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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

1248. Using computer to send text messages

Tyler asks: I often need to text friends when I'm working at my computer, where I can type so much faster than I can on the phone keyboard. Is there some way to send texts to friends' phones from the computer?

This question has lots of answers but only one good one that we're aware of.

It is possible, with some phone carriers, to send an email to a phone address like (that is, phonenumber@carrier) and it will appear on the phone as a text--this specific format But that means you need to find out the specific email address format for each carrier. Each carrier that supports this technique uses a different format, and there's no easy way to guess. The format works for AT&T--that is, sending an email to an address formatted in this way arrives as a text message on the corresponding phone--but it won't work for any other carrier.

There is a better answer. WE mentioned it in other tips but it works in this one as well. Google Voice--a free service available from Google allows you to send an SMS (that is, a text message) to any phone. You just supply the phone number and the text message and they will deliver it to that phone.

Google Voice is a wonderful, free service. Sign up a and once you do, you can send text messages from your computer to anyone's cell phone. We don't know why everyone that sends text messages wouldn't want to sign up for this service; and we didn't even mention all the other useful features supplied by Google Voice!

It's also worth reminding you that receiving text messages may have a charge on the phone to which you send your messages. Sending won't cost anything, but receiving certainly might.

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