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My wife has a wifi-only iPad. She'd like to be able to send and receive texts from it, but it has no phone number, and she has no other Apple device to send/receive texts through. She's configured iMessage to know her email address and she's logged in to Apple using her Apple ID, but texting from my iPhone to her email address (using iMessage) results in the message showing up in her email, not in iMessage.

Is there a way to configure things so that she can send and receive texts on the iPad, even though there's no phone number for it? I already have iMessage on the iPad set up to send and receive messages at her email address, but that doesn't seem to be enough.

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Off the top of my head, here are the settings that could affect that:

  • In Messages preferences, make sure that her email address is not only listed for both Send and Receive, but is also checked.
  • Make sure the checked email address is her iCloud address that was created when you/she set up iCloud (her_name@icloud.com).
  • At the top of the Messages prefs, make sure Messages is turned on.

On your side, if you're using a contact card to Message her, make sure you're using the "message" button, and not "mail". (Less likely, I know, but worth mentioning.)

Also, keep in mind that she can only send iCloud Messages with this setup. She'll need an iPhone if she wants to also use SMS. (Apple uses the phone as the SMS gateway for other iDevices and Macs.) So if you're sending SMS messages to her from a non-Apple phone (or if you've set your iPhone to only send SMS), she won't see it in Messages.

That may not be comprehensive, but that's the stuff I can think of that I've seen muck up Messages before. The "off switch" for Messages is probably the most common one.

  • "Send & Receive" is a single setting, at least in ios 10, and her correct email address is there and checked. It's not an "@icloud.com" address, because that's not an email address either of us had heard heard of; she uses an address at a domain we own. iMessage is definitely enabled. She'd like to be able to receive texts from people where she's not in their contact list (e.g. people she meets at the dog park), so the goal is that they can just text her using her email address. She understands that she'll be able to text only to/from other people in the Apple ecosystem. – KnowItAllWannabe Jan 24 '18 at 4:02
  • When you set up her iCloud account, an iCloud email account would have been created for her, even if she is using an account in your domain as her Apple ID. I don’t have an iOS 10 reference system to look at for specifics, but I would try logging out of iMessages, then back in. See if that gets her iCloud address to show up as a source and destination and try again. – le_jawa Jan 24 '18 at 4:23

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