This is just a quick followup to me earlier post about the SMS-to-MMS group messaging behavior of the iPhone… As it turns out, you can disable this “feature” in your phone’s settings. Read on for details.
The problem: When you add a second (or more) recipient to a plain old (SMS) text message, your iPhone will turn it into a “Group MMS“, which means that those without MMS service won’t receive (or at least will be unable to read) it.
The solution: Go into Settings > Messages and scroll down to the “SMS/MMS” section. Once there, simply toggle the “Group Messaging” setting to “Off“.
If you do this, you’ll lose some of the “group messaging” functionality of the iPhone, but you’ll still be able to send text messages to multiple recipients — and they’ll go out as SMS messages, as you originally intended.
You should also be aware that the iPhone’s group messaging has some other unintended behaviors. For example, your replies in group MMS conversations are sent to all participants even if you only meant to reply to the original message sender.
Given this chatroom-like behavior, you may (or may not) want to turn off group messaging even if the SMS-to-MMS thing doesn’t bother you.