The dif­fer­ence between blue and green

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

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.

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