Since Apple launched the iMessage feature in 2011, sending messages on Apple devices has become easier than ever. 

The Messages app allows us to start a conversation through text messages sent over Wi-Fi, known as iMessages. 

The sent SMS/MMS and iMessage bubbles appear as either blue or green. Have you ever wondered why that is so? What decides the color of the message bubble?

Well, the answer relies on your network connection. For example, if a message bubble is green, it was sent using SMS/MMS instead of iMessages that are always blue. 

However, this fantastic feature has its downs too.

You might face troubles in sending an iMessage over WiFi due to a list of reasons. But don’t start sweating; we’ve compiled them all right here for you.

In this article, you will find the critical difference between MMS/SMS messages and iMessages, along with the solutions to the problems you may come across in the future.

Let’s jump right onto it without any further ado!

About SMS/MMS and iMessage 

The Messages app on your Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, allows you to send messages in two forms, as an SMS/MMS or an iMessage. 

If you wonder about the difference between the two from the message bubble’s color, continue reading to find your answer.

MMS/SMS Messages

SMS/MMS are texts and photos you send to other iOS devices or Android devices. These messages are not encrypted and don’t require a Wi-Fi connection to get delivered. 


iMessages, on the other hand, are texts, photos, or videos that you send to other Apple devices over Wi-Fi or data connection. These messages are always encrypted and require a secure internet connection. 

To enable or disable iMessage, tap the Settings app on your device and tap Messages.

However, it would help if you had a text-messaging plan to use your iPhone’s SMS/MMS feature. 

Why Can’t I Send or Receive Messages on My iPhone? 

Sometimes a message continuously shows you an alert, and often can’t send or receive messages on your device. Here are some easy steps that you should try to solve these issues:

  1. Restart your device.
  2. Now, check your network connection. You require cellular data or a Wi-Fi network to send an iMessage or MMS. Plus, you can send an SMS via cellular data only; however, if you turn on WiFi Calling (used for phone calls), you can send SMS text messages over wireless connections as well.
  3. The next step is to watch out for your wireless or cellular carrier and see if it supports the message format, like SMS or MMS, you’re trying to send.
  4. iPhone users can send group MMS messages by enabling the MMS Messaging option. Tap Settings > Messages. However, if you can’t see the option to allow MMS or Group Messaging, it means your cellular carrier doesn’t support it.
  5. After that, ensure your device has enough storage to receive photos and videos.
  6. Lastly, make sure that you provided the correct iCloud email address or phone number for the contact.

Activation Alert

Your device might show you a Waiting for Activation alert, even after following the above steps, with messages like:

  • Waiting for activation
  • Unable to contact the iMessage server. Try again.
  • An error occurred during activation.
  • Activation unsuccessful.
  • Could not sign in, please check your network connection.

At this point, you can resolve the issue with these steps:

  1. First, make sure that you’re connected to a smooth network connection. Then, you will need SMS messaging to activate your phone number with iMessage. However, SMS charges will apply.
  2. After that, enter the correct time and date on your device. For that, tap Settings > General > Date & Time.
  3. The next step is to disable iMessage. For that, go to Settings > Messages > turn off iMessage.
  4. Now, restart your device.
  5. Enable iMessage again.

Hopefully, the issue will be resolved in 24 hours.

Troubleshooting Common iMessages Issues Sent via Internet Connection

If you see some other issue other than Activation Alert, we’ve got you covered. Find your problem from the ones mentioned below and send a message without any hassle.

A Red Exclamation Point

A red exclamation point icon says that your message is Not Delivered. If you see it, you should:

  1. Ensure your network connection.
  2. Tap on the exclamation mark icon twice.
  3. If the message still doesn’t send, tap on the icon and select ‘Send as Text Message.’ 

Although you will be charged with the standard messaging rate, the message will hopefully get delivered.

A Green Message Bubble

There are several reasons why your iMessage is turning green. Some common ones are:

  • The recipient of the message doesn’t have an iOS device.
  • The iMessage option is either disabled on your device or the recipient’s device.
  • The iMessage service is temporarily unavailable on either your device or on the recipient’s device.

Group Messages Error Even With a Speedy WiFi or Cellular Data

Suppose you suddenly stop receiving messages from your favorite group even if your phone is connected to a network; a nightmare, suitable?. 

In that case, you should check if you unintentionally left the conversation. 

For that:

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Tap the Group Message.
  3. You will see a message there stating whether you left the group or the admin removed you.
  4. You can rejoin the group if any participant adds you again.

If you face any other issue with group messages, you can delete that group and start a new one.

However, you can’t recover a text message or conversation if you delete it. So if you want to save any particular message, you can take a screenshot of it. 

Moreover, you can also save any attachment sent in the group or a message. Just a long tap on the attachment, tap More, and save it.

The Bottom Line

The Messages App indeed gives any Apple device a cutting edge over others by allowing the users to send and receive SMS/MMS and iMessages – all through a single platform.

Even though iMessage requires a secure network connection to work, you can still converse with your friend via text messages sent through cellular data. 

Well, if you face any issues while sending messages, we’ve provided you with all the possible solutions!