What is SMS?
The term SMS (Short Message Service) is a text messaging service that uses standard communication protocols that let mobile devices exchange short messages. It allows users to send and receive messages up to 160 characters including spaces. This style of messaging does not require Wifi or a data plan.
What is iMessage?
iMessage is an instant messaging service that was developed by Apple in 2011. Since iMessage was developed by Apple itself, it's a service exclusive to Apple devices such as the iPhone, iMac, iPad, iWatch, etc. Each of these devices have iMessage functionality which allows users to send messages, photos, videos, and other media over Wifi or other cellular data networks.
What are the differences between SMS and iMessage?
SMS is available on virtually every phone and tablet in the world. iMessage on the other hand is available only on Apple devices. But one of the major differences and in fact, the most important is security. iMessage texts contain a thing called end-to-end encryption that regular SMS texts don't. This is what protects your communications from getting intercepted by hackers or other unwanted third parties while going through networks.
What are the Advantages of iMessage over SMS Messaging?
- Increased security. iMessages are delivered via Apple’s encrypted servers. This provides an added layer of protection that regular SMS messages don’t have.
- Monitor delivery. iMessages are able to notify you if the recipient has received or read your message. This will keep you from monitoring if your team has seen your message.
- No international charges. If you have a global business, you know that communicating overseas can be expensive. Apple won’t charge you, even for international messages.
- Minimal data compression. Regular SMS services have small data caps when sending messages. iMessage limits are an outstanding 100 Mbs, allowing you to send large files.
What are the Disadvantages of iMessage over SMS Messaging?
- Apple only. Unless you use unofficial software, iMessages will convert to SMS messages when trying to contact non-Apple users.
- It relies on a data connection. You can’t send iMessages if you don’t have access to internet services. Also, iMessages will count against your monthly service data cap.
- You’re relying on Apple. If you lose your iCloud account, it is extremely difficult to recover old messages. iMessages also don’t work if there is an Apple server outage.
Can you mix SMS/MMS and iMessage?
Sending messages between iMessage and SMS does work, but sometimes needs extra attention to get it setup. iMessages can only be sent and received with Apple devices. SMS/MMS messages can be sent/received on any phone. When you sent a message from your iPhone to an Android phone, it is a SMS/MMS message, not an iMessage. See information in the following article: What is the difference between iMessage and SMS/MMS? - Apple Support
You can send messages to an Android phone from your Mac if you send it though your iPhone as described in Forward SMS/MMS text messages from your iPhone to your Mac or iPad - Apple Support
*Note: that they will be SMS/MMS not iMessages.
Some things you might try if you are not getting texts from iPhone users can be found here: https://support.troomi.com/a/solutions/articles/73000537754/edit