From time to time I receive a text message on my cell phone. Some require a response. There are many people who are quite proficient entering text messages on their cell phone keypad. I am not one of them. I have yet to compose a message without error and damned if I can figure out how to erase. Oh well, with either my Touch or iPad nearby, texting is a simple affair. A virtual keyboard is a godsend to texters.
There is long list of texting apps in the Apple Store. Some are FREE and carry ads. Others have “Lite” versions that carry ads and are limited in the number of messages that can be sent. The ads and message restrictions are removed by paying for the app. All are only “pocket change” so your decision should be based on features and not on cost. I selected three for review and at this point I have spent no money.
Textfree Lite is ad supported and allows up to 15 messages per day. Registering with textfree willow you to choose a user name to which text messages can be sent via email, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org’ Upgrading to the paid version for $5.99 not only removes the ads and restrictions but gives you an actual phone number for friends to use when you are not online. And when you are online, the add features “push notifications” so you get an alert if your running something else.
TextNow Lite will allow 30 messages a day for FREE. If you buy the paid version you can have an email address for texts. The pricing of this app is a bit odd. Buying the app for 99 cents gets you 3 months of service. After that the service costs either $3.99 a year or $7.99 for a lifetime.
Finally we take a look at TextPlus. TextPlus is ad supported until you pay the $2.99 purchase price. There are no restrictions on the number of messages. It has a “group texting” feature that allows you to specify groups of individuals to text simultaneously. This should be very useful to crew leaders and committee chairmen. The app also features an SMS “shortcode”. Friends not using the service or not currently online can send a text to 60611 with YOUR TextPlus user name or the name of one of your groups to begin a dialog. Push notifications are supported.
Do you want a recommendation? For myself keeping TextPlus installed is a no-brainer. It’s a recent entry and might not be free forever. The ads are not annoying. I’m also keeping Textfree Lite installed. I like the ability to have text emailed to me and I don’t need to buy the app to have it.