The coveted group text. It’s something that iPhone users have been given access to for years. These iPhone followers find it quite easy to tease Android, since the platform has failed to come up with a standardized way of sending group texts. Some might consider this a good thing, since you get to customize your phone and choose how you want to group text, but the open nature of Android makes the messaging game a bit complex.
Let’s say you just bought a new Android phone, and now you want to send a mass text out to all of your friends for an upcoming party. You realize that when iPhone users create a mass text, you are included; but when you respond, the message only goes to the original recipient. It’s even tough to send out a group text without having to deal with stray texts coming in, and people not knowing who is who.
Let’s take a look at how to send group texts from Android devices to help you nurture, not hinder, your mobile relationships.
Method 1: Sending with Groups of Contacts
This is by no means the best way to send out group texts, because it doesn’t always allow you to interact with your friends or family in a communal way, but it does give you a quick way to send out a blast to your existing contacts.
Make sure your messaging settings are enabled for group/MMS texts. In order for your text to be sent as one group message with one thread of replies, it first has to be converted to MMS. This does use data. The alternative is to send texts to multiple people individually, which most likely will be counted as text messaging by your carrier.
You can ensure that everything is set up the way you like it by opening your phone’s stock texting app and selecting Settings. Depending on your Android, you may also have to tap on Message Settings or possibly SMS or MMS. Enable (or disable if you to send your group messages individually, so everyone doesn’t see everything) MMS and/or Thread Group Conversations. Also enable data in Settings>Data Usage (or Mobile Data) if you are opting to use MMS.
Create a default group to send your messages to. This is handy if you regularly send messages to your family or a designated group of friends. Go to your homescreen and click on the Contacts button.
Click on the Groups tab at the top of the screen. All Android phones differ here. You might have to click on an Add Groups button or click on the Menu button to actually find the Groups option.
Designate a group name of your choice and remember it so you can type it into the message field later. Click on the Save button to finish this process.
In order to add people to your group you can click on the group you just created and select Add Contact. Once again, some Android phones have different commands, but the buttons should be somewhat similar. This brings you to a list of your contacts. Select all of the contacts you want and add them to the group.
If you are needing to import contacts from CSV or similar file, try an app like CSV Contact Importer.
Download: CSV Contacts Importer
Now that you have a group of people created, it’s time to send out your group text. From your home screen, navigate to the Messaging app and open it. Click on the To: or Recipient: field and click on the Contacts icon.
This should bring up your contacts. Pick the group you just created, and if you want, go select certain people from that group to narrow it down a bit. Click on the Done button and then return to the messaging app to compose your message and send it out to your groups.
If you should decide in the future that you want to add an additional contact to the group, open that person’s contact information. Choose Edit. Scroll down to find the Groups section. Select the group, and add your contact.
You might also decide that you want to set a limit and delete older group conversations automatically. Group message size can increase almost exponentially, and while one little old text doesn’t seem like much, they can add up. To set that limit, open the messaging app and go to the menu, then Settings.
Under the Storage section, ensure that Delete Old Messages is enabled. Choose either or both Text Message Limit or Multimedia Message Limit, specify the amount you wish to allow, and press Set.
If your phone is like mine, there simply is no Groups option in Contacts. Instead, from the Menu, I have to go into Contact to Display, and work with those groups or add the contacts to the To: field one by one. Or keep reading for more options.
Method 2: Go SMS Pro
There are a few Android messaging apps that allow you to send group messages to other people. Unfortunately, most of them have a few downsides. The first downside is that many of them don’t solve the problem of joining in with a group chat with a bunch of iPhone users. You’ll receive a handful of separate texts, but they don’t allow you to chat with everyone at once.
For the apps that do allow group chatting with iPhones you often have to convince your iPhone friends to download an app. This is unrealistic, considering they would have to actually download the app and open it whenever they want to send you a text.
The best group messaging app for Android is Go SMS Pro, although some users don’t appreciate the newest upgrade, and a specific complaint is that they have to enable MMS repeatedly. Nonetheless, with just a few simple clicks, you can group message anyone in your contacts, and it includes you in any iPhone chat session.
Navigate to the Google Play Store using the button below. Download Go SMS Pro to your Android phone and open the app when it’s done downloading. You can also close out the download page and open the app from your homescreen if you would like.
Download: GO SMS Pro
Click the Menu button; then click the Settings button.
Once in the Settings area, locate an option called General. Click this button.
Next, find the option called Group Messaging under the MMS section. Check this option off to enable the ability to chat with everyone at once. Basically, if a group of iPhone users creates a group text, and they include you, instead of delivering all the messages separately to you, it pushes all of the messages to a thread for you to join the entire conversation.
Troubleshooting Lag, & Performance Issues:
Go SMS Pro can have lag when generating the threads for your group texts, or sending the messages themselves. If needed, close and restart the app. Some users have found that this app conflicts with other apps, like AdFree. If you like GO SMS Pro better than the conflicting app, consider uninstalling the other app.
Method 3: GroupMe
This is a pretty self-explanatory app, that takes a quick setup and then you can start sending group texts to whoever you want. The app can switch to SMS if you have a weak connection.
Simply download the GroupMe app below.
Sign into the account by typing in your phone number and password. You can also create an account from the app.
Click on the Start New Group button. The app then asks you to name the group or create a topic. Or you can text the following command: #new [insert topic] to GROUP (47687). This creates a unique phone number for your group.
Click on the Start button. Click on the Add Member button to start including people on your list. Or text: #add [insert name] [insert number] to your group number created in the previous step.
The last step is to go to the messaging portion and select your recently created group. This sends messages to all of the people you add. Congrats!
Troubleshooting When You Have Recently Switched from iPhone to Android:
If you aren’t receiving replies from other iPhone users, ask them to delete and add you again as a contact. This should cause their phone to stop trying to use the iMessage protocol to contact your phone. You will also need to deregister iMessage, and you can using this link.
Method 4: Handcent
In addition to its group texting, one of the nice things about Handcent is how customizable it is, and unlike the others, many users like the results of the most recent update.
Install Handcent. You can also use the plugin on Google Play in addition to the app. It is wholly dedicated to this purpose, but you can get the same result with the app itself.
Download: Handcent Next SMS
Download: Handcent Plugin
Launch the app. You will want to ensure that Handcent is the default MMS and SMS.
Go to the Inbox drop down menu and select More. If you are just using the plugin, go to Handcent Services, then Group SMS and activate. You are now done if you have the plug-in app.
Now go to Settings and ensure that Send as split threads is disabled for one thread, or enabled for multiple.
To use MMS, also visit Application Settings and enable Thread Group Conversation.
Fortunately, there are plenty of workarounds for you to play with. Try grouping your contacts before sending out a group text to make it a little easier for yourself, or even try to download an app to get in on the action with iPhone users. You might even check out other messaging apps for better texting.
If you have any questions about these methods, please feel free to express your concerns below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.