This tweak lets you choose whether a message is sent as SMS or iMessage

By , Feb 20, 2016

switchservice hold send button to change service

If you’ve ever wanted to send a message as an SMS instead of an iMessage, or vice-versa, you’re in luck, because SwitchService is a jailbreak tweak now available in Cydia’s BigBoss repository free of cost that will let you do just that.

Whether you’re having problems with one of the services and want to use a different one, or feel that one of the services would better fit your needs at a certain point in time, this tweak will have you covered.

How SwitchService works

SwitchService essentially lets you choose whether a message you’re sending to someone via the Messages app is sent as an iMessage or SMS; a popular feature of the now-laid-t0-rest biteSMS tweak. The tweak was originally hosted in a private repo and Jeff covered a pre-release version already, but today’s version is the first to be publicly released in one of Cydia’s default repositories and it even has some new features.

The tweak is used by tapping and holding on the “Send” button after you’ve typed a message in the text field. You’ll see a small pulse animation colored in either blue or green to indicate what mode you’re in after using the gesture. To see this animation, you can refer to the animated GIF below:

switchservice animated gif

As you change services, the color of the Send button is also changed to either blue or green to indicate what service you’re currently using. After you change the service to the one you’d like to use, you’re free to tap on the Send button and your message will be delivered using the service you’ve chosen.

Configuring SwitchService

SwitchService adds a preferences pane to the Settings app where you can configure a few options to make the tweak work how you want it to.

switchservice preferences pane settings

Among the things you can configure here are:

  • Enabling or disabling the tweak on demand
  • Configuring the time in seconds you’ll need to hold the Send button to change services
  • Enabling or disabling device vibration when changing services

The ability to change the time required to tap and hold on the Send button is particularly useful, especially if you foresee yourself being clumsy or being impatient with lengthy hold times.

Some caveats of SwitchServices

There are some things you need to know about SwitchServices that are important to understand before using the tweak.

For one, you need to know that SMS is based off of your carrier, so messaging rates may apply if you opt to use SMS instead of iMessage for any reason. On the other hand, if you attempt to send a message as an iMessage to someone who doesn’t have an iMessage device, then quite obviously this isn’t going to work and it’ll resort to using SMS anyhow.

Another thing to keep in mind is if you don’t have a SIM card, or your iPhone doesn’t have cellular service, then SwitchServices will not be able to change your service from iMessage to SMS. Instead, your device will be locked down to iMessage since it won’t have the services required to send an SMS. The only way this would work is if you had SMS forwarding enabled on the device you’re using this tweak from and are using your jailbroken device as a hub.

My thoughts on SwitchServices

I think the concept behind SwitchServices is cool, and I’m sure some people may actually find this tweak useful, but I for one don’t mind letting my device choose for me whether a message is sent as SMS or iMessage. For the most part, the device does a good job ensuring that all iOS and Mac users receive my messages as iMessages and all other people texting me receive my messages as SMS.

I see very little reason to switch between the two, but in some troubleshooting scenarios, it might be useful when one fails to send or Apple’s iMessage services appear to be down.


If you’re looking for a jailbreak tweak that lets you choose whether a message is delivered as an iMessage or SMS, then SwitchServices, which is a free download from Cydia’s BigBoss repository, will be your best friend. It has a potentially useful functionality paired with a beautiful animation, and it could help in a pinch.


What do you think of SwitchServices? Share in the comments.

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  • Mr_Coldharbour

    This will probably be my 2nd tweak I install after Activator if/when I can jailbreak my iPhone 6S Plus. I wonder if/when Apple will sherlock this feature.

  • Waldemar Sinicki

    This function was in BiteSMS

    • Anthony Bouchard

      Was, but biteSMS is no more. 😛

    • GarrettD

      THAT’S what I’ve been missing! I kept thinking this was already in iOS but I could no longer do it. I miss BiteSMS how could they stop development 🙁

  • Burge

    Most of the devices I send to are iDevice god knows why I use imessage when I’ve got unlimited texts.

  • Manuel Molina

    I had a buddy who previously had an iPhone and switched to android. For some reason, all the messages I sent him would go through iMessage and his wife would get them. He deactivated his number for iMessage and his email was different from his wife’s. I had to have an tweak like this because I would have to go through SMS with him and couldn’t do SMS with others who didn’t have unlimited text. There’s always a use for these simple tweaks.

  • Teddy P

    I’ve always wanted a toggle for group messaging! Has that been done yet?

  • czbird

    Epic. A must have for all subway commuters. Thanks!

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  • Sid

    “will be your best friend”? wtf lol. I miss Jeff