Given yesterday’s temporary iCloud outage, it’s probably a good time for a refresh on how to send an iMessage as a text message. Apple colour codes messages in different ways: green for regular text (sent via your mobile carrier) and blue for iMessages (sent via the Internet), so it’s easy to tell which is which.
Normally, all you’ll need to do to send an iMessage is write out a text and press the blue Send button. During an iMessage outage, you may see a set of red exclamation marks next to the messages you’ve tried to send. These exclamation marks are telling you that messages were not sent, and you can tap on them to retry – it’s worth trying this, because sometimes messages will go out on the second try.
However, during an iMessage outage, iOS isn’t always intelligent enough to know that the service is down, so the messages you send will appear to take forever to send – after which point iMessage will tell you that it has failed you. You can bypass this by tapping and holding on a message that is still being sent and choosing to Send as Text Message, as in the screenshot above. The message you tap on will then be sent as a text, and will show up in green when delivered.
That’s all there is to it. Hopefully this will help people out next time there’s an outage (which could well be tomorrow).