How To Quickly Switch Between iMessage & SMS On Your iPhone

Apple’s mobile OS has come a long way since the first iPhone was released. The Cupertino mammoth has added countless new features to iOS over the years, made an equal amount of improvements to its core functionality and even gave its design language an overhaul with the seventh iteration. Despite all that, developers, designers and power users alike keep finding new ways to improve iOS even further.

There are quite a few areas where Apple’s offering could improve upon ease of use by reducing the amount of interactions required to complete a task. For example, messaging another iPhone user via the stock Messages app can prove to be quite bothersome if the recipient is in an area with weak reception or moving in and out of locations that don’t offer mobile data or WiFi. Recently released Cydia tweak SwitchService aims to solve just that with a pleasantly simple and well-implemented improvement to the Messages app.

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Provided you yourself have Apple’s iMessage IM service enabled on your iOS device, whenever you send a message to an iPhone user via the stock Messages app, your device will always try sending it through iMessage first. When delivery fails, iOS automatically switches to SMS, provided there is a phone number associated with the contact, but that process takes quite a bit of time – time you’d rather not waste, especially if failed iMessages is a recurring issue for you and your recipients.

The only default way to speed up message delivery in such a situation is to open the Settings app, navigate to Messages and temporarily toggle the iMessage option off, which is far from ideal. With SwitchService, you can switch between modes of message delivery right from within the Messages app with a single gesture. All you need to do is tap and hold the send button and the app will switch from iMessage to SMS with a nice animation and haptic feedback. Holding down the send button again will switch you back to iMessage. The switch is, of course, only made for whatever messaging thread you have open.

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The tweak doesn’t require any configuration. It’s a simple, lightweight addition to the OS that you’ll probably forget about a couple days after installation, but is bound to save you from a ton of inconvenience if the aforementioned scenario applies to you.

SwitchService is available for free on the Creatix repository. The repo isn’t one of Cydia’s defaults, so you’ll have to manually add its address (repo.ioscreatix.com) to the jailbreak store from Sources > Edit > Add.

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