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Can I send a text to a friend's iPad if I use their email address as their Apple ID? I have an Amazon Fire smartphone.

Will the message get to them from my phone?

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    Only if they have associated their phone number to the iPad iMessage. – Jaime Santa Cruz Jul 27 '15 at 23:02
  • @JaimeSantaCruz. You need to have an iPhone in order set up the iPad to receive SMS/MMS on an iPad see here. The other person can have any non-Apple device capable of sending a text message, but you need to have the iPhone to get SMS messages to your iPad or Mac. It they have an Apple product then you can communicate through iMessage without the need for either of you having an iPhone. All you need then is an internet connection and the account that is associated with iMessage to make the connection. – AMR Jul 28 '15 at 1:55
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    @AMR Yes, I upvoted your answer which clearly explains it. I made the comment because the other answer stated that it was impossible. – Jaime Santa Cruz Jul 28 '15 at 2:02
  • @JaimeSantaCruz I see. The way I read your comment was that if you added your phone number to your iPad iMessage you could get text, but there is always the Apple catch. "We have this great feature, but you are going to need to buy another product from us if you want to use it on what you already have." – AMR Jul 28 '15 at 2:06
  • When trying to add the phone number the OP would have inevitably discovered the harsh reality ;) and my point was that it was possible. – Jaime Santa Cruz Jul 28 '15 at 2:13
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Yes, you can send a text message to your friend using your Amazon Fire, to their iPad, but only if they have an iPhone as well.

If they do, then your message will either go SMS (Short Message Service), which is basically what you know as a text message, or MMS (Multimedia Message Service), which is what gets sent when you send a photo to a friend with a text messaging app.

Your friend will need to have iMessage set up on their iPad, and they will need to have an iPhone as well in order to receive SMS/MMS messages from someone not on iMessage.

The setting for this is actually in the iPhone's settings. It will not matter if you send it through an email address or a telephone number, if they do not have an iPhone, and you are not sending the text through iMessage, their iPad will not get the message. If you had an iPhone or iPad or Mac with iMessage on it, then you could in fact send text messages to one another via iMessage, as those messages travel exclusively on Apple's network.

I do not know for sure, but I have a feeling that SMS/MMS go through the Mobile Network Provider's system and only gets to Apple's iMessage network when it goes from the Mobile Service to the iPhone, which then can reroute it to iMessage and then to the devices linked to that iPhone.

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No, you will have to have a device running either OSX or iOS for it to work, eg a MacBook, iMac, iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to name a few. iMessage works on these platforms only. Other messages will either be sent as SMS or emails, depending on the client you are sending from and other unknown variables.

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