One of great features of the iPad — the ability to send text messages through the iPhone. This allows you to send text messages to people from your iPad, even if they have an Android smartphone or a phone without smart features. The iPad uses the continuity feature to route a message through the cloud to your iPhone and then to the person you’re trying to text. If you don’t have an iPhone, there are several ways to send a text message to a friend using your iPad.

Person receiving message on iPad and iPhone
Lifewire / Emily Dunphy

Set up text forwarding

Here’s how to set up the text forwarding feature on iPhone.

  1. On iPhone, press » Settings» > » Messages» .

  2. Click Forwarding text messages .

  3. This screen lists all the Apple devices you own that can use the Continuity feature. Tap the switch next to your iPad to enable text message forwarding for it.

    Three iOS screens showing Messages, Text Message Forwarding, and iPad icon
  4. You will be prompted to enter a code on your iPad to enable this feature. Once you enter the code, your iPad will be able to send text messages to both iPhone and non-iPhone users.

The iPad uses the same stickers, animations and drawings included in the iPhone text messaging app. Update your operating system before latest versions to make sure you have the latest features.

How to write text on an iPad if you don’t have an iPhone

If you don’t have an iPhone, there are several ways to use your iPad to send text messages. You can use an Apple service, a text messaging alternative, or one of the apps that provide free SMS messages on iPad.


The Messages app can send text messages to anyone who owns an iPhone or iPad, even if you don’t have an iPhone. iPad uses your Apple ID to route a message based on the email address associated with your Apple ID account. If the recipient doesn’t own an iPhone but owns an iPad, they need to enable this feature.

To enable this feature, click » Settings» > » Messages» > » Send and receive» . Listed on iPad email accounts associated with your Apple ID . Click to check the box next to the email addresses you want to use.

facebook messenger

If you have friends or family who use Android or Windows Phone, send them messages using applications facebook messenger . With over 1.5 billion Facebook users, this solution should be enough to send a message to just about anyone.


Leading Voice-Over-IP service, Skype allows you to use your iPad as a phone. In addition to sending text messages, you can send video messages, make phone calls, and conduct video conferences using the software. If you want to stay in touch with someone and can’t use iMessage or facetime, because they don’t have an iPhone or iPad, Skype is the best alternative.


snapchat works on iPad. However, you must jump through a small hoop to install it. Since there is no official version of the iPad, when you search for Snapchat in the app store, tap » iPad only» at the top of the App Store search screen and select » iPhone» to search for iPhone-only apps.

Snapchat isn’t a true text messaging because you can only send messages to those who have signed up for the service, but it does offer a fun alternative to traditional text messaging.


If you want to know what one of these messaging services would look like if it came out today, look no further than Viber . It has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a social messaging service, including Viber Wink, which deletes a message after it’s been viewed. You can also make phone and video calls and participate in public chats. Viber also supports split multitasking .

More free texting apps

free tone (formerly Text Me) and text Plus offer iPad users free text messages. FreeTone offers users a free phone number to send SMS messages in the USA, Canada and 40 other countries. Both FreeTone and text Plus allow phone calls in addition to text messages, but you may need to pay for in-app purchases to use all features.

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