Tag Archives: iOS

Sending messages temporarily via SMS instead of iMessage

One of the “new” things that you will encounter when changing to an iPhone (or simply by upgrading to iOS 5 and above) is the addition of iMessage. This allows you to send messages ala WhatsApp style over the network as long as you have an internet connection, be it from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

As nice as iMessage is to use, there would be times when you need to send SMSes instead to another iPhone: be it when the recipient has turned off the data connection or is in a place with an unreliable connection. And no, going to Settings to turn off your data connection to force sending as SMS doesn’t cut it either.

The solution to this is simple, seems that Apple had already thought this one out. [Edit: Sadly, this apparently does not work in iOS 5.] When the message is being sent, or anytime before the message gets the “Delivered” status, simply press-hold on the message being sent to access the alternate menu and select “Send as Text Message”. That message will then change from blue (for iMessage) to green (for SMS) as it sends the message as an SMS instead.

Simple solution: press-hold on the message to access the menu where you can “Send as Text Message”

This works out fine as there is no need to (re)send the message as an SMS if the message has already been delivered via iMessage (the “Send as Text Message” option is made unavailable for messages that are already delivered). Also, it appears that it tries to send the message automatically via SMS should the iMessage delivery take too long or fail for some reason. Nice 🙂

HTH.

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L2TP (Ubuntu) server setup for iOS clients

For you road warriors who wish to set up their own VPN to secure their traffic when using any untrusted/unprotected networks (“free” WiFi?) when travelling, this would be the thing you use: a trusted VPN setup.

While I did dabble with OpenVPN sometime back, protocols like L2TP would be more commonly supported, especially on the “venerable” iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), and on Windoze machines, Android, etc.

This post will be on what you’ll need to setup a L2TP server in Ubuntu for iOS devices to connect to. The server is assumed to be directly accessible from the internet. Some of the stuff are taken from other places, for my own reference here. There’s also a great write up on IPsec over at Steve Friedl’s Unixwiz.net Tech Tips site, for you geeks who actually want to understand a little regarding what you’re using (high five!).

The L2TP server setup mainly comprises of three parts actually (surprise!). The L2TP daemon, IPsec daemon and the PPP daemon (providing DHCP services).

Main steps:

  1. install openswan (for IPsec), xl2tpd (L2TP) and ppp
  2. configure
  3. configure the (Linux) kernel to turn on IP forwarding, and IP masquerading if the iptables firewall is on
  4. configure the device itself
  5. take a break, have a pina colada or something
  6. profit!

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