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How to Use Text Messages on iPhone

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 5/17/2009

Here are a few easy tips for getting the most out of text messaging on your iPhone.

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    A Little Different

    One of the most unique parts about the iPhone is its text message function. Instead of treating each simple note as a self-contained item it looks back at the history of conversations you have had with everyone you have passed them to in your phone. This is part of Apple’s attempt to take the iPhone to the next level. This allows people to see text messages less as pages and more of a new type of continuous contact in the vain of instant messaging. Through both of its advantages and limitations, there are ways to approach the iPhone’s text message functions to make it work in your favor.

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    The first thing you have to address is the entire list of messages that you have. Not only will you have this list for everyone you have messaged, but also group text messages you have sent out. It will not list the responses to the group text message under this one as those answers will be in the conversation for that specific person. This renders these group text message conversations useless and they should just be deleted quickly to free up space and make things less confusing.

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    The text message list will not lay out every message sent between you two, just the most recent ones. At the top you can press a button to Load Earlier Messages that will add another block of earlier messages. You can continue to press it to show all the messages that there are. Right next to this is an option to clear out the entire conversation, which is really the only way to get rid of messages. Unfortunately, you do not have a clear option just to get rid of individual ones, so you have to make the choice as to whether or not you want them all gone.

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    Since the iPhone’s text message function is an SMS and not MMS type you cannot send picture messages in the same way. There is a couple ways around this. The first is to simply send an email of the picture to them, bypassing their phone reception altogether. Since most people can access their email from any phone this should not be a problem. The second is to the send it to their number using the email address set up by their service provider. What this does is allow you to send an email to them and have them receive it as a picture message. This is complicated, but if you would like to do it, you can usually find the correct email address for the provider on their website.

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    The keyboard function on the iPhone can be a problem for some people when texting. If you are going to be texting quite a bit you may want to turn off the autocorrect function. It will have trouble with slang, so if you want to keep on your autocorrect you are going to have to teach it. You do this either by entering the word often and click out of autocorrect suggestions or create contacts in the contact list for those words.