iMessage: how it works and the benefits at a glance

WhatsApp you have competition! And not a little boy. Because iMessage is Apple’s messaging service, with which you can send messages, photos and documents for free and in no time at all. You can read here how to enable it, what the benefits are and what you can do with it.

iMessage vs WhatsApp

There is a good chance that you, as an iPhone owner, see WhatsApp in particular as the major messaging app on your phone, and that you also use it the most.

But have you ever taken a closer look at Apple ‘s messaging service ? Because iMessage may live somewhat in the shadow of WhatsApp, iMessage has a lot of great options and even scores slightly better than WhatsApp on the ladder of benefits.

However, iMessage only works with Apple users and you need an Apple ID. Do you have an Android user on the other end of the line? Then you’re out of luck and send a text instead of an iMessage by default.

What is the difference between iMessage and SMS?

Good question! When you open the app you immediately see a big difference with the interface. For example, iMessage is blue and a text message is green.

In addition, iMessage uses the internet connection and not your SMS bundle. If you send it to another iMessage user, that is.

You can then send unlimited iMessages at no extra cost (as long as your data bundle allows it, of course). In addition, an iMessage has no character limit.

You do have that with an SMS, then you get a maximum of 160 characters per message to convey your message.

With iMessage you can type an endlessly long message, although the question is whether the recipient is waiting for it. In addition, with an SMS you cannot see whether someone has read it, with iMessage you can.

The benefits of iMessage

You have already read part of it in the paragraph above. But we’ll list the most important advantages of iMessage versus SMS and WhatsApp.

  • No limit per message (an SMS has a limit of 160 characters)
  • Does iMessage cost money? No, iMessage does not charge SMS (if you send messages to another iMessage user, they will be sent through the internet connection)
  • You can create groups (this is not possible with a text message)
  • You see when a message has been delivered and read (this is not possible with an SMS)
  • Photos and videos sent via iMessage are not resized (WhatsApp does)
  • You can also use the service on your MacBook and iPad (just like WhatsApp Web)

The cons of iMessage

Now that you know the advantages, you are naturally curious whether there are also disadvantages. The biggest one is clear: you need an Apple ID to use iMessage.

With this, the service manages to keep itself quite exclusive, as we are used to from Apple. You can now also use it on Android and Windows, but this takes a little more effort. More about this later in this blog.

Also useful to know: if you send an iMessage to someone who does not use it, it will automatically become an SMS.

Fortunately, you can turn this off, so that you will not be faced with unexpected costs. How to turn off iMessage can be found in the paragraph ‘Turn off iMessage’.

Enable iMessage

Let’s start at the beginning: activate iMessage. Because how do you ensure that you can start using iMessage on your iPhone? With a few simple steps you and your iPhone are ready to go.

No Apple ID yet? This is how you create it.

Before you can use your new iPhone, you must log in with your Apple ID or create one immediately. iMessage also requires you to sign in with your Apple ID.

So you can’t really ignore it, but luckily this is so easy. After a few short steps you own an Apple ID and you can get started with iMessage.

That works like this:

  • Open the App Store and click the login button.
  • Then click “Create New Apple ID” (if you don’t see this, sign out of iCloud).
  • Follow all the steps you see on your screen.
  • The email address and password together form your Apple ID (remember these carefully).
  • Enter your payment details and click ‘Next’ or choose ‘None’.
  • Enter your phone number and click ‘Next’.
  • You will receive an email from Apple in your inbox, click on the link to confirm your email address.
  • Hooray, your Apple ID has been created.

Activate iMessage on your iPhone

There you go! Now that you have an Apple ID in your pocket, let’s activate iMessage. Grab your iPhone and go through the following steps.

That is how it works:

  • Unlock your iPhone.
  • Go to ‘Settings’ and ‘Messages’.
  • Navigate to “iMessage” in the list.
  • Turn on the slider behind ‘iMessage’.
  • Click “Send and receive via” so you can see which number and email address are set up to send and receive (you use your number for SMS and your email for iMessage and FaceTime).
  • To send a message? Navigate to the messaging app and start writing.
  • iMessage activation failed? Then try all the steps above again (and turn your phone on and off to be sure).

Good to know: does iMessage not work right away? Sometimes it can take a while for Apple to activate your iMessage. At least give it 24 hours.

Activate iMessage on your Mac(Book)

Also activate iMessage on your Mac(Book)? Which can!

That works like this:

  • Log in to your Mac(Book).
  • Click on ‘Messages’ in the menu.
  • Click on ‘Preferences’ and navigate to ‘iMessage’.
  • You should be logged in with your Apple ID, so you can now check which email address and number you can reach for new conversations.

iMessage on Windows and Android

As an Apple user, you have unlimited access to iMessage. But what about if you have an Android phone or a Windows laptop?

The answer is: it is possible! You have to put in a little more effort than simply unlocking your iPhone and firing up iMessage, but hey, it’s worth it.

iMessage for Android thanks to Beeper

Thanks to the handy Beeper app, you can navigate and switch between all popular messaging apps on your Android phone, including iMessage.

The app has a handy and clear interface, and you can choose to view your WhatsApp in this app, among other things.

This is how you install Beeper:

  • Go to and leave your details.
  • You will receive a code by text message that you must enter in the app.
  • Download the app .
  • Once you have installed the app, you can enter the code and select which messaging apps you want to use.
  • Click on iMessage and you can get started right away.

iMessages for Windows

Do you want iMessage on your Windows? Even then Beeper is your best friend. If you have installed this app on your Windows device according to the above step-by-step plan, then there is nothing standing in the way of messages in blue speech bubbles (read: iMessage)!

turn off iMessages

A vibration sound on your iPhone, a notification on your MacBook and also a sound notification on your iPad.

You may not want all those iMessage notifications on every device, or do you not want to use iMessage at all? Then you can of course just turn it off.

Turn off iMessage on your iPhone or iPad

  • Unlock your iPhone or iPad.
  • Go to ‘Settings’ and ‘Messages’.
  • Navigate to “iMessage” in the list.
  • Turn off the slider behind ‘iMessage’.

Disable iMessage on your Mac

  • Log in to your Mac or MacBook.
  • Click “Preferences” in the menu.
  • Click “iMessage” and click “Sign Out.”

Endless iMessages?

Do you want to switch from Android to iPhone or are you looking for a new iPhone, so that you can fully iMessage? In the phone shop you will find a lot of nice iPhones.

Like the iPhone 12 , iPhone 11 or iPhone SE (2022). Choose your favorite and immediately select a subscription of your choice. Then you are completely baked for now!

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