Group messaging or group text is a form of sending one single message either through Short Messaging Service (SMS) or Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) to a group of people. This kind of messaging service has already been available even before Android came to existence.
Group text is not the same as group chat. Basically, group chat is more defined towards the use of internet connection while group text is more of a messaging system by means of cellular services.
How To Start Sending Group Text Using Android Phone?
To send a group text using your Android phone, all you have to do is…
- Launch your local “Messaging” app. – This is the messaging app that comes pre-installed on your device. This is not the Facebook Messenger app or WhatsApp or any messaging app that uses an internet connection to send messages.
- Create a new message.
- On contacts selection, tap on the “Contact Icon.” (This could be different per device, best to explore)
- Select the individual contacts that you want to send your message to.
- Once done, start typing your message and send it to them.
Easy isn’t? All that’s left to do now is dive into the system of group messaging and other related stuff. Since this method alone is not really a group messaging of some sort. Basically, this method is simply sending an SMS to a group of people. Any replies to your message will only be sent to you and not to the group that you or your friend created.
From our experience, some Android users have had a bit of a hard time figuring this feature out. Especially those who are new to Android coming from an Apple iPhone device user.
Group Text Messaging – Apple iPhone iOS Devices
Apple’s iPhones have a different approach when it comes to group text interface – the less complicated, the better.
Starting a group text with the “iMessage” app on an iPhone will give you a different experience than with Android. Every message sent will go through Apple’s own messaging servers. Due to this, group messages through SMS will be treated as a group chat messages sent through the internet.
All text, messages, and replies within the group will appear together in one session. Although, it’s only possible if all the recipients are using an iPhone and the iMessage app. If a non-iPhone user is included within the group, the messages will arrive as an SMS. Any replies to your group message will only be seen by you and the members of the group will not receive the reply.
Therein lies the problem when longtime iPhone users do the switch from iOS to Android. Although, the same feature can also be done with Android. It simply requires MMS to be activated.
Want To Send Group Texts on Android?
Before anything else, let’s clarify a few things first. Mass texting or group texting is basically sending a text to multiple recipients. However, any replies won’t be received by everyone. This kind of scenario is to be expected since mass texting or group texting uses SMS protocol.
The second one is “Group Messaging.” Group messaging basically refers to sending a message to a group of selected contacts. Each member for the group would then have a privilege and are entitled to see all the replies within the group.
So you might be asking, what’s the point of this? We already have WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for this sole purpose. Well, the answer is simple. Group messaging is great in areas where Data connection is poor. So, to communicate with a group of people in poor to zero data signal areas, group messaging is a great alternative.
Group Messaging Requirements – Toggle Group Message Settings to MMS
A full way group messaging on Android requires MMS protocol. To toggle the group message settings to MMS, go into Settings of your default messaging app. Then proceed to Advanced. Under Group Messaging, make sure you toggle the “group MMS” option. This will change the global action for whenever you try to send an SMS message to multiple recipients. the messaging app’s settings so that the group texts go through the MMS protocol.
Additional setting requirements should also be done such as toggling the “Auto-download MMS” ON. Basically, setting this to ON eliminates that annoying notification every time a member of the group replies.
Once all is set and done, you can now start and enjoy group messaging on Android. Additionally, you can now do group messaging via your standard SMS app.
NOTE: Some mobile carrier counts sending messages over MMS might to your monthly data. When you go above your data limit, sending messages may cost you money.
Group Messaging Apps – Best Apps for Group Texting on Android
So once you have your MMS settings toggled correctly, you can now start group messaging to your heart’s content. You can even use a third party app to do group messaging. Here are the best ones:
Messages – Google’s official app for texting (SMS, MMS) and chat (RCS)
If you want Google’s stock SMS messaging app, you can’t get as fundamental as “Messages.” This is the app Google wants you to use on Android for SMS messaging.
Don’t be fooled by the basic layout. This contains all the SMS messaging features you will ever need, including group messaging, in one clean app. If you make it a default messaging app, it will give you that stock Android look and feel.
Handcent Next SMS
Handcent was one of the first robust SMS apps there was and it’s not surprising that a lot of people still use it to this day. The app goes by Handcent Next SMS these days. The great thing about this app is that it includes a lot of features – including group messaging.
GroupMe is one of the most popular apps for group messaging. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the internet, on MMS, or on SMS, the app will do group messaging in one way or another.
Owned by Microsoft, GroupMe may seem like a chat app to most but at its core, it’s a great multi-purpose messaging app. It prides itself with organizability that most can’t.
Textra SMS is one of the best SMS apps you can get out there. Its popularity comes from its customizability and a robust list of features.
Textra is one of the highest rated SMS apps in Google Play. A lot of people are satisfied with what the app brings to the table and of course, among its features, is group messaging.
The app also plays nice with Android Wear, Pushbullet, MightyText, and other apps, so its no surprise that you have to pay USD$2.99 to use all the features. That said, most of the free-to-use features already make it a solid messaging app.
Problems with Group Messaging via MMS
Setting your phone to do group messaging comes with a few cons and issues. The most prominent one that really affects the general user experience is the inability to add new contacts to an existing group. This is, however, possible with chat app like Facebook Messenger but is impossible with standard Android group messaging. You have to start from the start and manually add each member of the previous group and then add the new members that you want to add.
Messaging Matters: How School Leaders Can Inspire Teachers, Motivate Students, and Reach Communities
Speaking of messaging, did you know that us, people, can harness the power of communication and messaging to create and influence a positive outlook in every community?
Check out this “Messaging Matters” book written by William D. Parker. This book suggests and teaches the means of using digital tools to enhance communication.
How to Send Group Texts to iPhone Users from Android?
- As long as the MMS settings are set correctly, you can send group messages to any of your friends even if they are using an iPhone or a non-Android device. When you send group messages using MMS, Apple will also use MMS via the iPhone user’s mobile carrier. It will also then display replies to the group via the iMessage app.
How to Disable Group Messaging on Android?
- To disable group messaging on Android, you will need to go into Settings then Advanced. Under the Group Messaging section, make sure you change the selection to the “mass text” option. Once done, group messaging is disabled for Android.
How Come Replies in the Group Message Come Back as an Individual Text?
- When replies in the group message come back as an individual text, your group messaging protocol could still be set to mass text (SMS) instead of “group MMS”. When you send a group message that is a mass text, your phone uses the SMS protocol, and so replies will come to you only, and they come as individual text messages.
How to Leave Group Message, or Stop Receiving Messages from a Certain Group
- Technically, you can’t leave a group message and you can’t really delete yourself from a group messaging session. You can only stop receiving notifications from the group. To do this, open your messaging app then hold down on the specific group message. Toggle the notification settings so your phone won’t receive any notification when messages come in.
Is Group Messaging still relevant today? All of us will agree when we say that there are now better options to message a group. Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp are good examples of this. However, for areas where a data connection is drastically poor, then a group MMS would be great.
Have you tried group messaging on Android? Is there a particular app that you use to make it easier? Share it with us in the comments section!