What’s the difference between the Messages app on my iPhone and my iPad? [ASK MR. NOOBIE]

Messages appQUESTION: My son bought me an iPhone and an iPad. Both have a Messages app but my daughter said that her messages will only show up on my iPhone. Is that true? – Paula C. from Greensboro, NC

ANSWER: First of all, let me congratulate you on having a very generous son if he bought you both an iPhone and an iPad. That’s quite a gift!

That being said, you are correct in noticing that both devices have what appears to be the same Messages app. But they are indeed slightly different.

How they are the same

Let’s start with what’s the same about both of them first. Both the Messages app on your iPhone and iPad can send and receive text, photos and videos to or from any person who owns an Apple device—more specifically, an iPhone, an iPad, an iPod touch or a Mac computer. But only these devices and nothing else. Think of the Messages app in this regards as Apple’s proprietary communication app.

How they are different

Now, let’s talk about what is different. Because your iPhone has cellular connectivity (voice and data), it is also capable of sending and receiving SMS messages, otherwise known as text messages. Text messages can be sent or received from any other text-capable device, not just an Apple device. In other words, someone with an Android smartphone or even just a regular ‘ol flip phone can send you a text and it will show up in your Messages app on your iPhone. But not on your iPad.

So to answer your question, I’m going to assume your daughter does not have an iPhone and instead has some other type of smartphone (most likely Android). So when she sends you a text from her smartphone, it will only go to your iPhone Messages app and not your iPad Messages app. The reverse works the same way. If you want to send her a text, you’ll have to do it from the Messages app on your iPhone. You can’t do it from your iPad.

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