Help needed with group texting in iOS 7

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iOS & iPadOS
I have a sighted friend who is a pastor, who recently upgraded to an iPhone 5S from an iPhone 3. He recently updated to iOS 7.1. On his iPhone 3, he could send text messages to a large group of over 160 people with no problem. Neither he or I can figure out how to do this in iOS 7. He was told that texting to a large group is currently impossible in iOS 7 due to a bug. If this is true, are there any alternatives to the built-in Messages app that would allow him to send texts to a large group? If doing this is possible in the built-in Messages app, how is it done? Accessibility isn't really an issue in this case, but I would be curious to know if there is a VoiceOver friendly way to do this. Thanks.

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Submitted by AnonyMouse on Monday, March 24, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hello Josh, At this time I am not aware of any iOS 7 bug that would prevent people from doing a large group texting. If one use the Message app and simply do a new Compose. From here you should be able to use the Add Contact as many times that aperson want to take the time to enter for the text. Although, in what I have heard and perhaps this might be the issue. There are 3rd party app that one can download and use to help them out. As you can see to having to re-create this large text each and everytime. This would be a big pain. So what these 3rd party app will do is to help you out a bit. What they like to do is that it allows one to create a single Contact that can contain hundreds or dozens of people he or she want to use. So this point. One has to do is open up the Message app. Go to the Add Contact and select this so-called Group Contact that the 3rd party app has created for them. So it would be just one click to make this happen. There are known issues that I have heard that using these Group Contacts that the 3rd party app has created may no longer work when updating to a new version of the iOS. So in essential not an iOS bug for say but rather that the 3rd party app may have to be updated. Once that has been updated. May end up for people to having to re-create these Group Contacts again. So it is more of a compatibility change that may break when updating to the new iOS. Hope this make sense. Perhaps, somebody else may have a better resolution for you. Plus, if he is not using a 3rd party app to create these Group Contact. This would also leave me puzzled. So let us know in what you find out. HTH

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Monday, March 24, 2014

I haven't seen such bug in iOs yet. Just hit the compose button then choose add contact then choose the contacts you want to be in the group text.

Submitted by Josh C. on Monday, March 24, 2014

In reply to by AnonyMouse

My friend says that iOS 7 limits him to 9 contacts per message, so he has to send multiple messages. He says he's had this problem since he got his phone, which was originally running iOS 7.0.x. He says that the iOS 7.1 update didn't fix the problem. As far as I know, he is just using the built-in Messages app. What are the names of these third party apps that can create large group contacts? An app like this is exactly what my friend needs.

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Monday, March 24, 2014

Is you're friend looking for free third party apps or payed ones?

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Monday, March 24, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hello Josh, After doing some more researching in to this problem. I learned something new today. It does turn out to be a feature and not a bug with in iOS 7 in how it will now handle Group Texting. What I have learned is that there is indeed a maximum limit in how many one can add. Alright, those with the iPhone 5 and above have the maximum limit of 20 contacts that can be added in a Group. Those with devices below the iPhone 5 are limited to the maximum of 10 Contacts per Grou. So that would make sense why you are seeing this problem. Yes, this appear to be a new feature with in the iOS 7 and again not a bug. However, in saying all of this. It does appear in what those 3rd party app are doing is this. They are taking your group of people and seperating them in to section which is determined by yor device. So those with the iPhone 4. It will send out text by 10 people at a time. Nifty little trick and a work around. Since I never have the need to send out but more than a few friends at a time. I don't really have any recommendations of an app that could help you out. Especially if it is accessible. However the following link is something I had found that you could look at. So please use it at your own risk if this is accessible or not: http://www.masstextmessage.com/ Lastly, if anyone that is reading this and have an app that they use and would help Josh. Please let him know about it. HTH

Submitted by Josh C. on Monday, March 24, 2014

In reply to by AnonyMouse

Thanks to everyone who posted. A link has appeared in the More Like This section below this thread. It's a link to an app called "Group Text!" This app appears to do exactly what we're looking for, and it appears to be accessible.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, March 24, 2014

In reply to by AnonyMouse

Use group text. . It's been fixed to work with ios7. It rocks and will work with contact groups you make in your contacts app as well. I use this app all the time when I want to annoy, um, I mean text a whole bunch of people at the same time.

Submitted by splyt on Monday, March 24, 2014

Hello, In IOS 6 I am facing limitations also. I think it's ten people meaning that the add contact button will not be active after the tenth contact added to a message. Thanks, Marlon

One thing I found out in the description of the "Group Text!" app is that if you're on AT&T, which my friend and I both use, you need to have group messaging off and Send as SMS on in order for the app to send messages to large groups. For some reason, you can't send messages to large groups using the default MMS messaging with AT&T. I don't know how this effects iMessages.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I believe ti's the sam thing with sprint and VZ. I just turn it off anyway so that way everyone gets the message separately. It's way cool like that.

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No iMessage should not have to be turned off to send group texts.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In reply to by Josh C.

If you use group text, the app, then yes it does. otherwise they will see all the phone numbers. What groputext does is send out a separate message to the group kind of like a mail merge and I like this better so replies go only to me and not everyone else.

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