Difference Between iMessages and Text Messages (SMS)

iMessages vs Text Messages (SMS)

With the introduction of the iOS 5, there has been some ambiguity between the text messages services iOS 5 provides. The cause was that it actually provides two methods; iMessages, which comes in Blue color, and Text Messages. The difference is really simple to identify if you go by definition. We will explain the differences after explaining what these two terms individually.

Text Message

A text message, which is also known as SMS, is the text messaging component built in to any modern phone. It allows the exchange of text messages between mobile devices or fixed devices that have the ability through a standard set of protocols. The history of SMS lies in memo pagers and then it was standardized as a part of the Global System for Mobile Communication; what we know as GSM; in 1985. Since then, Text messages have evolved and branched into mobile technologies such as ANSI CDMA, Satellite and Landlines. The key need the user has to comply with is a GSM connection or a connection from one of the above mentioned technologies at your disposal in your handset. I’ll make it really simple, we can generalize it such that every mobile phone in the world today is bound to have the Text Messaging capability built in to it. To visualize how widespread SMS is, Americans alone have sent 1 trillion SMS in 2008, and by now, it may well have doubled.


The iMessage is also a variance of Text Messaging service. It was introduced with Apple iOS 5 and came with the promise that it’ll let you communicate with non GSM devices like iPad. The concept behind is pretty simple and something that has been there for a long time. Apple has only integrated it to their OS. The iMessage service uses a Wi-Fi connection or data connection from your network to send the Text Message to another compatible Apple device. It’s built into the Messages app, and you can also use it to share photos, videos, locations and contact. If I’m to produce a slimily, it’s just like starting a chat through your favorite IM client, but instead, this is built into Messages app. You even get to see when your connection is typing, just like in a chat.

iMessages vs Text Messages (SMS)  Conclusion

As it can be clearly deduced, iMessage is the Text messaging service over the data networks instead of routing through regular GSM or CDMA networks. This will make you save money that would have been spent on the texts you sent, although, a small amount of charge will be imposed as data charges. On the other hand, if you have a free data plan, then this would be an ideal choice. Further, the uniqueness is that, with iMessage, you can connect with non GSM devices like an iPod whereas Text Messaging service doesn’t provide you with that luxury. To conclude this comparison, we’d like to mention when you select a contact, the iMessage service is highlighted with the Blue ‘send’ button if its available while Text Message service is highlighted with the Green ‘send’ button.