Where Is SMS on Your Phone?

Eli Merrell Picture

by Eli Merrell | Last Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Text messaging is a popular form of communication. Most Americans would rather send a text than make a call. In fact, a recent report found that U.S. smartphone users send and receive five times more texts than the number of calls per day. Five times more texts than calls. Because texting is so commonplace, it can be easy to overlook all that goes on behind the scenes, such as what types of messages are actually being sent and where they are on your device. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of texting. 

What Is the Difference Between a Text Message and a SMS Message?

There are a lot of acronyms floating around related to text messaging. It can be hard to keep all of the differences straight and when your phone is blowing up with new messages the difference between SMS and MMS and iMessage doesn’t seem to matter. The difference does matter. The term ‘text message’ is an umbrella description that encompasses all forms of text messages. A text message is most often referencing any type of message sent from one electronic device to another that is mostly comprised of alphanumeric characters.  SMS messaging is a form of a text message. SMS stands for Short Message Service and refers to a message sent between devices that is completely comprised of text. This means the entire message only has words or numbers in it, it does include any multimedia elements like pictures or videos.  SMS restricts senders to 160 characters per message. Messages that exceed this are separated into segments of 160 characters each.  SMS messages are very common as they are a quick, low-stress way of communicating. The recipient of the message can reply at their own time and reference the message more than once if needed. 

Where Is SMS on Your Phone?

Since SMS messages can be sent over Wi-Fi, users don’t need a data plan to send or receive messages on any connected device, like a tablet or laptop, in a text message app. The Messages app on iPhone and Messages by Google app on Android devices both compile all messages, making it easy for users to find their messages.  For iPhone users messages are found in the iPhone text message app referred to as Messages. When two iPhone users are sending text messages to one another they are using iMessage. This is best seen with the famous blue or green texts. Blue text signals an iMessage, green text signals a non-iMessage. 

Can iPhone Receive SMS Messages?

iPhones are the most popular smartphone in the United States with almost 56 percent of smartphone users keeping an Apple product in their pocket.  Apple products famously make it clear when their users communicate with fellow Apple users. On an iPhone text messages are color coded. iMessages can only be sent between Apple device users (i.e. iMac, iPad, or iPhone). iMessages appear blue when you send a message to another Apple device user, and your friend’s reply will appear gray. If you receive or send messages that appear green, that means the text is being sent as an unencrypted MMS/SMS. Messages will always appear green when texting an Android user, or when you are not connected to the Internet.

How to Send Text Messages on iPhone?

iPhones have the ability to send both iMessages and SMS/MMS messages. When a message thread is opened an iPhone will display which kind of message is about to be sent in the typing window. If one iPhone user is about to send a message to another iPhone user, the typing window will read: iMessage. imessage  If an iPhone user is about to send a message to an Android, or any other device that is not an iPhone, the typing window will read: Text Message. text message Once the message is sent, the color of the text bubble will also indicate to you which type of message was sent. iMessages will appear blue, while SMS/MMS messages will appear green. When you are in a low connectivity area your iPhone will ask if you’d like to send a message as a text message. This is your phone asking if you’d like to switch from iMessage to SMS. If you select the prompt the message sent is green signaling it is not an iMessage but SMS.  iPhone users also have the ability to send iPhone text messages when they are not in low connectivity areas. Simply open the messages app, type the message and hit send. Then quickly tap and hold the message, select Send as a Text Message and watch as the message color changes from blue to green.  Text messaging will only continue to grow as users fall into the comfortability of using the communication form. Messaging a must-have communication channel for brands looking to engage with their customers. Engaging with users with messaging can be aided with the use of a digital experience. A smartphone is often close at hand and highly valued given that 43 percent of Americans say their phone is their most valuable possession. Learn more about mobile messaging and how it is evolving. 

See Lumavate in Action

Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.