What is SMS? Your Guide to SMS, MMS, and iMessage

SMS used to be the go-to messaging service, but this has completely changed with the rise of smartphones and the internet. Let's explore this change.

What is SMS? Your Guide to SMS, MMS, and iMessage

What is SMS?

Do you know what SMS means? Well, it stands for Short Message Service and it's a simple way to send brief messages using mobile phones.

This method of communication is widely used globally, and it's particularly handy when you need to send a quick message without the need for an internet connection or any complicated procedures.

What is MMS?

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) can be seen as an upgrade to SMS. An MMS allows you to send images, videos, and audio messages.

It is actually an extended version of SMS. MMS messages can only be a few megabytes in size.

What is iMessage?

iMessage is Apple's messaging service. It is a great option for people who send messages between Apple devices. iMessage works via Wi-Fi or mobile data.

You can not only send text but also photos, videos, audio messages, and even stickers. The best part is that iMessage is free and available as long as you have an Apple device.

All different types of text messages compared

Whether you're a fan of SMS, MMS, or iMessage, the important thing is to know what these messaging services have to offer and where each excels. Let's compare their differences.

How does SMS differ from text messaging?

A text message is a general term for sending messages using a textual format. SMS is a specific type of text messaging service via the provider's mobile network. This method of sending messages is limited to a maximum of 160 characters. Other text messaging options are iMessage and WhatsApp.

What is the difference between SMS and MMS?

The difference between SMS and MMS lies in the content you can send. With MMS, you can send various types of content such as photos, videos, and audio recordings. With SMS, you can only send short and concise text messages of up to 160 characters.

So if you plan to spice up your message with, say, a photo of your cat or a funny video, MMS is the way to go.

What is the difference between iMessage and SMS/MMS?

iMessage works only between Apple devices and uses your internet connection instead of the provider's mobile network. That also means no additional charges for sending messages through iMessage, which is not the case with SMS/MMS.

A nice bonus? iMessage offers a lot of extra features that you won't find in SMS/MMS. For example, you can respond to messages with cool animations, mark messages as important, and much more. So if you have an iPhone, be sure to explore your iMessage app!

Differences between Android and iPhone regarding sending messages

Do you know what's great about sending messages? You have so many options to choose from! Android users have the option of using Android Messages, while Apple users have iMessage.

Additionally, all devices have the option to send an SMS or MMS. But with the advent of WhatsApp, MMS in particular has become somewhat more obsolete.

Stay connected with apps

When it comes to messaging services, you have more options than ever before. Discover a world of endless possibilities and enjoy interacting with others! Here are some of the best alternatives you can use.


The ultimate all-in-one messaging service. With this app, you can share everything from funny photos and videos to serious audio and text messages. You can also make voice and video calls to your friends, all for free over the internet!

Anonymous text messages

Ideal for when you want to send a message to someone without revealing your identity. Perfect for surprises, jokes, and even secret love declarations!


This messaging service offers great features, such as file sharing and group creation. But what really sets Telegram apart is its level of privacy and security.


For those who are concerned about their privacy, Signal is the perfect messaging app. You can securely share text messages, photos, videos, and files.

Facebook Messenger

The chat service of Facebook. Stay up to date with everything that's happening on Facebook and chat with your friends, family, or even strangers.


A messaging service that allows you to share photos and videos that disappear after a certain time. Snapchat also has various filters to make your messages more fun.

Which messaging service suits you best?

With so many different options, it can be difficult to determine which messaging service or app is best for you. Below are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Apple devices: if you mainly send messages between Apple devices, iMessage is the best choice as it works seamlessly across all your devices and is also free.
  • Android users: for Android users, there is no default messaging service, but Android Messages is a good choice if you just want to send text messages. If you want more options, choose an alternative like WhatsApp or Telegram.
  • Privacy priority: if privacy is important to you, Signal and Telegram are good choices as they both offer strong encryption and privacy features.
  • International and on the go: if you travel internationally frequently and want to stay reachable without extra costs, SMS is still a convenient option. It works anywhere in the world as long as you have a mobile network connection.
  • Sharing multimedia: if you want to share a lot of multimedia, MMS and WhatsApp are good choices due to their ability to send photos, videos, and other files.
  • Anonymous text messaging: this is a good option if you want to play a prank, for example on April Fool's Day, or if you feel like your number is blocked on SMS. Send an anonymous SMS.

The power of messaging services

It's fantastic to know that in this modern world, we have so many different ways to communicate with each other.

With just one click, we can be in contact with people on the other side of the world and share messages that brighten our day in a split second.

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