If you've sent an important text message and the recipient is taking ages to reply, you might get the urge to find out whether that recipient has read it and is simply ignoring you (rude!) or whether they're actually really busy and haven't checked their phone yet (forgiven). Here, we show you how to tell when someone has seen your message in iOS and Android.

How to tell if someone has seen your text on Android

There's no way to tell if someone has read your text on Android unless you use WhatsApp. The popular messaging app was updated late last year with new sent, delivered and read indicators that'll help you know whether someone has read your message.

One tick means that your message was successfully sent, two grey ticks mean that it was delivered to the recipient's phone and two blue ticks means that they read it. In group messages, the two ticks will only appear when all of the participants have received and read the message.

You can find out more about WhatsApp's read receipts here.

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There are also other messaging apps that offer delivery and read receipts, but WhatsApp is by far the most popular at the moment.

Facebook Messenger shows the recipients profile picture in a tiny circle beneath the message to indicate that they've seen it, for example.

See: 5 WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger alternatives

How to tell if someone has seen your text on iPhone

Unless you used WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger (see above for information on both of those) or iMessage when you sent your message on iPhone, you won't be able to tell if someone has read your text message unless you ask them in person or over the phone.

You can tell if your message has been sent via iMessage in Apple's messaging app because it'll be blue. If it's green, it's an oridinary text message and doesn't offer the read/delivered receipts. iMessage only works when you're sending messages to other iPhone users.

Even then, you'll only see that they've read your message if they've turned on the 'Send Read Receipts' option in Settings > Messages.

If they have got the Send Read Receipts option turned on, you'll be able to see that they've read your message just underneath the message itself. It'll say 'Read', and then the date that they read it, 23/03/15, for example.

See also: How do I know if I've been blocked?