By: Delani – Joy of Android
So why would you need to send group texts? Let me digress a bit and clarify two things. First is “mass texting” – which is sending a text to multiple recipients, but not needing everyone to see the replies. The replies will just go to you alone. This is not what we want.
How to Send Group Texts on Android
Group messaging in Android requires the use of the MMS protocol, so this is the first step to check. Android either does “mass text” or “group text” – and users will need to toggle their messaging app’s settings so that the group texts go through the MMS protocol.
Toggling Your Group Messaging Settings to MMS
On an Android device, you are probably using your manufacturer’s default messaging app. Some manufacturers use Google’s Messages app as their default, and that should be good for us
First, you need to open up your messaging app. For us, it will be the Messages app from Android, but it should be pretty much the same with other stock messaging apps.
Then you need to go into Settings > Advanced. Under the Group Messaging section, 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.
Also make sure that the setting for Auto-download MMS is toggled on, so that you will receive all replies to the group chat automatically. Having this toggled off will mean an annoying notification will come up every time a member of the group replies.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Depending on your mobile carrier, sending messages over MMS might count against your data limit. This means that when you go above your data limit, sending group messages might actually cost you some money.
Now You Can Start Group Messaging
Once the MMS settings have been toggled correctly, you can now do group messaging via your standard SMS app. All the messages will be sent to the recipients, and everyone will receive the replies just like a group chat.
From your contacts, just choose the people you want to start a group chat with, and then send a message to them. This will go out through MMS and everyone will receive the any reply made to the group.
As long as the MMS settings are toggled, you can even send group messages to your iPhone-using friends. By that, I mean that you can include them in your group messages and not fear that they won’t see the replies.
When you send group messages using MMS, the iPhone will also use MMS via the user’s mobile carrier and be able to display replies to the group via the iMessage app.
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:
How to Disable Group Messaging on Android
After using MMS as your default group messaging protocol, you might come across a situation where you would want to use plain old SMS – which means you can send one text message to multiple contacts, but have their replies sent only to you and not to the whole group.
To do this, you will need to go into Settings > Advanced. Under the Group Messaging section, make sure you change the selection to the “mass text” option. This will change the global action for SMS messages, and you will get an individual reply from each contact you have in the group message.
Problems with Group Messaging via MMS
As useful as the group messaging feature is, there are times when it creates some problems with users, so allow me to get into some of these so we can get you sorted out.
Replies from People in the Group Message Come Back as Individual Texts
This happens when your group messaging protocol is 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.
You need to switch to group MMS – as detailed above – so that replies to the message are sent to the group.
I Want to Add Someone to the Group That I Didn’t Add During the Initial Group Message
Unfortunately, this can’t be done in group messaging. If you use a chat app – like Facebook Messenger – this is easy as pie. But with standard Android group messaging, this isn’t quite as easy.
If you really want to add someone, this means that you have to start from the beginning and add everyone else – including that person you missed out – and start a new group message.
I Want to Get out of a Group Message, or Stop Receiving Messages from a Certain Group
Again, Android has not made it easy for us to get out of a group MMS. There is a workaround for this, but you can’t really delete yourself from a group messaging session.
The workaround would be to stop receiving notifications from the specific group. You open your messaging app, hold down on the specific group message, and toggle the notification settings. Make sure that you set it so your phone won’t notify you even when messages come in.
At this moment, there is no way to extricate yourself from a group MMS session – so be mindful when creating group messaging sessions. Make sure everyone wants to be in it.