wifi based texting with Google messages


Well-known member
Jul 11, 2013
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So I was on a flight that had wifi (free messaging on Delta) and noticed on my ATT branded S9+ I was able to send and receive text using the Google Messages app. I had thought that only worked with the native app?


Jul 14, 2011
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Free texting on flights works over WiFi Calling, and that allows your phone to 'siphon' mobile data through WiFi. Since the flight had WiFi and your phone supports WiFi Calling, mobile-data-only services (like SMS and MMS) are able to work that way through WiFi. IF you turn off WiFi Calling on your phone, however, these features won't work.

Also, Google Messages STILL uses mobile data for SMS and MMS!!!! (Or WiFi calling if that's the case). Google Messages still needs your phone to be active and able to send/receive SMS/MMS (you can use any other web browser to message, but in the end, if your phone cannot send/receive the text over the mobile network, the web interface is rendered useless).


Retired Moderator
Feb 12, 2012
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But future plans call for first, initial connection for the message by SMS, then wifi or mobile data (internet, no matter how you're getting to it) for the actual message. And eventually, the initial contact by internet also. (But that's a few years down the line - right now we aren't even taking baby steps, we're learning that there's something called crawling.)

But I expect (not that I'll probably live long enough to see it) that text and voice will be completely internet-based - no carriers at all. (Go back far enough and everything that we take for granted as internet-based - like forums - went via carrier. You called the server - by telephone number - uploaded all your posts, downloaded all the new ones, got off the phone and started reading posts and responding to them. Primitive, huh? Some day needing a "phone carrier" to talk to someone will seem just as primitive. And I'm not talking about the 24th century, Digital communications was teletype machines when I was a teenager. I ran one of the earliest "forums" on a telephone line. So many people on Android Central now may see all communications taking place on some future form of the internet.)