Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you make a purchase using some of our links.
Apple’s built-in texting app iMessage allows free texting across all iOS devices and Mac OS as long as they have internet access. Basically, iMessage is not using your vendor’s text message. You can send picture or text messages through iMessage to any iOS or Mac device for free. However, the iMesaage is not free when you send messages to a different platform such as Android. I have several friends complaining about their service provider charge them for sending SMS messages to iPhones.
How do we know an iMessage is free before sending it. How do we know a particular number is an iPhone number or not to send free iMessage? Let’s see.
Are iMessages Free?
iMessages are free when you send from an iOS device to another iOS device with a registered phone number or email with iCloud. Apple made iMessage free concept from iOS 5 and above versions. Even though the message to send from an iOS device is free, your mobile provider may charge you for data if you are using iMessage with mobile data instead of WiFi. iMessage is a free service from Apple to communicate between Apple devices for free on WiFi.
Are All iMessages Free?
The messages can be a text message, media or files. As long as you are communicating between two iOS devices or Mac and iOS device through iMessage, the service is completely free. You can send files, images, and texts for free through iMessage to another iOS or Mac device.
Is iMessage Free to Send Pictures?
Yes, iMessage service is free for sending images or attachments through the service. However, when you are using iMessage on a data plan, you may be charged for a data plan. But there is no MMS or SMS charge involved when you are sending photos, GIFs, or attached files.
Is it Free to iMessage Internationally?
Yes, as long as both devices are registered with iCloud and using the iMessage on iOS or Mac, all iMessages are free to send internationally. When both devices are from Apple devices and the phone numbers are registered with iCloud, you can send free iMessage to an international number. However, when you are roaming in a different country, you may get billed for data usage. Typically, iMessage is free anywhere in the world, as long as you are using from iPhone to iPhone, Mac to iPhone or between iPads. However, you may see come country restrictions those are blocking the iMessage.
What is the Difference Between iMessage and Text Message?
iMessage is built by Apple to communicate between iOS and Mac devices. The text messages are using the vendor’s system for sending the message while iMessage is using Apple’s server to communicate. iMessage is using the data over the internet to pass the message instead of using traditional SMS (Short Message Service) available through the mobile service provider. The SMS services, that has been using by traditional phones over several years are using the same bandwidth allocated for voice to send the text message. Also when you send MMS from a non-Apple device, it charges for both message and data (if you are in WiFi). That being said, the million dollar question here;
How do you Know your iMessage is Free or Not Before Sending It?
Apple made it simple to recognize a free iMessage and text message before sending the text. You can immediately recognize a phone number whether it is an iPhone number or not. iOS is offering a solution to recognize an iPhone number before you send the message.
- Open Messages App from iPhone.
- Tap on Pencil icon (top-right) for a new message.
- Enter the number or name to search the number from your contact list.
- iOS will list the number from the contacts based on the name you entered.
- iMessage is free if the number marked in blue color.
- iMessage is not free if the number marked in green color.
Alternatively, you can see the color difference of composing arrow in iMessage. The message is free if the arrow is blue. The provider will charge for the message if the arrow is in green color.
How Do you Know iMessage is Free After Sending It?
Well, you send some message to a number and you were not aware of the charge for text Message. So how do you know the messages were free or not after sending from the iPhone?
- Open Messages App from iPhone.
- Open the message window for the contact that you sent before.
- Check any text messages that you previously sent.
- The messages were free if you see a blue background for the texts.
- The messages were not free if you see a green background for the texts.
What do you do if you send only images before? Well, as you see on the screenshot above, you can paste an image or text on the iMessage compose window. If you see blue send arrow, the message is free. The provider may charge for the text you if you see a green send arrow in the iMessage box.
How to Block All SMS and Allow Only Free iMessage?
You can send the message as free anywhere to the world if you see the iMessage in blue color. Once you send the message, the background color of the message turns into the blue for free messages. How do you block all SMS message from your iPhone those are billable by tour carrier? Well, Apple allows to block all SMS and send only iMessage from your phone.
- Open iOS Settings.
- Navigate to Messages and open.
- Scroll down to Send as SMS.
- Toggle “Send as SMS” to Off
Now you are limited to send only iMessages and you will not bale able to send messages to any other Android or different device user. This will avoid any accidental SMS charges from your provider.
As long as you are not worried about the SMS charge from your carrier, you can turn on Send as SMS. There are several other free message services like WhatsApp, Telegram to send free messages to any phone in the world regardless of the platform.
When you send a message from an iPhone or iPad, you don’t know it is going to be free or not. If you are sending a message from iPhone to an Android number, the message will send as an SMS and the provider will charge you for the text message. And also the message will consider as a text message instead of a free iMessage. Make sure you are sending the messages to blue marked number to make sure those messages are free. If those numbers marked as green, your provider will bill you for the message. Check the color before you send message to avoid any huge monthly bill from your service provider.