texting for free

One of the most frequent activities we do on our mobile phones is texting. Until the popularity of data services, many people would text using the short messaging service. This would allow you to send short messages (160 characters) to anyone who had a mobile phone. SMS is phone neutral. However, it is not service provider neutral. Many people do not include SMS in their package so cannot receive text messages. If, however they have a data plan or stay connected to wireless networks, then there are ways that they can receive instant messages. There are a variety of programs such as Skype, facetime, blackberry messenger etc. that can send and receive text messages. There are two problems with these programs. <ol> <li>You need a specific handle to add.</li> <li>Some of them are platform specific</li> </ol>

The way to get around these problems is to use cross platform messaging applications. One program that stands out is the <a href=”http://www.whatsapp.com/”>WhatsApp Messenger</a> by WhatsApp inc. This program behaves like the short messaging service and can send images and audio clips. It can work over 3g, GPRS and wifi connections. Best of all, it uses the phone number of the person in your contacts list as a handle so you do not need to enter a separate nickname.

Running the WhatsApp messenger does mean that you are connected to the Internet and may have to pay for data usage. In addition, the program stays in memory and is connected so you do use a little more battery than you would otherwise. Still, it is a  viable option especially if you need to exchange messages with people on international roaming. The person on roaming can connect to a local free wireless hotspot and you can send and receive messages from him.


There are several websites that also allow you to send text messages. Many of these are service provider specific while others are gateways meant for integrating with applications.

Filed under: commonTasks — Tags: , , — security-writer @ October 3, 2012 22:13