Difference Between Texting and iMessage

The mobile phone is the single device that has changed the mode of communication in this century. Along with connectivity to the world, these devices also offer lightning fast messaging service.

Even though humans were communicating through messaging like letters and telegram for centuries but nothing has revolutionized messaging like texting and iMessage.

According to an estimate every day millions of message goes through these services. Although from basic overview both texting and iMessage look the same.

But deep down they use different technologies and offer different services.

Texting vs iMessage

The main difference between Texting and iMessage is that texting is a generic messaging solution for all phones which uses SMS and MMS technology for message sharing, while iMessage is a proprietary messaging service of Apple phones and computers that uses Apple Push Notification service (APNs) for message sharing.

Texting vs iMessage 1


Comparison Table Between Texting and iMessage (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonTextingiMessage
What is itA generic messaging solution for all phones.A proprietary messaging service of Apple phones and computer devices only.
TechnologySMS and MMS.Apple Push Notification service (APNs).
Text sharing limitation160 characters in a single message.No character limitation on text sharing.
Data sharing limitation300kb data can be sent through MMS service.25 megabytes of file can be shared in a single message.
Encryption LevelNone.Very high.
Communication mediumCellular network.Internet or Wi-Fi.
ChargesNot free, and depends on the tariff plan of the mobile service provider.Free.


What is Texting?

Texting is also commonly referred to as text messaging, SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (multimedia messaging service). With this service beyond alphanumeric text can be sent from mobile devices.

This system is often used for personal, business, and social communication purposes.

There are two types of text message can be sent from mobile devices. These are digital text formats and small multimedia formats.

Through the SMS service, only text format can be sent from one device to another. Generally, through the SMS service, anyone can send only 160 characters in a message.

On the other hand, through MMS service small digital pictures, videos, or sound can be sent over devices. Normally, 300kb data can be sent through MMS service.

Texting feature is available on every type of mobile phone, regardless of their company brand or version. However, how many text message can be sent through one device depend on the cellular contract.

In the earlier days of texting, most cell phone service providers used to charge for the text message.

Nowadays they offer unlimited free texting with various tariff plans. Currently, text messaging is considered as a basic service.

For this, there is no requirement of internet or Wi-Fi connection to mobile devices. However, the cell phone must have cellular signal reception for message sending and receiving.


What is iMessage?

iMessage is a native messaging solution only for Apple devices. In the year 2011, it was introduced to replace the iChat messaging service.

This messaging solution is available to iOS 5 and later versions of operating systems. It is a proprietary messaging service of Apple devices only and no other phone brand can use it.

Along with texts, photos, and video sharing, this application also supports location, app info, and sticker sharing. iMessage uses a binary protocol named Apple Push Notification service (APNs) for message sharing.

It uses the internet or Wi-Fi as a communication medium.

iMessage service is a free service and Apple does not charge a customer for using this service. Any user can send an unlimited amount of messages through this service.

There is no character limit for iMessage service. Most of the time anyone can send up to 20,000 characters long text in a single message.

For pictures and videos, it is limited to 25 megabytes of file size per message.

The encryption system for iMessage service is also industry-standard and regarded as the most advanced digital security system of the world. iMessage service has an easy user interface, and it displays the live status of other iMessage users.

On this messaging platform, a user can see whether another user has read his message or not.


Main Differences Between Texting and iMessage

  1. Texting is a generic messaging solution for all phones, and it includes both iPhone and Android devices. On the other hand, iMessage is a proprietary messaging service of Apple phones and computer devices only.
  2. SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (multimedia messaging service) technology are used for texting service. While Apple Push Notification service (APNs) is used for iMessaging.
  3. The character limit for every text message is only 160 characters. However, there is no character limitation on text sharing for iMessage.
  4. On 300kb data can be sent through MMS texting service. But a maximum of 25 megabytes of file can be shared through iMessage in a single message.
  5. Texting services do not offer any encryption security. However, the encryption security level is very high on iMessage.
  6. Mobile phone uses the cellular network for communication medium, while iMessage uses the internet or Wi-Fi for communication medium.
  7. The cell phone reception companies may charge for texting service. But iMessage service is completely free.
Difference Between Texting and iMessage



Texting was the first generation of messaging solutions for mobile devices. Even though this system has lots of limitation but this technology had developed a worldwide communication through the cellular network for common people.

On the other hand, iMessage uses the latest technology. This system is highly secure and offers huge flexibility and features to the user.

Unlike texting, iMessage can only be used on Apple computers and mobile phones. Currently millions of dedicated Apple phone users are using iMessage for their communication.

On the other phones like Android uses texting and app bases messaging solutions.

Every day millions of people use both texting and iMessage services for their daily communication. Both of these services are very reliable and offer quick messaging to family, friends, and business operators.

Due to the inexpensive pricing of both of these services, many companies have also chosen this medium for advertisement and promotion.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1541931213601288
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/2677046.2677048
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