Previous 1 2 Next 24 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2014 2:15 PM by Dan2552
pajapi Level 1 Level 1



A real life example where iMessage fails on me, maybe there is a solution for this?


My in-laws both have iPhones so do my wife and I. We use iMessage to message them and it works like a charm as all of us have a continuous data connection, either wifi or 3G.


Now they are on holiday and the issue is now that they have disabled data roaming, but use wifi when available eg in hotel or at public places.


When I sent them a message, it still is sent as imessage(blue bubble) and it doesn't fall back to normal text message instead, even though they have no data.

So this means:

I can not sent them a message, unless I check for myself if the message is delivered and then resent as a text message or they will ony receive the message when they have a data connection again.....


I would assume that when the iPhone has no data, the apple servers would know the connection is gone and automatically and so normal text messages will be used. This is not the case.


I know there is an option sent as text in the settings, but this is for my own fall back in case I have no data and so SMS will be used.


Any ideas?!




iPhone 4, iOS 5
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10

    iMessage does not require a data or internet connection with a ceillular network.


    iMessage requires internet access, which included when connected to the internet via an available wi-fi network or when connected to the internet via the cellular network. An iPod Touch can exchange iMessages which doesn't have a data or internet connection with a cellular network and the same for an iPad with wi-fi only.

  • pajapi Level 1 Level 1

    iMessage on an iPhone either sends as text(SMS) messages to non iPhone/iOS 5 users or if iPhones have no data connection at all.


    When using an iPhone to iMessage someone and this goes through his/her data (either 3G or wifi) when this connection is unavailable, the message should be sent as a text(SMS) instead, this doesn't happen....

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10

    iMessage is seperate from SMS/MMS. The app is named Messages with iMessage being incorporated.


    Once again, data or internet access via a cellular network is not required for iMessage with an iPhone. An internet connection is required which can include an available wi-fi network only. Cellular Data can be turned off with an iPhone and if the iPhone has an internet connection via an available wi-fi network, the iPhone can exchange iMessages with fellow iOS users running iOS 5 or later - iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.


    The sender of an iMessage must have send as SMS enabled on their iPhone if iMessage is not available when sending an iMessage to an iPhone user.


    If this doesn't occur when the recipient is roaming internationally, that probably has something to do with it. Having data roaming or cellular data off does not.

  • tyler39 Level 2 Level 2

    Go to settings>messages and turn on send as SMS and it will send a normal text when iMessage is unavailable

  • pajapi Level 1 Level 1

    settings>messages turn on send as SMS is only when the sender has no data connection. It seems the issue is misread. I will explain it in more detail:


    When I start the messages app and select a contact, it initially turns green (SMS) but if the app detects the other party has an iphone with iOS 5 and imessage enabled it will turn blue and a data connection will be used instead.


    If the receiver has no iPhone / iOS5 the recepient stays green and normal text messaging will be used (green bubble)


    So as long as both of us have a data connection we can message eachother in a whatsapp kind of way. If my dataconnections drops and the 'sent as SMS'is on, the messages app will fall back on SMS only and I can continue to sent messages, only difference is that now it is SMS.


    Now the issue....


    If the receiver I am in a conversation with, somehow has no data connection for any reason at all, my message still will be sent as an iMessage. The iMessage service doesn't detect that the receiver is not capable anymore of receiving an iMessage and so only text(SMS) messages.


    This means that either:

    - The receiver will only receive the message when they have their data connection back

    - or I (as sender) have to see in the conversation window that the message hasn't been delivered yet so I can resent as an SMS instead..... but this defeats the purpose of the transparany of imessage


    I hope could make it a bit more clearer....

  • Globalperspective Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Palapi,

    I have understood your problem, and am experiencing the same issue. When I don't have data access (i.e. in a foreign country, with data roaming turned off and no WiFi available), I can send an SMS from iMessage.

    However, when I have data access, but the person to whom I'm sending (who has an iMessage-registered iPhone) does not (i.e. out of the country), the message does not get sent as an SMS as it should, but instead is sent as an iMessage and stored until the other party has data access again.

    I have set the "Send as Text (SMS)" to on, but it does not work. This is irritating. I have to resort to turning iMessage off on my phone whenever I want to send a text under these circumstances! Which means turning it back on, and having to reactivate it every time! AND it requires knowing when the recipient is out of data contact...


    To the Great State of Texas - iMessage does not require a data plan to send iMessages, but it requires data access (even though it doesn't use the data volume, it needs the platform) - i.e. a viable Edge or 3G or 4G or WiFi connection. If Data Roaming is turned off, the data access is also turned off. Hence, no iMessage...


    Hope we get this sorted out!



  • RobHemmerich Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Pajapi


    I think I am experiencing exactly the same problem.


    I have an iPhone on a(voice and SMS only plan. I am often in places where there is wifi so having no cellular data is not really a problem.


    So I am on the road, out of my wifi zone and so use Messages to send my friend a message. This goes out as an SMS. So far, so good.


    My iPhone equipped friend replies but this is sent as an iMessage. And I don't get the reply since I am not connected to the Internet.


    Is there some combination of settings that needs to happen? Or should I just turn off iMessage on my no-cellular-data iPhone?

  • Robert Cote Level 1 Level 1

    I am having the same problem as Pajapi and RobHemmerich.


    My partner is travelling in the US (we are from Canada) and has data roaming turned off. I sent him an message and he did not get it. Since i didnt' get a response, I thought it might be an iMessage issue.


    As the sender... *I* had to turn off iMessage on MY iPhone to send him a message. If I was't a bit tech savvy I would have never known to try that to make sure he got my messages.


    While he's on the road, anyone one of his friends with an iPhone that has tries to send him an iMessage, will not get the message too him. This is a BIG issue especially with the proliferation of iOS devices in our circle of friends.

  • RobHemmerich Level 1 Level 1

    The "fix" we adopted is for the user who only has periodic access to data to turn off iMessage. It's important for that user to do this WHILE connected to data (wifi or 3G, doesn't matter). That way Apple's servers get the message that that appleID is no longer using iMessage.

  • redcrow Level 1 Level 1

    It's good to read that others are experiencing this obvious bug, too...


    My situation: two persons in my family have an iPhone, and both have a cell phone plan that does NOT allow any data.  Still, they use iMessage a lot since they both are frequently in places where there's WiFi.  So far, OK.  But, just as all the others in this discussion have described, apparently iMessage is not clever enough to recognize when someone (either the sender or the receiver) has no data access anymore.  In my situation, this means that if one or both persons go out of WiFi reach, the messaging buttons stay blue, but---of course---the messages are not delivered.  Even worse, the messaging stays blocked sometimes for up to 15 minutes, saying "Delivering message..." until it finally finds out that there is no way to deliver the message.


    When iMessage was introduced, I would have thought that a sort of "heart beat" would have been implemented, so that the central servers can really determine who is "on line" and who isn't.  If I want to send a message, I expect the button to be blue only when both me and the receiver of the message are within data access.  The way it's working now, it's very unreliable (and often annoying)...


    If there's no "heart beat" signal with which the central servers can always stay up to date, at least the iPhone should find out quickly and reliably if a connection between the sender and the receiver is there or not.  (It must not lock your messaging for minutes while trying to transmit the message, and of course it must not tell you "message delivered!" when in fact the message was stored somewhere.)


    @Apple: any improvements planned?

  • fjl05 Level 1 Level 1

    What Apple can do is to have a setting that automatically turns off iMessage and sends the info to it's servers when the user is roaming so that all messages including, data messages (iMessages) are converted to SMS and received that way instead.

  • TraumaDoc Level 1 Level 1

    I'm using iPhone 4S with 6.1.2 and started using iMessage recently.  However, working to send messages to my wife's iPad 2 fails.   My phone detects that she is an iMessage user (blue).  But the messages fail when we are both ONLY on WLAN.  If I enable my iPhone's Data mode, then the message sends successfully.  Her iPad is wifi only, no SIM card, etc.


    I thought this is supposed to send with any internet access and doesn't require using the Data plan ...


    What's up?

  • RobHemmerich Level 1 Level 1

    Sounds similar to issues I have using iMessage from my workplace's wifi. There the issue is that the firewall is blocking ports used by iMessage. You might want to try your test from another wireless network. If it works elsewhere then your issue is with your local network settings.

  • MikiP Level 1 Level 1


    I have the same/similar issue.  Short answer, anyone talking iPHone to iPhone with iMessage that is not connected to internet, you;re hooped.  I had this problem after what I think was an iOs update to 6 months ago.  After a lengthy discussion with senior advisor, I have had to de-register my phonenumber from my apple id, through both iMessage and FAce time on the phone AND my MacBook.  The issue is server related, in that as long as another device is logged into that apple id with  your phone number, it is going to receive the replies via iMessage- not SMS- even if you're not signed into iMessage on your phone.


    In Canada, wireless carriers are taking advantage of this, or simply Apple has done this in concert with them, or it is just a coincidental loop hole, which means in order for me to use iMessage (or simply receive SMS from iPhone users) I need a data plan.  I don't like being strongarmed by technology into spending on something I don't want/need. I can SMS anyone else without an iPhone, it only happens with apple devices.


    So, my feedback at is as such


    "iMessage requires internet.  SMS does not.  iMessage/FaceTime auto logs phone numbers to the iMessage/Facetime  server (it's the same server as I've come to learn), this means that when iMessage/Face Time is turned on anyone sending a message through the server to me will only be sent as an iMessage- not when I'm not connected to internet, meaning I will not receive the message as an SMS by default, when I have another device using iMessage (such as MacBook) logged in. 



    This feature is a problem for me, bottom line, in that iMessage strong arms the consumer (me) into having to buy a data plan that they either do not want, or do not need."

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