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 How to Send SMS Texts From an iPad

You need to send an SMS to a friend with a mobile phone, but all you have is an iPad. Is it possible to send SMS messages from an iPad? The answer is not certain, However, it depends on the situation. You will discover what your options are in this article.

First of all, What is an SMS Text Message?

To understand the iPad's limits on texting, we must first define what an SMS message is. SMS means "short message service." It is the industry-standard protocol that mobile phones use to send text messages. A similar technology, MMS (multimedia messaging service), allows mobile phones to send each other photos and videos via the mobile network.

How Do Apple Messages Differ From SMS Texts?

The majority of Apple users communicate via the Apple Messages application, which uses its own Apple iMessage protocol over the Internet when communicating with other users on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac. Messaging is currently only available on Apple platforms, so Android and Windows customers can't use it.

On an iPhone, Messages can send and receive SMS texts. However, by default, iPads can't send SMS messages via the Apple Messages app. Even if you have an iPad with a mobile data plan for mobile internet on the go, you still can't send SMS text messages unless you use one of the following solutions.

Option 1: Connect an iPhone to your iPad via Continuity

You can send and receive SMS messages via iPad if you have a working iPhone connected to it via Continuity, which is Apple's way of sharing connections across its devices.

You can do this with a function Apple calls to forward text messages. To configure it, open Settings on iPhone and go to Messages > Text Message Forwarding. There, you will be able to choose an iPad with which you can share text messages.

Image via HowToGeek

Of course, if you already have an active iPhone that can send SMS messages, you may not need to use your iPad to send text messages. But if an iPad is your only choice, keep checking the other option.

Option 2: Use an Email Gateway to SMS

You can also send an SMS message via iPad using an email gateway to SMS. Almost every mobile service provider operates such a gateway and allows you to send a message via a regular email client (such as Apple Mail) and display it as a text message on the receiver's mobile phone.

For instance, you can email an AT&T customer by email to [email protected], replacing "mobile number" with the recipient's mobile phone as follows: [email protected] .net.

Option 3: Use a Third-party SMS Messaging Application

Although you can't send SMS text messages through the free Apple Messaging app (unless your iPad is connected to an iPhone, as mentioned above), you can send SMS messages through a third-party messaging application.

For example, Skype (a Microsoft application) can send and receive text messages. Messages between Skype users are usually free, but SMS messages require a monthly subscription or payment in Skype Credit. However, Microsoft offers a free trial period of one month.

Also, you can use Google Voice. Unlike Skype, Google Voice is totally free. But it is only present in the United States. Google will provide you with a phone number that you can use for text messages and phone calls, and voice messages.

Several SMS apps are available in the iPad App Store. These apps typically require a subscription to be used regularly, and some of them may display intrusive ads or may not respect your privacy, so be watchful. They operate via the Internet to a relay run by the provider that interfaces with the SMS network.

However, if you need to have SMS messages on your iPad (and you can't connect to an iPhone), your best bet is probably a third-party messaging app.

Option 4: Use an alternative messaging application

If you regularly SMS to friends who can't use Apple Messages (for example, if they have an Android phone), you can try a non-SMS messaging solution. There are many third-party messaging apps: WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal are three of the most popular nowadays, to name a few. 

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