The difference between blue and green
Q Messages sent via my iPhone automatically change the blue format to green for recipients who don’t have an iPhone. But my iPads and Mac just don’t want to know. Is there a way round this? Mike Saint
A Blue messages are sent using the iMessage protocol, which counts against your dataplan, not your texting allowance. All iOS devices running iOS5 or better can use this, and iPhones automatically register their phone number with the iMessage servers.
When you send a message your iPhone checks with the server to see if the recipient can receive in iMessage format, because it’s cheaper and isn’t subject to most of the restrictions of ordinary text messages. If the recipient can’t receive iMessages or the network reception is too poor, your iPhone reverts to SMS text messages and shows the message in green.
On an iPad or Mac though, you are restricted to using the blue iMessage protocol because those devices can’t connect to mobile phone networks. SMS gateway websites such as smsfrog.com let you send a text message from your web browser, but you need to enter a ‘captcha’ code each time and the interfaces generally aren’t the nicest.
Green messages are used for other non-iMessage protocols as well. These are using Jabber to connect to Facebook chat, for example.