Whether green texts have read receipts is a common question for many mobile phone users. The short answer is no – standard SMS text messages sent over cellular networks do not have read receipts, even when represented with green message bubbles. However, there are some caveats and options to consider.
What are green texts?
Green text message bubbles are used in iOS to represent standard SMS texts sent over cellular networks between iPhones. This differentiates them from iMessages, which are sent over data and WiFi between Apple devices, and appear in blue bubbles. The color is the main visual difference, but there are some feature differences as well.
iMessages have more capabilities like read receipts, larger attachments, typing indicators, tapbacks, full quality images and videos. Standard green texts lack those advanced features and have size limits, but have the advantage of being more universal between different phones, carriers and operating systems.
Do green texts show when messages are read?
Unlike iMessages, standard SMS texts sent as green messages in iOS do not have read receipts, meaning you can’t see if the recipient has read the message or not. This is because SMS relies on more basic cellular communication standards that don’t support advanced features.
Some key reasons green texts don’t have read receipts include:
- SMS has no way to communicate delivery or read status back to the sender over cellular networks.
- iPhones don’t display SMS read status even if Android phones may report it.
- SMS delivery is considered “fire and forget” with no confirmation.
- Enabling read receipts would require agreement between operating systems.
- SMS headers have no defined field to communicate read receipts.
So in summary, green text messages sent between iPhones, Android phones, and other devices do not reliably indicate message read status. The sender has no definitive way to know if the messages were received or read.
Are there any ways to get SMS read receipts?
While there’s no native support, there are some limited options to get read receipts for green texts:
- Using third-party SMS apps that report read receipts like WhatsApp.
- Enabling delivery receipts, which confirm the message was delivered to the recipient’s phone.
- Using SMS management tools that can optionally request delivery reports.
- Having the recipient manually confirm they read the text.
However, success depends on both sender and recipient using compatible apps. The native SMS protocols don’t include read receipt abilities, so any solution is essentially a workaround relying on both parties opting in with specific apps.
Why are iMessage read receipts possible?
In contrast to SMS, iMessage texts between Apple devices do have read receipts because they use an advanced proprietary messaging protocol over data networks.
Key reasons iMessages can provide read receipts include:
- Transmitted via Apple servers instead of general cellular networks.
- Protocol includes delivery and read receipt fields.
- Supported natively by iOS and macOS devices.
- Works between any Apple devices signed into the same Apple ID.
- Improved reliability on stable data networks vs SMS.
This gives iMessage the flexibility to expand with new features like read receipts, tapbacks, typing indicators, and larger attachments. However, it requires the message to be sent over data between two Apple devices under the same Apple ecosystem.
Should you rely on read receipts?
While read receipts can be useful, it’s important not to rely on them excessively when messaging:
- The recipient may have read the message but not triggered the read receipt for privacy reasons.
- Instant delivery and read status should not be assumed, especially for important messages.
- Conversations shouldn’t depend solely on read receipts to function.
- Focus should remain on the message content rather than just confirmation of delivery.
Read receipts are helpful as an optional feature, but conversations work perfectly well without precise message status. The content remains the most essential part of messaging no matter what.
Can you get SMS read receipts on Android?
Similar to iOS, standard SMS texts on Android also do not have native support for read receipts. However, the SMS experience varies across different Android devices and carriers.
For example, some Android SMS apps may show a “read” status if the recipient has enabled delivery reports in their settings. iPhones do not display this status information from Android devices though.
Additionally, some custom OEM SMS apps on Android skins like Samsung Messages may show more detailed read information. But there is no guarantee the iPhone recipient will share back read receipt data over SMS.
So in summary, while some Android SMS apps might provide limited read information, it is inconsistent and not guaranteed when messaging iPhone users via standard green text SMS.
Should green texts have read receipts?
There are good arguments on both sides for adding read receipts to standard SMS:
Reasons to add read receipts:
- Useful for sender to confirm important messages were read.
- Handy for conversations to feel more instant and verified.
- Valuable for business purposes to know if messages need follow up.
- Provides greater messaging consistency with other apps.
Reasons to keep SMS without receipts:
- Avoids pestering recipients who don’t want to reply immediately.
- Preserves SMS simplicity and universal compatibility.
- Keeps user privacy intact for those wanting to read quietly.
- Reduces obsession over precise delivery status.
There are merits to both perspectives. Adding read receipts would make SMS more modern and feature-rich. But omitting them keeps messaging relaxed and accessible across all devices. There is no universally agreed preference.
Summary and conclusion
- Standard green text SMS messages do not have native read receipt capabilities.
- iMessage provides read receipts over data between Apple devices.
- Limited SMS read information may be available through third-party apps.
- But core SMS protocols don’t directly support message read status.
- Pros and cons exist for adding read receipts to plain SMS.
So ultimately, green text SMS does not indicate if a message is read. Some users may desire adding read receipts, but introducing this feature would require cross-platform cooperation between mobile operating systems and carriers. For now, green text protocols remain simple and focused on universal connectivity.