Blue iMessage vs Green Text Messages on an iPhone – What’s the Difference?

Apple’s exclusive messaging app, iMessage, allows you to send an iMessage, SMS, or MMS message from any Apple device. If you have ever wondered why some messages appear in green and some in blue, keep reading as we discuss the differences and tips on resolving iMessage sending issues.

Blue iMessage vs Green Text Messages on an iPhone - What's the Difference?

Green vs Blue Messages

A green text bubble indicates the message has been sent as an ordinary SMS/MMS message. A blue text bubble confirms that your message has been sent to another Apple user.

Reasons Why Green Messages Are Sent

There are a few reasons why a message sent may be green.

  • The recipient is not using an Apple device
  • Your iPhone is not connected to the Internet
  • The default iMessage setting on your iPhone is disabled

SMS (Green) vs iMessage (Blue)

Short message service (SMS) is the traditional text messaging method that sends and receives messages via a cellular signal. In contrast, iMessage is an Apple-exclusive messaging service that sends messages using data or Wi-Fi.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of iMessage vs SMS.

  1. iMessages can only be exchanged using an Apple device, while SMS is compatible with all smartphones.
  2. iMessages are more safeguarded than SMS, offering end-to-end encryption to keep the data safe. Other private messaging apps include WhatsApp or Signal.
  3. iMessage uses your cellular data or Wi-Fi to exchange messages. Texts are not included in a limited text plan.
  4. iMessage includes neat features like displaying three pulsing dots whenever someone is entering text, and a read receipt is sent once a message is opened.
  5. iMessage doesn’t have character limits. SMS messages have a character limit of 160 characters. If a message exceeds 160 characters, your phone company will break it up and send as several 160-character messages.

How to Fix the iMessage “Needs to Be Enabled to Send This Message” Error

Check out the fixes below to resolve the error message Cannot Send Message. iMessage needs to be enabled to send this message.

Ensure Your iMessage Is Enabled

The message suggests that the iMessage app may not be enabled, so let’s start there. Here’s how to enable the iMessage app.

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Select “Messages.”
  3. Tap the “iMessage” switch and wait for activation.
  4. If it’s already enabled, disable, then reenable it.

Is the Apple iMessage Server Down?

Although this doesn’t happen often, there could be a problem with the iMessage servers to prevent messages from being sent. Visit the Apple System Status page to verify whether this is the case.

Reset the Network Settings

The problem could be a network connection issue. Try resetting the network settings on your phone. Here’s how.

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Tap on “General.”
  3. Select “Reset,” then “Reset Network Settings.”

Still no joy? Don’t worry, as there are a few more options to try.

Reset iMessage Settings

For some reason, the iMessage app may have gone to sleep. Try waking it up again with a reset.

  1. Go to “Settings.”
  2. Tap “Messages,” then select “Send & Receive.”
  3. Beneath the “YOU CAN BE REACHED BY IMESSAGE AT” section, uncheck the email address and phone number.
  4. Tap your Apple ID, then select “Sign Out.”
  5. Restart your iPhone, enable iMessage from “Settings,” then sign in to your Apple ID again.

Erase Your iPhone

As a last resort, consider erasing all your content and settings from storage. Reset all your iPhone settings to set it up as new using your iCloud backup.

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Choose “General,” “Reset iPhone,” then “Erase All Content and Settings.”

Your iPhone will restart with all the contents and settings erased. You’ll then have the option to set it up as new or restore it from a backup. To set it up as new, you’ll have an opportunity to follow the onscreen setup instructions.

If you’re still having problems sending iMessages, please contact Apple support.

Blue Is for Secure Messaging

The difference between green and blue texts is whether the message is encrypted. Blue messages are encrypted, as they stay on the iMessage Apple servers while SMS/MMS messages do not. Other reasons why a message sent from your iPhone appears green could include problems with the iMessage app or the iMessage server. Either way, there are several options to get the issue resolved.

What do you enjoy most about the iMessage app? What additional features do you think Apple could include to improve it? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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