Apple insulates us from most of the peculiarities of the cellular world’s text messaging system, SMS (Short Messaging Service), and the multimedia version, MMS. If everyone you text with uses an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch, you see nice blue bubbles and it’s all handled within Apple’s iMessage system.
Even if you’re using SMS or MMS—where messages appear in green—Apple still hides the complexity, packaging it within the Messages app on various platforms. But you might be perplexed in one specific case, as one reader was: they use group messaging without all Apple ecosystem participants and every reply comes back as an individual message—the group isn’t receiving replies as a whole!
It turns out it’s related to that pesky wiring behind the scenes. To use group messaging without iMessage, you rely on a feature in MMS. But if the feature isn’t enabled or your carrier doesn’t support it, you’ll see individual responses to all group messages sent.
To enable it if it’s available, go to Settings > Messages and enable MMS Messaging and Group Messaging. If neither option is available, contact your carrier.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Peggy.
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