How to Send an SMS or MMS From Your iPad

How to Send an SMS or MMS From Your iPad

Even with a cellular data plan, iPads can’t send SMS. However, you can still chat with others by configuring your iPhone or using a third-party app.

Your Best Bet: Continuity With Your iPhone

If you have an iPhone and iPad with at least iOS 8.1, you can send and receive SMS messages on your iPad. People will see these messages as if they were on your iPhone.

How to Set Up Your iPhone to Send SMS Messages From Your iPad

The odd aspect of this setup is that it occurs on your iPhone, not your iPad. The logic behind it is that your iPhone transmits messages to and from the iPad. To enable this feature, ensure that both devices have the same iCloud account setup.

To configure text message forwarding on your iPhone, access Settings -> Messages. In the center of the screen, locate the Text Message Forwarding option. Select the setting and a list of eligible devices capable of relaying messages will appear.

How to Send an SMS or MMS From Your iPad

I already have two Macs configured for SMS through the Messages app. Apple puts in the destination (Mac) so you know these are MacOS systems. The middle device is an iPad and Text Message Forwarding is turned off.

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Not Sure How to Set Up Your Mac for SMS? Check out our guide.

When I switch it on, Apple sends a code to my iPad that I need to enter on my iPhone. That’s for security reasons. Once you enter that code, SMS messages will show up on both your iPhone and iPad. Then you can respond to them like any other messages.

How to Send an SMS or MMS From Your iPad

Limitations And Warnings For Using Continuity SMS Relay on the iPad

Since your iPhone relays messages, it needs to be on and connected to a cellular network. If your iPhone is in Airplane mode, SMS relay won’t work. This can be inconvenient when you’re on an airplane. You might have a data connection, but without a cellular connection, relaying won’t be possible.

The iPhone and iPad don’t need to be near or on the same WiFi network. Your iPad needs an internet connection, either through WiFi or cellular data. If you use your data connection and have a cap, messaging will count towards your data plan, not your texting plan. If you receive many text messages with attachments, you may want to disable this feature.

Google Voice provides a free dedicated phone number that can receive phone calls and text messages. While phone calls are not supported on the iPad, text messages can still be received. The Google Voice app is compatible with the iPad, although it is designed for the smaller iPhone screen. When you receive a text message on your Google Voice number, you can respond through the app or by email.

How to Send an SMS or MMS From Your iPad

Looking for a Google Voice app for the iPad? Try GV Connect. It’s optimized for the iPad and costs $2.99.

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How to Send an SMS or MMS From Your iPad

I have tried a few alternative apps like FreeTone and Nextplus, which provide a phone number for your iPad. These apps are not only for text messaging but also for phone calls. You can sign up and get a few free messages, and then choose to pay a monthly subscription, purchase a bucket of messages, or earn more free credits by watching ads or responding to offers. Personally, I prefer using Google Voice instead of having another phone number.

Another option to consider is WhatsApp, which is a convenient alternative to Messages. We have compared these two apps.

Don’t worry about missing out on text-based conversations just because you’re using your iPad.

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