I switched from an iPhone, of which I was a fanatic, to the Samsung Galaxy S3. I can receive individual messages from iPhone users, but I cannot receive any group messages. I have downloaded many apps to try and fix the issue such as Handcent and GoSMS. I have re-enabled and disabled iMessage. Unregistered the iPhone(s) from my Apple ID and it doesn't seem to work.

AT&T has tried to help but because they don't get this too often they couldn't help me. I have called Apple but they want me to pay $29 for any type of support. How can I receive group messages on my Galaxy S3? I'd hate to have to go back over this issue.

  • Welcome to android.SE and Congratulations because of switching from iphone (really they asked you to pay 29$ just to support?!! what a greedy company!). BTW, it seems you should enlighten some details: How you send group message from iphone to s3? iMessage?!! s3 does support iMessage?!! what do you mean by "group messages"? some apps (like GoSMS) support group chat and group messages, do you refer to such thing? or what? please clarify, thanks. – yrajabi Sep 20 '12 at 18:51
  • Sorry, by Group Message I mean similar to iMessage. I did use iMessage on my iPhone 4. Also I used those apps and they did not help at all, now I use the stock messaging app. – n_starnes Sep 20 '12 at 19:02
  • Also, Thank you for the welcome :) I am enjoying Android far more than I did my iOS seems to be much more support and customization. – n_starnes Sep 20 '12 at 19:02
  • It's just annoying because all my friends have iPhones for the time being. They like my S3 and all plan on switching as soon as they upgrade but still. Apple's iMessage has left me forever alone. – n_starnes Sep 20 '12 at 19:25

This is the most fascinating issue that I've seen in a long while. And it's clear that Samsung is turning a blind eye (I've read that there are some whose phones work fine with the stock ICS messaging app). This problem is posted all over every forum that I've searched. And the only answer is GoSMS, or Handcent, or blah, blah, blah. I count myself among the many that would like the group messaging to work in both directions. One would think that one of the most basic functions of a smart phone would not have such an elementary problem. After searching high and low, I'm of the belief that the stock messaging app can't do bidirectional group texts and that a third party app is the only possible solution.

Like many other iPhone converts, it's a shame that I have to admit that my awesome S3 has such a fundamental shortcoming.

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Group texts may not be as simple as you think... What may Android users don't realize is, many of the "interface" features are not part of the stock OS but is part of the Skin that the handset manufacturer or the wireless provider put on it. I have been told that the newer versions of Android (Jellybean for instance) has more functionality so these "skins" aren't as heavy duty. Also many manufacturers take insult to the term "skin" because of the amount of development and changes they make to the functionality of the Android OS. This is not a good or bad thing, this is just the nature of Android.

That being said, let's talk about iMessage vs SMS. iMessage is a service that Apple created to allow iPhones, other apple devices and Macs to talk to each other. When an iPhone user is sending an iMessage, their "send" button is in blue. If an iPhone user is sending to a non-apple supported device, it automatically uses SMS and the "send" button turns green. When sending a group message, if any one recipient in the list is a non-apple device, the whole message is sent using SMS (green button).

I have found that some Android phones receive these messages find and some don't (again because of the effort made by the manufacturer). But before you blame Apple or AT&T, I have seen them have the same issue regardless of carrier or device. I have friends with iPhones on multiple carriers and I have friends with Android phones and Blackberries and other types of devices. It's only certain manufacturers of some Android phones that seem to not support this group messaging.

The reason why I am on this site, is because I was hoping to find a solution for one of my friends who can't participate in the group texting... it sounds like there may be a few 3rd party apps that she can try out. Since my other Android friends don't have this issue, we know it's just a limitation of her handset.

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I was having the same problem. I downloaded the stock Verizon messaging app and then Handcent worked fine both ways, I hope this helps.

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I just switched from a sprint gs3 to a Verizon RAZR HD and I can group message with iPhones fine now.

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You can send in Handcent but can't receive. Because of this, I'm switching back. No 3rd-party works to receive group iMessages.

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You have to have your iphone friends delete your information from text history. they need to start a text, type your name into the recipient field and click on the "i". This will allow them to delete you from the text history...Then they start a new thread and this will allow you to receive group text.

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The problem, as you have mentioned, is because you had iMessage active on your iPhone. This means that your phone number is still registered with Apple to use the iMessage service. When other people with iPhone sends a message, their phone will try to send it through the iMessage service instead of through the SMS/MMS protocol.

The sollution is to de-register your number from the iMessage service. This can be done here:


I see you said that you have tried to disable iMessage on the iPhone. Did you do this with your sim card in the phone? This is important so that the iMessage is disabled for the right phone number.

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If you switched from iPhone either go to App-Store or take SIM-Card out and put into any iPhone and turn your iMessage off by going to Message Settings then turn off iMessages and finally put the SIM Card back in your phone.

Hope this helps.

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  • no need to shout in capital case - mmkay, read the FAQ :) – t0mm13b Apr 2 '13 at 20:31

Below is a summary of what I done:

  1. Check Signal - Done
  2. Reset Network Settings - Done
  3. Check Carrier - Done (Am Able to send Text via old Iphone 4)
  4. Verify that every phone number in your contacts list includes an area code. (Done)
  5. When sending to existing contacts, ensure that your contacts include the full phone number, and not just the information needed to dial locally.(Done)
  6. If you have recently ported your number from another carrier, please contact your current carrier to verify that the porting process has completed successfully. (Done: This is an old carrier, it's not an issue as I am able to use the same sim card to send text via my old iphone 4)
  7. Perform a full restore back to factory original setting (Done)
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  • The question asks very speficifically about a group message problem. You don't address that at all... Why should a full wipe fix the problem? – ce4 Jun 25 '13 at 4:44

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