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What does send as sms when imessage is unavailable mean (Explained)

Last Updated on September 28, 2022 by Kennedy

Trying to understand what the term send as sms when imessage is unavailable mean on your iPhone settings or ios device.

This article will guide you through on all you need to know about sending a text message on iphone using the imessage or the sms.

You don’t have to get a headache trying to understand term on your iPhone as I’m here to explain what it means in text messaging. 

So let’s jump in.

What does send as sms when imessage is unavailable mean?

Send as sms simply means to send an sms text message using the cellular network as the imessage is not working or unavailable at that very moment you’re trying to send a message or imessage to a recipient.

When the imessage is not available or not working due to connection problems or connectivity error or maybe you have ran out of data or Wi-Fi is not available in your area, the imessage will try to use the sms or send the message as an sms text message. 

SMS here means to use the normal or default cellular network service to send a text to a recipient on your iPhone. 

In this type of situation, the text message will be in green in color indicating sms text message and not iMessage which is blue in color. 

Remember, this will incure charges or fee from your cellular network service.

The case is different from imessage cause it uses the Wi-Fi or cellular data in sending a message just like when using whatsapp or any other instant messaging app to send a message across.

Send as sms on iPhone will occur if yore trying to send iMessages to another fellow iPhone user or someone using iMessage.

Now if the recipient iMessage is not available at that very moment you’re sending the text messages, iMessage will send th text as sms text message.

This is why you will see someone you have been chatting with on iMessage, suddenly your texts turned into green instead of blue. 

Kindly note that before you can be able to send sms text messages to someone when iMessage is unavailable, you have to enable send as sms on your iPhone settings.

To do so, open the Settings App and scroll down to Messages. 

Tap on Messages to open it. Scroll down a bit and you will see Send as SMS as shown in the picture below.

Send as sms

Now you go ahead and enable the send as sms feature on your iPhone.

Once you have done that, if you send an iMessage that doesn’t get to deliver to the recipient right away, iMessage will send the text as text message. 

Remember to have a texting plan or an airtime as sms green text messages requires a texting plan or an airtime. 

There’s no doubt iMessage is way better than sms text message, but will you prefer to send iMessage or sms text message on your iPhone? 

Before going on to answer the question, let me first explain what sms means on iphone or probably IOS cause you may get confused trying to understand what sms means, and the difference with the imessage.


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what does send as sms when imessage is unavailable mean

What does send as SMS mean on iPhone?

Send as SMS on iPhone means to use the cellular network service in sending a text message to someone on your iPhone and which requires a sim card, texting plan or airtime, and a cellular network service. 

If you’re a newbie on iphone, I want you to know that when you send a text message using the sms, you will be charged by your cellular network provider and not from your Wi-Fi or mobile data.

If you’re using the imessage to send a message or imessage on iphone or iPad, there’s no charges as it uses wifi or cellular data to send and receive iMessages. 

Nothing concerns your cellular network service when you’re using an iMessage except if you don’t have any Wi-Fi connection around you then you will have to use a cellular data. 

However, if you want to use SMS to send the text message it will involve your  carrier network or network service provider and which you will charge you will be charged for the text message. 

So this is what send as SMS mean on iPhone, to use the cellular network service to send a text message to someone on your iPhone and this is only available for iMessage users. 

If you send a text message to someone using an android phone or a classic feature phone, it will be green in color and won’t show sent as text message. 

Right now, I hope you have understood the difference between send as sms and imessage on your iPhone. 

Should you send as SMS when iMessage is unavailable?

Yes, you should send as sms when imessage is unavailable if you have texting plan be it limited or unlimited, and especially if the message is very urgent.

If there’s a necessity to send an information to someone and you tried using the imessage but it doesn’t get delivered to the recipient immediately, then sms will help you out especially if the recipient has no active internet connection on his phone. 

In this type of situation, you should use the sms to send the message unless you don’t have texting plan or an airtime to send the sms text message.

In some countries, there’s nothing like texting plan all you need to do is to have an airtime on your mobile phone and use the airtime to send the message.

You can also use any of the instant messaging app like whatsapp messenger, Facebook messenger, Skype, telegram in sending the message if you don’t fancy using the cellular sms to send the message across.

I don’t see any issue using the sms to send a text message unless you don’t have a texting plan, or maybe an airtime in your sim card.

Should send as SMS be on or off on iPhone?

Send as sms can be on or off depending if you want to use the cellular network service to send a text message when the imessage is unavailable or not working.

If you don’t have your send as sms turned on, you may not be asking what does send as sms when imessage is unavailable mean because sms is not active on your iPhone.

Only when you have send as sms turned on or probably when you open the settings app, you will it on your iPhone settings.

But it is very helpful in using the cellular network service to send a text message especially when iMessage is not working or you have ran out of data or no available Wi-Fi in your environment.

For me I will recommend you to toggle on send as sms on your iPhone incase if the imessage is not working or unavailable, you can use the sms to send the text message unless you will use the likes of whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Skype, etc.

How to turn on sms on iphone

To turn on send as sms on iPhone;

  • Open the settings app and scroll down to Messages
  • Open Messages and scroll down a bit and you will see Send as SMS (when imessage is unavailable). 
  • Toggle on the button to turn it on and you are good to go. 

Now let me explain it with photos. 

Get started by opening the settings app on your iPhone. 

Setting

On the next page,  scroll down to Messages and open it. 

Messages

Scroll down a bit and you will see Send as SMS just like on the picture below.

Send as sms

 

If the button is off, kindly toggle the button to turn on send as sms when imessage is unavailable on your iPhone. 

After you have done that, you can now use the cellular sms to send a message whenever imessage isn’t available on your iPhone or not working.

Remember, using the sms to send a text message will incure charges or fee from your cellular carrier network. If you don’t agree to that, kindly turn off the send as sms on your iPhone. 

What does iMessage sent as text message mean?

Sent as text message on iMessage simply means the text was sent using the carrier network as iMessage was unavailable to send the text.

Sent as text message will appear if you’re sending a text message to someone using iMessage or to a fellow iPhone user.

At that very moment you’re sending the text message, the recipient iMessage was not available especially after five minutes of sending the text message. Now what iMessage will do is to send the text as sms text message which is green in color. 

Right below the sent text message you will see Sent as text message indicating the text was sent as sms text message and not iMessage.

This come in handy if you urgently need the recipient to receive the text message and which you enabled Send as sms when imessage is unavailable on your iPhone. 

So whenever you sent a text message and it turns green and showed sent as text message, it is because iMessage was not available that very moment you were sending the text message. 

iMessage not being available is caused on the side of the recipient though sometimes it is caused by the sender especially if the sender’s doesn’t have an active internet connection on it’s iPhone. 

iMessage sent as text message am I blocked?

The answer is no. iMessage sent as text message doesn’t mean blocked by the recipient, but rather the text was sent using sms as iMessage was unavailable on the recipient phone.

This will show up when sending a text message to a fellow iMessage or iPhone user. 

You may send a message to another ios user using iMessage, but the person’s iMessage was not active at that very moment were sending the text, the message will be sent as text message. 


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This is where I wrap it up on this article knowing fully well I have tried to explain all that you need to know on what does send as sms when imessage is unavailable mean. It simply means using the cellular network to send a message on your iPhone or ios device.