text messaging

Can I use WhatsApp without a phone?

Episode 1413

Jane from Oregon
WhatsApp

Jane wants to know if it's WhatApp or WhatsApp. Leo says there's an "S," so it's WhatsApp. A clever way of saying "what's up?"

Jane is thinking of getting her first smart phone so she can use WhatsApp to make phone calls. Leo says that WhatsApp identifies users by their phone numbers, not their names. So when people ask to use WhatsApp to make a call, that means they want not only their phone number, but also their contact list. Facebook is doing that to cross reference contacts with Facebook contacts, but you can opt out of it when you sign up.

Why can't iPhone users get my SMS Text?

Episode 1384

Alan from Honolulu, HI
Messages in iOS 10

Alan is a little league baseball coach and he's trying to create group texts for all parents and players. Everyone gets them except the iPhone users. Leo says that while Apple doesn't support group messaging to Android, Android supports it to iOS. However, there are many different ways to send messages in Android including. If everyone is getting them except one person, it could be that she's got group messaging turned off on her phone, or some setting that blocks it It may be that she disabled receiving MMS because of a flaw that came up last year.

How can I forward text messages from India to the US?

Arvin from Austin, TX

Episode 1342

Arvin wants to know how he can get the phone he bought in India to work in the United States for text messaging. Leo says he would need to get the number forwarded to an American carrier, or find a service that will forward text messages to an American number. Google Voice may work, if it's available in India. Anveo is another that Leo uses. He could buy a number from them, use that, and they will forward the text messages to a phone here in the US.

Why does it take so long to get a text message?

Dave from Escondido, CA

Episode 1284

Dave has noticed sometimes his text messages take up to 15 minutes or more to be delivered. Leo says that since Dave is using Verizon, they are using an old system called SMS, which uses cellular to transmit, rather than data. They use it because it's extremely lucrative, rather than using data-based schemes. That's why Apple has bypassed the carrier infrastructure with iMessage.

Why can't I get replies from group text messages?

Bruce from Riverside, CA

Episode 1248

Bruce is having trouble getting responses with group texting through Verizon. Leo says that happens to his wife as well. Often they arrive a day later, sometimes not at all. Leo says it may be a handshake issue between carriers. It also could be that some people in the group text may be using iMessages with an iPhone. Most users don't realize that when they use iMessage, they're using data and not the SMS system. As such, some just don't get the message because they're on two different networks. The best solution is to go with a data only system like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Is it possible to text from an iPod?

Episode 1233

John from Rosemead, CA
Telegram

John's niece just got an iPod Touch and she wants to message her parents who have Android phones. What are her options? Leo says that Apple has really screwed this up by not making iMessages apps for other platforms like Android. It's a great idea to save money, but Apple has forced users to use the same platform, and it's not possible to text an Android phone with it. That means that they'll have to use a third party messaging app. Leo likes Telegram.

Will I be able to use SMS with the iPhone?

Episode 1229

Corral from Vancouver, BC
Apple iPhone 6s

Corral is thinking of switching back to the iPhone after leaving it for Android after the iPhone 3G. He's concerned about sending text messages. Leo says that Apple always uses Messages for SMS. This is a problem for group messaging. But within the Apple ecosystem, it's best. Other options include WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and those are platform agnostic. The downside is, everyone has to use them.

How can I share hi res images via text message?

Tom from Ohio

Episode 1202

Tom wants to know if there's any way to send images via text without degrading the quality. Leo says no. Texting compresses the image because of data limits via SMS. It's just a smaller pipe. He could email it and choose a larger size, or upload it to a website like Flickr or Google Photos and then send someone a link. Air Drop is another option if he's within proximity of the person he wants to share the image with. He can also double check the resolution of the images he shoots, or use an alternative messaging program like Google's.