Want to stay up to date on all things iPhone, iPad and other moxie tech news? Subscribe to the Moxie Mo Show!
GROUP MESSAGING FOR iPHONE/iPAD – WHAT IS IT? HOW TO USE IT? HOW TO TURN ON/OFF?
NEW UPDATE –> SEPTEMBER 2013
Apple’s iOS 7 changes everything, including how the way group messaging and iMessages work and look. Check out the iOS 7 Review (Everything You Need to Know!) and also some new, hidden features – The Coolest Features of Apple’s iOS 7 – Did You Know?
That said, Group Messaging can be a tricky thing to figure out. Check out how the Moxie Mo Show figured out Apple’s new group messaging and what MMS/SMS and iMessages can do! See below:
Update (August 2011) - “Group messaging” (group MMS) is now officially offered with Apple’s iOS software (iOS 4, iOS 5, iOS6 and now iOS 7). This post was written to explain Group MMS before Apple had originally released it. We explain what it is and why it was initially thought of as a “bug.” If you want it turned off, keep reading. If you want to know how to use group chat/group MMS/group SMS, keep reading.
Latest Group MMS Update – November 1, 2011:
By now, this blog post has been one of the most popular blog posts of the Moxie Mo Show. To give our readers and podcast viewers an update, Group MMS is no bug but rather a very cool and effective “instant messaging” tool for your iPhone. With the Apple iOS 5 release, you can now group chat in iMessage for FREE (as long as you’re sending a photo, video or text to other iPhone and iPad users who are on iOS 5).
But how do you know if you’re using iMessage versus just sending a regular SMS text? It will be in the color BLUE and not green (see below) when sending/receiving a message to another iPhone/iPad iMessage user. FIRST THINGS FIRST: Make sure you turn iMessage ON and Group MMS ON in your iPhone or iPad Settings menu (go into Set
What is Group Messaging? Everyone Can See My Texts?
(this post was written on June 28, 2010:)
So I happened to go into my new iOS4 settings (on my new iPhone 4, but would work on iPhone 3 series as long as you’ve upgraded to iOS 4.0) and noticed there’s a new thing called Group Messaging. Had no idea what it is, so I turned it on. What I’ve read is that Group Messaging basically threads your SMS/MMSs and shows a double-head icon so you know that you sent out a SMS or MMS to multiple people. That’s no biggie, right? Here’s the settings to turn Group Messaging on for SMS/MMS:
I got a MMS (photo) from my friend, Alex, and I opened it up and saw the picture of his dog. I didn’t think anything of it until I could see at the top of his MMS message every other number that he sent the photo to. It wasn’t just to me, but to four other numbers. I saw their numbers as well. I thought this was weird so I started researching this.
I’m not sure if most iOS4 iPhone users even know about this new change? So I did some research and a test…. sure enough, Apple released a new feature! UPDATE – It’s no bug, a group MMS, when turned on, can be a “instant chat room” for everyone you send your SMS/MMS to (updated July 2010).
So here’s what I found in a Mac forum from an iPhone iOS4.0 user: “Group Messaging seems slightly confusing to me… Given the written material released from Apple, the impression you get from it is that when you send a group text out, any replies sent back from any member of that group message is all grouped together in one thread. Having said that, it seems to function different than advertised…now when I send group messages out they are sent as an MMS not an SMS, even if it only contains text. Furthermore, and even worse, everyone that I messaged is able to see the full list of people I sent the message to. I dunno if this is how the function is intended to perform but it was certainly not explained that way.”
So I knew what I had seen from my friend Alex was something different. So I asked Alex to test it out with me and two of my best friends (Kasie and Kristine). As you can see, they at first couldn’t see who I was sending the photos to until I told them to go into their iPhone settings – Messages – and turn ON Group Messages (see photo above).
BAM – every one of us could see each other’s phone numbers and THEN Alex could text Kristine within my original MMS and she could reply back! It was like a “Chat IM” but in MMS format.
I can see where it would be fun – you send a group text or photo to a group of friends, everyone then gets to respond to that message and talk to others besides the original text/MMS sender. But I also think this could be DANGEROUS if you’re sending something to your friends and your boss – do you really want your boss to see your friends information or vice versa?
Update: In order for Group MMS to work, you need it to be turned on. It can be a very useful and a cool MMS/SMS chat tool between friends… but if you do NOT want everyone seeing who you’re texting or sending a photo/video to, turn off Group Messaging in your iOS4 or iOS 5 settings. Want more info? Subscribe to the Moxie Mo Show – one of the moxiest technology, gadgets, social media and breaking tech news podcasts around!