Featured image for SMS vs iMessage: Which One is Better?

SMS vs iMessage: Which One is Better?

Android and iPhone battle it out for superiority in terms of cameras, battery life, and messaging systems. Android users love their green messages, whereas Apple users love their blue messages.

Want to start a text message conversation with our customer service team? Just enter your number here.

Powered By TextSanity Logo

But what’s the difference between SMS and iMessage, and which method is better? Here’s what you need to know:


What is SMS?

SMS stands for “short messaging service” and is the most common form of text messaging today. SMS messaging has been around since the 1990s and gained popularity in the 2000s.


These days, billions of them are sent on a daily basis, as we know, SMS is an extremely useful method of communication.

Stock image 1 for SMS vs iMessage: Which One is Better?

Are SMS messages secure?

We consider SMS messages to be secure. At the same time, it’s important to note that there is no end-to-end encryption on SMS messages.

No encryption means that your cellular carrier sees what you send and receive via SMS message.


What is iMessage?

iMessage is Apple’s system for instant messaging for iPhones, iPads, and Macs.


With iMessage, Apple users send messages instantly to other Apple users. You cannot use iMessage when communicating outside of Apple devices.

Are iMessages secure?

You send iMessages through Apple’s servers rather than regular cell towers. As a result, iMessages are end-to-end encrypted. This means that, unlike SMS messaging, where your cellular provider can read your messages, Apple cannot.

However, you must note that no messaging method is 100% secure as all systems are at-risk of hacking.

So, you should limit the information you share through SMS messages and iMessages. For example, you should never send your Social Security number to someone via text or iMessage — instead call them or, better still, tell them in person.

Stock image 2 for SMS vs iMessage: Which One is Better?


What is SMS useful for?

Although Apple encrypts its iMessages, SMS still has many practical uses.


Communicating across all mobile devices

Every device supports SMS messaging. So, if you have an Apple device, a Samsung device, or a Motorola device — SMS will work.

Also, changing how you send messages based on who you’re talking to is unnecessary since SMS works for everyone. As a result, SMS messaging is convenient for those who prefer simple phone settings.

Sending short messages

SMS messaging is also ideal for sending short messages with character limits since it uses cellular towers instead of internet connections.

You’re limited to 160 characters per segment when you send an SMS message. If you have more than 160 characters, your text is sent as multiple messages. So, if you don’t have unlimited SMS messaging, you are charged for each message.

It’s also important to note that using emojis further limits the characters in a single segment to 70.

Stock image 3 for  SMS vs iMessage: Which One is Better?

Sending mass text messages with TextSanity

SMS messaging makes mass text messaging campaigns an extremely effective marketing strategy. TextSanity’s platform allows you to easily communicate with contacts seamlessly using SMS messaging.

With TextSanity, you can send SMS messages to any U.S. phone number from anywhere in the world. There are no contracts and no setup fees. And there are a variety of pricing plans. You’ll choose a unique text marketing phone number to send and receive text messages to and from.

TextSanity features text marketing tools such as text message scheduling, message templates, text message chatbots, broadcasting, online text message opt-in webform, text message drip campaign, and more.

Mass text messaging is perfect for marketing, business communication, and large group communication. You set up tags to send specific messages to certain groups within your contact database.

When should you use iMessage?

Apple fans rave about iMessage, but what are the benefits of using it over SMS messaging?

For group chats with other Apple devices

Apple makes it easy to set up group chats using iMessage. If all the members of a group have iPhones, you have access to extra features.

For instance, you can name the group and set a group photo. You can also make a group call or video chat through Messenger.

It’s also easy to share and view media content like photos and videos sent in the group.

For viewing your message’s status

iMessage allows you to view the status of the messages that you send. You’ll see a delivery notification at the bottom of the screen. You’ll also see a read receipt if the recipient has that feature turned on.

Stock image 4 for SMS vs iMessage: Which One is Better?

For messaging effects and extras

iMessage goes above and beyond with its messaging effects and extras.

What devices offer iMessage?

iMessage is only on Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches equipped with iOS 5.0 or later. Also use iMessage on MacBook computers with OS X Mountain Lion or later.

When you sync your Apple devices through your Apple ID, you easily see and respond to all iMessages across all your devices.

For example, send an iMessage on your iPhone and respond on your MacBook.

How do I switch from iMessage to SMS?

Sometimes, Apple users need to switch from iMessage to SMS. For example, if an iMessage cannot send due to connectivity issues, the user may choose SMS messages.

To switch from iMessage to SMS messaging on your Apple device:

  1. Go to your Settings and scroll down to the “Messages” tab.
  2. Switch the toggle for iMessage to Off.
  3. Alternatively, you can choose to send SMS messages when iMessages are unavailable.

To send an iMessage as an SMS, you can do this directly within the Messages app by:

  1. Selecting the conversation and hard pressing on the message in question.
  2. You can then choose to send this message as a Text Message instead of an iMessage — after which it appears green instead of blue.

Stock image 5 for SMS vs iMessage: Which One is Better?

Why does iMessage sometimes switch to SMS on its own?

If you frequently use iMessage, you might notice that sometimes these messages switch to SMS messages without your intervention. This happens for several different reasons.

The recipient of your iMessage might have their iMessaging capabilities turned off. Another reason is a lack of internet connectivity since iMessage uses Wi-Fi or cellular data.

Remember, cell towers transmit SMS messages. As a result, SMS messages only need a little bit of cell service to go through.


SMS messages and iMessage are useful in different ways. SMS messages are great for businesses and marketers looking to reach large groups of customers. iMessage is great for encrypted communications with friends and family using group messages and video messages.

If your business is interested in text message marketing, check out TextSanity! Contact us for more information or text DEMO to 50505.