Change the iPhone Text Tone to Play Different SMS Sounds
New to the iPhone with iOS 5 is the ability to set and use custom text tones. Having long been able to switch between Apple provided text tones, since this new feature means any ringtone file can be set as a custom SMS sound, and you can also set custom text alert sounds on a per contact basis so you’ll know who is texting you based on the alert sound alone.
Change the SMS Sound on the iPhone
If you’re tired of the default “Tri-tone” text tone, here is how to change that sound:
- Tap on “Settings” and then tap on “Sounds”
- Tap on “Text Tone” and select from the list, custom text tones with appear under “Ringtones” whereas defaults will appear under “Original”
- Select a text tone to use and close out of Settings
Tapping a text tone will play a preview of the sound, the checkbox alongside the tone indicates it’s the current setting.
Set Custom Text Tones Per Contact
SMS alert sounds can also be customized on a per person basis:
- Tap on “Phone” and then the “Contacts” tab on the bottom
- Locate the contact to set a custom SMS tone for and tap on their name
- Tap on “Edit” and tap on “Text Tone”
- Just as above, tap on a new text tone to set it as the default for the selected contact
Remember free iPhone ringtones can be made with iTunes, and they can be used for text tones as well. Generally the shorter the text tone the better, unless you want to hear a song play when someone texts you.