If you’re someone who constantly works on a computer, you’ll probably want to stay on that same computer with as few interruptions as possible. The biggest interruption possible is to completely switch devices, which is something a lot of people end up having to do if they’re in the middle of an SMS conversation with a friend. This dramatically inhibits your productivity, and it can get downright annoying when you’re sending 50+ SMS messages back and forth.
Ideally, you should be able to see and send text messages directly from your computer, without even having to touch your phone. Lucky for you, if you’re on Android, there are a handful of great tools which can do exactly this, whether you’re using Windows, Linux, or a Mac. If you’re on iOS, there’s really only one possible option for you.
If you’re using an Android phone, I absolutely recommend that you try MightyText. For me, MightyText is the all-in-one package that does everything I could possibly want from this sort of application.
MightyText consists of two parts — essentially what can be considered the server and the client. The “server” is the app you install on your phone, as it’ll receive text messages from the other configured devices and send them out through your cellular network, as well as send texts you’ve received from your cellular network to those other devices. The “client” is the app you use on other devices to send out text messages.
From a computer, you can use the web application, and from a tablet there’s an app for that too. The server and client communicate with each other through a MightyText login which is based around your Google account — similarly to how you can sign into some services using your Facebook.
MightyText also comes with a Chrome extension, support for sending texts from Gmail via the Gtext extension, a power view where you can see multiple conversations at once, call notifications, and phone battery alerts.
It’s really simple to set up, simple to use, and it works really well. All you need is an Internet connection for both the phone and the PC/tablet. For the phone, both Wi-Fi and mobile data work just fine.
Send & Check Messages From:
- Android tablets via an app
- Chrome extension or third-party Firefox add-on
- any browser via the web app (mind setup steps for Internet Explorer)
Another fantastic choice for Android phone users is AirDroid.
Similarly to MightyText, AirDroid connects with your phone via an app that is installed on your phone and a web application. However, once you have it set up, you get a very nice interface that can do a number of things with your phone — including text messaging.
Your phone and computer can easily be set up by launching the app on both devices and then simply following the instructions. Again, provided that both devices are on the same WiFi network, this should be quick and easy.
I find AirDroid to be less convenient than MightyText, but it still works very well and can be great for those who enjoy AirDroid’s other features.
Send & Check Messages From: any browser via the web app
Last but not least, if you’re in the US you can also use Google Voice.
This solution won’t use the phone number that’s associated with your phone, but rather the phone number which was given to your Google Voice account. However, because all of the SMS messages are stored on Google’s servers in Google Voice, you can use your phone, tablet, computer, or any other device to check all of your SMS messages and reply to them. This solution is only ideal for people who actually use their Google Voice number and other Google Voice features — otherwise, you’d be completely switching your phone number (at least the one you give out to people) just for the SMS features. Additionally, MMS messaging doesn’t work with Google Voice.
The best part about this solution is that you don’t need to have your phone on the Internet, or even turned on for that matter. You can just have your computer turned on to send SMS messages just fine. This is because any calls or SMS messages sent to your Google Voice number will first be received by Google, where it will either store your SMS messages or forward phone calls to your actual phone number. Therefore, SMS messages received via your Google Voice number are stored on Google’s servers rather than your own phone, and you can use the Google Voice Android/iOS app or web app to access them.
When you first install the mobile app, it should set you up for the Google Voice features, if you don’t have them already, or simply connect to them if you already do. This is a fairly easy process, but beware that Google Voice will try to replace your wireless carrier’s voicemail with its own. You can skip this part if you’re not interested in that.
Send & Check Messages From:
- any browser via the web app
- any Android or iOS device with the Google Voice app
These three solutions are all great choices if you want to be able to view and send SMS messages directly from your computer. Again, I prefer MightyText the most, but each solution has a different setup and feature list, which may work better for you. Try them all out and see what you like! However, it’s sad that all of these solutions besides Google Voice are Android only — apparently Apple doesn’t like it when apps dig deep enough into the OS to access and control SMS messaging.
Do you send SMS messages from your computer? Which solution do you use? Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credit: Sifter