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iPhone/facetime and imessaging to australia?

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Question
okay i have at&t, and I have the iphone 4s, its all completely updated and everything. This summer i went to Australia and met some really great people!! But right now were only talking by snapchat, which gets annoying after a while. They all have iphones as well, so my question is, does it cost money to imessage them in australia? FaceTime/call? If so, would turning our phones on airplane mode fix that? I read somewhere that you wont get charged if its on airplane mode but that couldve been a myth.
Lastly, do you know of any way if i cant text or call them without getting charged? i could use my landline but thats not very convenient. Maybe an app or something.
please only answer if your 100% sure thank youu!! xoxo (:

Answer
If both you and your friends in Austrailia have Apple devices loaded with iMessage, then you all can communicate without being charged for an international text message. As long as the message shows in a blue (iMessage) color, you have no worries. If you send a message in an area that is not able to communicate via iMessage, then you would be charged for an international text message. The best to ensure that this doesn't happen is to be communicating via WiFi. If you are on WiFi, and turn off the cellular network, this will 100% ensure that your message willl be via iMessage. Then the message has no choice but to be iMessage or just not be able to be sent. Hope this helps.  

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DebiN

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I can answer any question about purchasing an iPhone, what is required from the carriers as it relates to iPhones as well as issues that people have with iPhones. I can also answer questions about applications relating to the iPhone

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I have been in the wireless industry for over 15 years and have vast knowledge as it relates to the iPhone.

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