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Group texting with iPhones

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by saucyabby, May 11, 2019.

  1. saucyabby

    saucyabby Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I have been trying for months to get group texting with some friends on iPhones to work. I have used Messages, Textra and Handcent with no luck. I have reset all the settings and even did a factory reset. Nothing. Virgin has reset all my settings at their end. I can send a text to multiple people, but the replies come back to only me. Most of my friends are iPhone users, and I need to chat with my kids teams. I don’t want to go back to an iPhone! Please help.

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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The apps you name should have a setting for this: you need to use MMS for sending group messages rather than SMS. Google's messages app is clear about this. Textra just calls it "chat" or "bulk" mode for group messaging.

    Using MMS this way is a standard. The issue is whether iMessage, which is primarily designed to talk to other iDevices, handles this properly? As I don't use iMessage I can't advise in any detail on solving problems with that app.

    Personally I deal with such cross-platform messaging by using an app with cross-platform support such as WhatsApp. But that's also because on most UK networks MMS is an expensive way of doing things and so nobody I know uses it (SMS is effectively free, but with group SMS replies go only to the original sender and not the group, which is what you see). If you have the MMS mode set then the problem is Apple, and switching to WhatsApp or similar is the simplest solution (Apple don't see poor interoperability as a problem, but as a feature that works in their interests).

    Another newer option is RCS, aka "advanced messaging". But not all apps support that yet, not all networks either, and Apple refuse to support it (because this would then work like iMessage but cross-platform, and iMessage working less well with other devices is an important lock-in feature for Apple).
    #2 Hadron, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
    MoodyBlues, ocnbrze, mikedt and 2 others like this.
  3. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    It's not you or your phone, it's them. Everyone on your list (every dang iPhone user, everywhere!!) has to have their phone set up to be able to allow MMS and not use iMessage for everything. Stupid Apple still does not set this as a default and it messes everything up.
    Since you don't know everyone on a personal level (I'm guessing) it's going to be next to impossible to get them to fix their settings. I have the same issue, finally got my family all fixed but when they include someone else who isn't set up right it breaks everything. Stupid, stupid Apple...
  4. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Thanks for explaining the trick!
    Not stupid. It's just like the old iMessage bug, where if you switched platform without signing out from iMessage no iPhone user could message you at all. You know, the one where it took 3-4 years for them to provide a way of signing out if you didn't still have the iPhone (i.e. a web page), and where they only did that when two class action suits were filed against them. And even then they require the (former) customer to know about this and take action themselves.

    This type of thing suits them because many people assume the problem is with their new phone and go back to an iPhone (and probably tell their friends not to switch platforms as well). So Apple have commercial incentives not to make this work or provide solutions.

    (This isn't Apple hate: I'm typing this on a Macbook Pro. I'm just a realist when it comes to corporations: this is what they are all like, without exception).
  5. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    Exactly. They did (sort of) fix the the whole thing where you really could never get out of iMessage jail but not totally. Just a few weeks ago a friend got a new iPhone and asked for help setting it up, sure enough I had to enable the MMS setting. It's so annoying! I see posts on Reddit all the time asking why Android can't be like iOS and have something like iMessage, I think the question really is why can't iOS play nice with everyone?!! RCS won't fix it either because Apple probably won't play there either. One should not have to load other apps (WhatsApp etc.) just to be able to communicate in this day and age! /rant

    @saucyabby, when you switched from Apple did you sign out of iMessage? I don't think that matters so much anymore but may be part of the problem.
    mikedt likes this.
  6. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    When the iPhone first launched Steve Jobs said that iMessage could become cross-platform in future. That was the last time it was ever mooted, so I assume they realised quickly that it was better for them not to.

    RCS could provide the same features cross-platform, but then Apple would lose a selling point. I'm certain that is why Apple have said that they won't support it. That statement also makes it less attractive to networks, who also need to support it.

    As for MMS, here in the UK SMS has been effectively free since before the smartphone era (either unlimited or stupidly large numbers included - and remember that charging to receive messages doesn't happen in most of the world), but MMS are expensive (and get more so as fewer people use them). So almost nobody uses them. But all of the other systems require both parties to be using the same apps and system: a statement that is true of iMessage as much as it is of RCS, WhatsApp, Signal or whatever else.

    (Any Apple user who doesn't realise that iMessage is limited to Apple by Apple's choice, and not anyone else's, really needs to spend a bit more time engaging with reality).
    Clementine_3 and mikedt like this.
  7. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Here in China, we all use WeChat. I'm pretty sure iMessage isn't available here. Although WhatsApp is popular with expats, myself included

    I tried to activate iMessage on my Macbook, and it just wouldn't have it.
    ocnbrze, saucyabby and Clementine_3 like this.
  8. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    Winner winner chicken dinner!!
  9. saucyabby

    saucyabby Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Yes, I have been on a Samsung for 5 years now. I think it is just the iMessage thing vs. Android. All my friends have gone back to iPhones, so I have noticed it more and more.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  10. saucyabby

    saucyabby Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thanks everyone. I was trying to make the impossible happen. I am just going to force my family to use WhatsApp and get my kids Android phones. Problem solved!

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