New iOS users may get confused when it comes to text messages and iMessages, but it is possible to differentiate one from the other in an easy way. Let’s start by saying that when someone sends you a text, they enter the message on their phone and press the send button. Then their mobile service provider ensures that the message is transferred through its network to the recipient.
You may be charged for the text message, but this will depend on the plan that you have. Some plans provide unlimited text messages and you are only charged when you exceed the texting limit. In general, it is unlikely that you go over your limit, although if you usually communicate with friends and family via text and usually have full conversations using this method, the charges may add up quite fast. This is why many people prefer options like WhatsApp, as they are free and you only need an internet connection. In the case of iOS users, there is another practical option available.
If you send a text to someone who has an Apple ID, the Messages app on your iOS device identifies the intended recipient’s Apple ID and it routes the message through Apple’s servers, without involving your mobile service operator. The process is automatic and it allows you to avoid texting charges from your provider. The only thing to keep in mind is that in order to send an iMessage, an internet connection is required. If you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network, your mobile data would be used. If you have a strict monthly limit on your data, it would be advisable to disable iMessages. You can do this by opening the Settings app, then selecting Messages and “Send & receive”. Next, you need to tap the Apple ID at the top of the window and select Sign out. After signing out, you just need to ensure that the iMessages slider is set to the OFF position, meaning that you don’t see green on the slider.
Given that it is possible to send iMessages using a Wi-Fi connection, you can use your iPad, iPod Touch or Mac to send a message, without requiring cellular data. When you are sending a message, the Messages app on your iOS device will let you know if the message is being sent as a standard text message or as an iMessage. The Messages app displays the information (iMessage or Text Message) under the message, depending on the case. In addition, you can see how the message was sent because the iMessages are shown with a blue background in the text entry field. If the message is sent as a regular text message, the text entry field shows as Text Message and a green background is used.