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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > iPhone has a text messaging limit.

iPhone has a text messaging limit.
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Aug 9, 2007, 05:09 PM
 
Has anyone else run into this? I send/recieve a lot of text messages and last week I started getting a warning that my "Text Mailbox is almost full. Please delete some messages."

Thats insane. There's 8GB of space on this phone. I never encountered such an issue on my Treo that I sent thousands of texts with and only had 64MB of internal memory.

Apple needs to fix this as having to pare down my saved text conversations is absolutely NOT cool.
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Aug 9, 2007, 05:40 PM
 
Yeah that happened to me too. I don't understand the reason why, but I'm not to pissed off about it because it still gives you lots of room. I'm just not sure why there has to be any limit at all, because, like you said, there is 8GB on the freakin' thing.

Maybe I'm not too mad becasue my last phone held 50 inbox and 50 outbox, so this is a HUGE improvement.
     
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Aug 9, 2007, 06:20 PM
 
Does it perhaps store the SMS messages on the SIM card, rather than the phone's memory?
     
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Aug 9, 2007, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Does it perhaps store the SMS messages on the SIM card, rather than the phone's memory?
That's unlikely. I'm not sure of specifics (it's been a while since I had a mobile that saved onto the SIM card), but I think the upper limit for SIM-saved messages is about twenty. That's twenty single messages, so messages that spread over multiple parts count as more than one.

I think it's just likely that Apple imposed a limit to prevent the thing from getting too bogged down--my last phone (a Nokia 6233) had no limit that I ever reached, but it became painfully slow once you got over about three or four hundred.

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( Last edited by Koralatov; Aug 9, 2007 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Added Post-Script.)
     
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Aug 9, 2007, 09:06 PM
 
You've got to be freaking kidding me. I hated my old phone when I had to clear old txt messages to make room. Ugh.

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Aug 10, 2007, 12:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Koralatov View Post

I think it's just likely that Apple imposed a limit to prevent the thing from getting too bogged down--my last phone (a Nokia 6233) had no limit that I ever reached, but it became painfully slow once you got over about three or four hundred.
That sounds like a good explanation. I can think of no other reason why they'd put a limit on it. However, I don't see why simple texts would bog down the phone that much, when there are gigs and gigs of music and movies also. If the reason is becasue it slows it down, I do hope they work out a way to be able to store (virtually) unlimited amounts of texts.
     
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Aug 11, 2007, 07:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nodnarb View Post
That sounds like a good explanation. I can think of no other reason why they'd put a limit on it. However, I don't see why simple texts would bog down the phone that much, when there are gigs and gigs of music and movies also. If the reason is becasue it slows it down, I do hope they work out a way to be able to store (virtually) unlimited amounts of texts.
It's possible, but unlikely. Most phones store text messages in a specific location within the phone itself, and won't store them on external media regardless of what you do. I suspect the iPhone will be similar in this respect; the 8GB of flash in it will be treated as external storage; however, if the texts are indeed stored there, they'll be stored in a fenced-off area of a specific size. As such, it's not likely that this will change.

I don't think Apple will expend too much effort fixing this particular 'problem' either: it's a classic effort-vs.-result situation, and, as most people probably don't want to store a bajillion texts, it won't be worth the time and money Apple would have to invest to 'fix' the problem.
     
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Aug 12, 2007, 04:17 AM
 
So what the heck do you text about that you need to save your SMS?
     
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Aug 12, 2007, 06:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
So what the heck do you text about that you need to save your SMS?
I take it you're single?
     
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Aug 12, 2007, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
So what the heck do you text about that you need to save your SMS?
I don't know, I delete mine every week.
     
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Aug 12, 2007, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
I take it you're single?
I take it you confuse relationships with teenage romances?
     
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Aug 12, 2007, 06:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I take it you confuse relationships with teenage romances?
Ask my daughter.
     
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Aug 13, 2007, 03:36 AM
 
Hmm, I don't think your daughter or my marital status is of any relevance here.

The simple question was, what kind of SMS do you type/receive that you want to conserve hundreds of for prolonged periods of time. The messages on my phone like "can you pick up the kids?" or "don't forget to buy the oranges" are not something I need to keep. I also don't record my telephone calls and IIRC the iPhone doesn't have that feature anyway. So yeah, what kind of SMS do you keep hundreds of? Really, I'm curious, it's not a rhetoric question.
     
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Aug 13, 2007, 11:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Hmm, I don't think your daughter or my marital status is of any relevance here.

The simple question was, what kind of SMS do you type/receive that you want to conserve hundreds of for prolonged periods of time. The messages on my phone like "can you pick up the kids?" or "don't forget to buy the oranges" are not something I need to keep. I also don't record my telephone calls and IIRC the iPhone doesn't have that feature anyway. So yeah, what kind of SMS do you keep hundreds of? Really, I'm curious, it's not a rhetoric question.
I'm not a teenager, I'm 27 years old. Me and most of my friends mostly talk via text messages and IM. We don't use the phone for calling that much. In addition to that I use text messaging for work and keeping in touch with co-workers and people from other offices/companies. Deleting conversations is not something I want to have to get used to doing.
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Aug 13, 2007, 06:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Hmm, I don't think your daughter or my marital status is of any relevance here.

The simple question was, what kind of SMS do you type/receive that you want to conserve hundreds of for prolonged periods of time. The messages on my phone like "can you pick up the kids?" or "don't forget to buy the oranges" are not something I need to keep. I also don't record my telephone calls and IIRC the iPhone doesn't have that feature anyway. So yeah, what kind of SMS do you keep hundreds of? Really, I'm curious, it's not a rhetoric question.
Well, there are a dozen or two or three messages that I really don't want to delete unless I absolutely have to.

I note that "hundreds" pertained to a certain Nokia phone.

I further note that nobody has mentioned how many messages are actually stored before the iPhone starts complaining.

The phones I've had in the past ten years have always started complaining after a few dozen messages. Possibly this means that I'm actually storing them on the SIM card rather than the phone; I can't be arsed to find this out or how to change it.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 06:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
Well, there are a dozen or two or three messages that I really don't want to delete unless I absolutely have to.

I note that "hundreds" pertained to a certain Nokia phone.

I further note that nobody has mentioned how many messages are actually stored before the iPhone starts complaining.

The phones I've had in the past ten years have always started complaining after a few dozen messages. Possibly this means that I'm actually storing them on the SIM card rather than the phone; I can't be arsed to find this out or how to change it.
Yeah, it should be noted that I was talking about a pair of Nokias when I referred to a few hundred texts bogging the phone down. No-one has mentioned a definitive limit when it comes to the iPhone. Personally, I do have some texts (maybe twenty or thirty) that I want to keep, but beyond that, it's mainly "What are you up to tonight?" or "Get some milk and bread on your way home", so I'm really not that fussed about having to delete them.

I think people are just going to have to accept that, whilst the iPhone probably holds a hell of a lot of texts, you won't be able to hold eight gigs worth in it ever. To be honest, it's not a major hard-ship; more of a minor annoyance. I think people expect slightly too much from the iPhone. Yeah, it's a fantastic piece of technology, yeah, it's a beautiful phone, but at the end of the day, it's just a mobile phone.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 08:41 AM
 
I like to keep raunchy messages from my girlfriend.
Shoot me for being straight.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 11:28 AM
 
So how many messages can the iPhone hold?
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 12:22 PM
 
I don't think there is anyway to find that out, except for next time you get the message where it says you are running low, go back to all of your convos and count each text bubble then add it up. The texts aren't like other phones where it says "Inbox: 45/Outbox: 30". It is catagorized by person, and AFAIK no text counting method is available.

To manually count each one is just way too much work for me, as I don't care that much...like Koralatov said, it's just a minor annoyance. Kinda sucks, but no biggie.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 03:44 PM
 
I'd be fine just knowing whether it's hundreds...or dozens.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 04:00 PM
 
The only way I can think of easily tracking this would be at the beginning of a new billing period erase all your messages, and then try to run it up just at the end of the next billing period and see how many you have online (or in your bill which ever). That is how I keep track of mine since I only have the 200 messages, but that is because I hardly use it, but once a week I check online to see how many I have used, and you could easily do it the same with once you hit the max in your phone just check online.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 04:03 PM
 
Good idea, I'll try that at the start of next cycle.

Until then, my guess would be a couple hundred. I have days and days worth of convos with a good 5-6 people before it says that. That's my best guess though, maybe someone else is at a different time in their billing cycle and can do it easier.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 04:13 PM
 
Well, my next question is, is it number of text messages or is it a space issue. While text messages are small in size, if you send a one word message versus a 25 word the size can be a bit different, so truly the only way to test this would be for multiple people to do the test.

And to do a full test would be to get a full bill written out and seeing data of text messages v. number, but that probably is to much work, so a general number would be the easiest way to tell.
     
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Aug 15, 2007, 12:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by theDreamer View Post
Well, my next question is, is it number of text messages or is it a space issue. While text messages are small in size, if you send a one word message versus a 25 word the size can be a bit different, so truly the only way to test this would be for multiple people to do the test.

And to do a full test would be to get a full bill written out and seeing data of text messages v. number, but that probably is to much work, so a general number would be the easiest way to tell.
Going by my experience of mobiles--four phones in eight years, mostly Nokia--each text message takes one off your total, regardless of size. So, in effect, a three character text ("Yes") takes up the same amount of space as a full 160-character text. Thinking about it, it's probably much easier from a development standpoint to do it that way: it takes a load off the processor because it doesn't need to dynamically allocate space--it just goes, "Oh, there's one text, that means I'm now x - 1".

As for the above question regarding how many the iPhone holds, I'd be utterly amazed (and very shocked) if it was any less than at least two or three hundred. I have the LG Prada phone (I got it as a stand-in iPhone), and it holds 300.

I've glanced through manuals on a couple of my friends' phones because I'm totally sad, and it seems that 300 is probably the very lower end of the spectrum these days. As I said before, some phones don't seem to place an upper-limit, but they do get bogged down something hellish when you start getting into the middle-hundreds.
( Last edited by Koralatov; Aug 15, 2007 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Correcting typo. Butter fingers.)
     
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Aug 15, 2007, 12:59 AM
 
Is SMS only capable of sending 160 character texts? It was like that on my old verizon phone, and it seems the same with AT&T because I sent one over that and got an error message back.

But if so, on the iPhone, I don't see any way (besides counting) to see how many characters you have typed so far in the text? Am I missing something obvious, or is that just not there?
     
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Aug 15, 2007, 07:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nodnarb View Post
Is SMS only capable of sending 160 character texts? It was like that on my old verizon phone, and it seems the same with AT&T because I sent one over that and got an error message back.

But if so, on the iPhone, I don't see any way (besides counting) to see how many characters you have typed so far in the text? Am I missing something obvious, or is that just not there?
SMS is 160 texts. You can send longer texts, but it's just the message, split over two or more SMS messages, and then stuck back together to look like one message. That's why, especially on older phones, you can receive a message from someone only to see that it's incomplete, and then have the phone 'update' the message as it receives the new part.

I haven't actually seen an iPhone in the flesh, so I couldn't possibly comment on whether or not it displays how many characters you're using. I would, however, guess that it won't. Two reasons:

1. it's becoming increasingly uncommon that phones actually do show you this information; a lot of modern ones will only show you how many messages you use;

2. I doubt that giving you such details is in keeping with the Mac user philosophy of hiding the gory details from the average user.

For those interested, the Wikipedia has an interesting piece on GMS SMS, which is what I suspect the iPhone will be using: Short message service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
( Last edited by Koralatov; Aug 15, 2007 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Additional Clarification.)
     
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Aug 17, 2007, 02:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post
I like to keep raunchy messages from my girlfriend.
Shoot me for being straight.
Get her to send you new ones. It'll impress your friends more if she sends them in real time.
     
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Aug 17, 2007, 04:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by King Bob On The Cob View Post
Get her to send you new ones. It'll impress your friends more if she sends them in real time.
The fact that your comment actually made me laugh makes me think I need to get out more.
     
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Aug 17, 2007, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by King Bob On The Cob View Post
Get her to send you new ones. It'll impress your friends more if she sends them in real time.
Another reason (and possibly the best) for the iPhone to have MMS. Pics are worth 1000 words.
     
   
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