The older parts of the cell phone system are figuratively held together with chicken wire and chewing gum, and the wireless carriers have little incentive to change it because it works and makes them billions and billions of dollars. Apple created iMessage for an improved (and secure) messaging ecosystem and married it on the iPhone with “traditional” SMS (text) and MMS (multimedia) cellular messaging systems.
On your iPhone, you can send and receive cellular texts and iMessages. Apple extended the phone network capability of the iPhone to your other iCloud-bound devices many years ago to provide the same access to the non-Apple texting world.
To make sure everything works the way you want, you may need to check and change the settings in several places.
First, on your iPhone in Settings > posts:
iMessage must be enabled.
Faucet send receive to choose the phone number and iCloud-related addresses where you can receive messages on this iPhone.
Still under Send and Receive, check Under Start new conversations from. You can choose the iPhone number instead of an email address to ensure that people outside of Apple’s iMessage ecosystem receive your messages correctly.
In Text message forwarding activate all your devices that can send and receive cellular texts.
On your other devices, make sure the iPhone phone number is selected as a valid way to receive messages:
In iOS/iPadOS, go to Settings > posts > send receive and choose the iPhone number under You can receive iMessages and reply from. (Even though it says iMessage, it seems to apply to text messages.)
In macOS, open Messages and choose Messages > Preferences > iMessage. In Settings, check the box next to the iPhone number. (Note that here Apple says “You can be contacted for messages on” and not just on iMessages.)
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by the Macworld Olive reader.
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