How To Use iPhone : “Texting”, also known as text messaging or SMS, is familiar to anyone who has ever used a mobile phone. However, on the iPhone, it works a little differently. For a start, you get a full QWERTY keyboard (no more multi-tapping number keys) and your texts are shown as threaded conversations. The second difference is that you’re not limited to old-fashioned SMS text or picture messages. When sending a message to an iPhone or iPad running iOS 5, you can send a free iMessage instead.
The Basics: SMS & iMessage
The iPhone has always offered standard text messaging, and for a number of years has enabled users to send photo and video SMS messages too. But in late 2011, the iOS 5 software ushered in a third type of message: the iMessage. It works like this: you open the Messages app and write and send a message as usual. If you’re sending it to a normal phone, it will be sent as an SMS. But if you’re sending it to another iPhone running iOS 5 or later (or to an email address of someone using iMessage on an iPad or iPod Touch) the app will automatically send an iMessage instead – assuming you’re online, that is. iMessages offer a number of advantages over traditional SMS messages.
Zero cost iMessages are sent via the Internet, rather than through the phone network. This means they’re effectively free: you can send as many as you like without worrying about your monthly SMS allocation or fees for sending picture or video messages.
Receipts When you send an iMessage, you’ll get a delivery receipt to confirm that it reached the iPhone or iPad you were sending it to. And if the recipient has chosen to switch on read receipts, you’ll also get a confirmation that they actually saw your message.
Not just phones An SMS can usually only be sent and received by a mobile phone, but iMessages also work with the iPad and iPod Touch.
To decide how your phone handles iMessages and SMS, click Settings > Messages. Here you can choose whether you want to allow read receipts – and, if necessary, completely disable either ilviessages, SMS messages or both.
The same settings screen also allows you to check and change the phone number and Apple ID email address linked with your phone’s use of iMessages – but this is best left as it is unless something isn’t working.
Clicking the green Messages icon reveals a list of unread messages (signified by a blue dot) and existing “conversations’: Tap an entry to view one and you’re ready to reply. Alternatively:
To delete a message or conversation Swipe left or right over it to reveal the Delete button. Alternatively, tap Edit, then .
To write a new message Tap and either enter a phone number, start typing the name of someone in your Contacts list to reveal matching names, or hit to browse for a contact.
TIP To see whether your message will be sent as a regular text or a free iMessage, look in the text-entry box before you start typing. It should say either “Text Message” or “iMessage”.
To send a message to multiple people Start a new message (you can’t do this via an existing conversation) and tap to add new names. Note that if it’s an iMessage, recipients will be able to reply to all. If it’s a text message, they will only be able to reply to you.
To see if your message was delivered Look for the Delivered label in small type underneath each message. Note that this only works tiair iMessages, not regular text messages.
To forward a message tap Edit, then select one or more speech bubbles and choose forward.
TIP To quickly get to the top of a long SMS conversation and access the Call and Contact Info buttons, tap the time at the top of the Phone’s screen.
To quickly send a message to someone in your Favorites or Recents lists Tap , next to their name and choose Send Message.
To add a photo or video Tap the camera icon by the text area and either shoot a new pic or video, or choose one already on the phone. (Alternatively, start by finding a video or photo you want to share, and tap the arrow button followed by Send Message.)
To call or email someone from your Text Messages list Tap a message in the list, scroll to the top of the conversation and tap Call or, to see their other numbers and email address, click Contact.
To add someone you’ve already texted as a Contact Tap their phone number in the Messages list and then tap Add to Contacts.
TIP Street addresses, emails, weblinks or phone numbers in a text conversation can be tapped to launch Maps, Mail or Safari, or to start a call.
To see if an outgoing message was send as an iMessage The iPhone will automatically send iMessages to other iOS 5 users. However, it only works if both phone or iPads are online. If not, the text will be delivered as an SMS and you’ll see a small “Sent as SMS” below the relevant speech bubble in the conversation.
If you want to use emoticons, also known as emoji icons, in your messages and emails, you could download an app for the purpose. There are loads of free and paid-for options available — Emoji by JG Applications being a good choice. It works by adding a special custom keyboard set to your iPhone’s armoury. Once the app is installed, navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard > International Keyboards > Japanese and enable the Emoji option. From then on, the new keyboard is available via the keyboard switching “globe” button to the left of the spacebar on the iPhone keyboard.
In addition to using Apple’s Messages app, you can also use the iPhone to access every other chat and messaging service, such_ as AIM, Facebook Chat, Google Talk, iChat, ICQ, MSN, Skype and Yahoo! This can be handy for chatting with friends on their computers or non-Apple phones. Although it’s possible to use chat services via Safari, it’s usually far better to download an app designed for the job. Most of the big chat services offer an iPhone app, though if you have contacts spread across many different networks you might prefer a multi-network chat app, such as Trillian (pictured), BeeJive or IM+,which allow you to chat simultaneously across a range of services.
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