I feel like I've read 7 or 8 different articles on the Messages beta, but I'm not seeing my question's answer.

So, is it possible with Messages for OS X, to receive SMS texts sent to my phone number?


No. Messages beta works like it does on the iPad and iPod Touch. You can only message other Apple iOS 5 (or Messages) users.


To avoid confusion, we might be speaking about two things here:

  1. SMS, MMS - which are a GSM network feature, not a phone feature
  2. iMessages - have separate notifications and format, but they look like ordinary SMS to you. They are not real SMS, but are working between iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs. If Wi-Fi is unavailable, iMessages will be sent over cellular data. Carrier cellular data fees might apply.

is it possible with Messages for OS X, to receive SMS texts sent to my phone number?

  1. For SMS: If you OS X operating system have been paired with the iPhone, which has this SIM-card with the phone number, you'll be getting messages on your Mac in Messages App as well, and you can even reply back. If no phone bound - then SMS will be not available.
  2. For iMessages: this functionality will work with your Messages App on Mac, if your internet connection (cable/WiFi) is available, as it is not requiring carrier cellular network. It works between iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs. It might reference not only your phone number, but Apple-ID (email) as a unique addressee identifier.
  • you might also reference this answer, to understand how to enable functionality related to SMS/iMessages delivery reports
    – Farside
    Apr 12 '16 at 8:48
  • 1
    That comment should be ion the answer and the answer should note that this came in with Yosemite(I think) and not the beta
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 12 '16 at 9:45
  • Thanks, @Mark, there's possibility to revise it, it's good input, I also was thinking of it, though made the answer focused and targeted!
    – Farside
    Apr 12 '16 at 9:47

Yeah it's like bassplayer7 said - it is because iMessage goes through Apple's own network and the normal sms go through the carrier's network.

Since the iPad and iPod Touch do not allow for the carrier part, they are capable of receiving iMessages and so it is the same for the Mac.

  • Hmmpfff. How does Google do it w/ Google Talk then?
    – disnchntd
    Jun 8 '12 at 18:15

Since SMS is a byproduct of the mobile telephone technology GSM it isn't possible. SMS needs a phone number as the receiver, and that phone must eventually be connected to the network to receive it. The Mac has no GSM connection.

There could be services that receive and forward SMS to you, but I'm not aware of any, and even then, you wouldn't receive these in iMessage.

  • Thank you for your info, but I'm curious again, how does Google do it w/ Google Talk then?
    – disnchntd
    Jun 10 '12 at 19:32
  • What does Google Talk do? Can it receive SMS from phones to your phone number on behalf of a real phone? Then it might just be such a gateway service. Jun 10 '12 at 22:44

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