some of your messages sent appear in green while others appear in blue bubbles. Messages in blue are those sent using iMessage while those in green are sent as SMS messages.
Further in this iMessage vs SMS texting guide, we explore what is SMS texting and how it differs from iMessage. SMS that stands for short message service is one of the most used text messaging services and it uses modern communication protocols thanks to which anyone with a mobile device and an active telephone number can exchange text messages. Things when it comes to SMS texting have changed a lot since the very first SMS was sent back in 1992. Since these times, SMS texting became extremely popular with over 3,5 billion users as estimated in 2010 or over eighty percent of mobile phone users.
Unlike iMessage, SMS texting allows you to send as well as receive short messages that have the upper limit of one hundred and sixty characters. To send a SMS text message, you need a phone and you need a plan with some of your local cellular providers. Convenient and safe, SMS texting remains very popular and it works even when you are not connected to the Internet. On the other hand, Apple’s iMessage instant messaging service requires an internet connection. To send a text message using iMessage, you required a data plan or internet connection.
If you send messages using the service without internet connectivity, funds will be deducted from your data plan. iMessage has its separate app and using this app you can send both SMS and iMessage text messages. Unlike SMS, iMessage only works between Apple devices or iOS-powered smartphones. At the same time, iMessage has some innovative features that SMS instant messaging options do not offer. Some of the major iMessage pros are:
- End-to-end encryption used
- Already built into Mac and iPhone devices
- Cool features such as stickers
- Convenient, secure, and seamless
SMS texting also comes with benefits:
- SMS texts can be sent without internet connectivity
- No need to download any app or software
- Safe, convenient, and reliable
- Better open rates than other services
iMessage Vs SMS – Which One is Better?
When it comes to the iMessage vs SMS battle, once again it comes down to your preferences. SMS has been around for over two decades and it remains one of the most reliable instant text messaging options today. Even though sending a SMS will cost you, SMS is super convenient, secure, and reliable. When compared to other similar services, SMS texting also has better open rates. Unlike iMessage, SMS texting is available to anyone with a phone and a data plan with a cellular provider.
At the same time, iMessage has a bunch of great features that SMS texting does not. When using iMessage, you can send images, files, stickers, share your location, send voice messages, and videos. When using iMessage, you can also share GIFs, and even send and receive money with Apple Pay.
Moreover, your iMessage chats sync with iCloud accounts so you can access your iMessage texts on other Apple devices. At the same time, iMessage uses data and it goes fast when you send files. If your friends use Android devices, you will probably stick to SMS texting. Since both options have their perks, many iOS users end up texting using both iMessage and SMS.