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Sending text messages is one of the most used functions of smartphones, so it’s something you likely do dozens of times a day — if not more. However, if you’re somebody that works at a desk for long periods of time, it’s jarring to constantly switch between your computer and your phone.

If you use a dedicated messenger like WhatsApp, you could run it on your desktop using an Android emulator How To Run WhatsApp & Other Mobile Messaging Apps On Your PC How To Run WhatsApp & Other Mobile Messaging Apps On Your PC Most mobile messaging apps don't offer a desktop client or web interface and not even a Windows 8 app. We show you a workaround for running the Android versions on your Windows or Mac computer. Read More , but this is a complicated setup and would likely be choppy. If you’re not up for this, there are some awesome solutions that allow you to send actual text messages from your phone on your PC 3 Ways to Send and Check SMS Messages from Your PC 3 Ways to Send and Check SMS Messages from Your PC Do you often get distracted by SMS alerts on your mobile while working on the computer? Switching from one device to another is major interruption of your work flow, so tools that help you stay... Read More without the hassle of emulation. We’ve covered many of these services individually in the past, but this time we’re going to test the apps and decide which is your best option for texting from your computer.

Note that these apps use your existing phone number to send messages; if you’re looking to send SMS messages for free online The Best Ways To Send A Free SMS Online The Best Ways To Send A Free SMS Online In an era where smartphone ownership is becoming the majority, it’s hard to imagine someone who can’t (or won’t) send out text messages. When was the last time you knew someone who didn’t have a... Read More check out our list of ways to do so.

MightyText

First up is MightyText, a service that we’ve reviewed before Make And Monitor Your Phone Text Messages With MightyText For Chrome Make And Monitor Your Phone Text Messages With MightyText For Chrome It's a little more "instant" than e-mail but not as intrusive as a phone call. It's convenient, but it's not annoying if managed right. And most of all, it's one of the most highly addictive... Read More and that you’ve likely heard of. Setting it up couldn’t be simpler; just grab the app from Google Play, and when you open it, you’ll need to choose the Google account that’s tied to your phone. Grant the app the permissions it needs on the next screen, and the phone portion is done.

01-MightyText-Setup

Now, you have a choice. You can use the MightyText web app in any browser you like right away — all you have to do is sign in with the same Google account. This is the barebones option, however. You won’t receive notifications for new texts outside of a bubble on the page.

If you don’t want to install any extensions Stop Installing Browser Add-ons - For a Faster, Leaner Browser Use Bookmarklets Instead Stop Installing Browser Add-ons - For a Faster, Leaner Browser Use Bookmarklets Instead Read More , or you work in an area where you can have your phone ringer turned up and be notified that way, this will work for you. You’ll see new text messages and even incoming calls.

02-MightyText-Interface

If you want on-screen pop-ups whenever your browser is open, though, you’ll need to have a compatible extension installed. Aside from showing new messages, the extension allows you to easily text a link to the page you’re viewing, open the page on your phone Site To Phone Lets You Easily Send Links & Text To Your Smartphone Site To Phone Lets You Easily Send Links & Text To Your Smartphone I spend a large chunk of my life in front of my computer. For those rare times I need to leave my chair and actually go do something in the real world, I sometimes want... Read More , or jump right to MightyText. You can also send messages right from the extension, so all but the most causal users will probably want to have it installed.

03-MightyText-Extension-Sending

If you’re using Safari 10 Must-Have Safari Web Extensions To Increase Your Productivity 10 Must-Have Safari Web Extensions To Increase Your Productivity Safari is sleek, powerful, intuitive and well-connected -- but it can also simplify your life. Here's how you can turn Safari into a productivity powerhouse. Read More or Opera, the webpage is your only option, as those browsers don’t support notifications right now. Chrome and Firefox users can install the MightyText extension, but Firefox users will have to install a separate add-on first as a workaround. Internet Explorer’s fans will have to monkey with some settings, as well.

Head to MightyText’s app page for links to all these extensions and instructions.

Aside from the typical browser extensions, you can also install the tablet app to take advantage of the service from your Android tablet. Finally, MightyText also provides a Gmail/Facebook Chrome extension, which lets you text right from your inbox or Facebook page.

Frankly, though, this particular extension isn’t that useful; email is distracting enough 3 Quick Ways To Send Emails Without Getting Distracted By Your Inbox 3 Quick Ways To Send Emails Without Getting Distracted By Your Inbox You try your best to stay on task, send your email, and get out, but an hour or two later you realize, you've been sucked in by the black hole of your email client. Read More , and it’s no secret that Facebook is an archenemy of productivity Deal With Facebook Procrastination With These Tools And Tips Deal With Facebook Procrastination With These Tools And Tips This article is here to help us deal with Facebook procrastination. There are tools and techniques you can use to limit your time on Facebook, but the root of the issue is your behavior. I... Read More , so they’re the last places you want to be when replying to a text message. Stick to your preferred browser’s solution.

Now that we’re past the setup, let’s examine how MightyText actually handles. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s a slick solution; the website allows you to see recently contacted people on the side and a full view of one conversation in the middle.

05-MightyText-Message

If you’re more of a power user, texting many people at once, you can switch the layout to Power View using the gray icon at the top. This lets you see and work with six threads; you’ll feel like an airplane pilot with all the controls!

06-MightyText-Power-View

MightyText’s functions are numerous and easy to use. Since it syncs with your Google account, you don’t have to worry about any cables or being on the same WiFi network as your PC. Your phone can be in another house and MightyText will work fine — as long as your phone is on and connected to a data network.

Aside from texting, you can also use it to start a call from your phone (which is kind of weird), view recent attachments from MMS you’ve received, view your contacts What Is the Best Contacts & Dialer App for Android? What Is the Best Contacts & Dialer App for Android? You don't have to settle for your phone's built-in contacts and dialer apps. Read More , and check out your apps. None of these are essential for the app to function or especially helpful, but it’s nice to have an all-in-one web interface for managing your phone.

07-MightyText-Dialer

There are a few settings you might want to tweak, but many of them are only open to users of the Pro service. For $5 per month or $40 per year, you’ll get access to the premium features of MightyText, including themes, message scheduling The Right Message at the Right Time: 4 Ways to Schedule Messages With Android The Right Message at the Right Time: 4 Ways to Schedule Messages With Android If you want to schedule text messages to ensure you never forget to send one again, you need one of these apps. Read More , the ability to store messages indefinitely, and contact lists. It’s a bit pricey for what you get, so only those who use the service on a daily basis need apply.

Heading to the Settings tab on the left of the page will allow you to tweak MightyText. You can choose how long they’ll store your messages and whether to send group messages as MMS or not. One noteworthy setting is the ability to pick whether the Enter key sends the message or not — if you typically send long messages or mistype, it’s a good idea to force yourself to click “Send.”

The only other setting you may want to take a look at is the privacy — when this is enabled, new message pop-ups only show the name of the sender and not the body text. If you’d like to change how long the pop-up sticks around, you can do that here too.

09-MightyText-Settings

The Android app hasn’t gotten much attention thus far, and that’s because it’s really just a required part of MightyText’s functionality. If you open it up, you get a bland screen; it really only serves to give you some options and the ability to unlink your device if you need to.

MightyText can upload your device’s photos and videos to its web app, but you probably already have Dropbox or a similar service do this 5 Tools To Sync & Auto-Upload Photos From Android To Cloud Storage 5 Tools To Sync & Auto-Upload Photos From Android To Cloud Storage Nothing is more convenient than taking a photo on your phone and automatically having it be backed up to the cloud. Read More , so it’s not necessary. MightyText can also sync your phone notifications to your PC, but that’s branching out further than the scope of this review.

10-MightyText-Phone-Settings

Overall, MightyText is a solid option for your PC texting needs. It’s easy to set up and works wherever your phone is, and while it has a lot of features, it’s clean and never feels bloated. Whether you choose to be notified with the browser extensions or just use it to text occasionally when you’re focused on your computer, you really can’t go wrong with MightyText.

Pushbullet

Pushbullet is an awesome service that allows your Android and PC to communicate effortlessly Pushbullet Puts Your Android And PC On The Same Wavelength Pushbullet Puts Your Android And PC On The Same Wavelength Find out how you can keep your Android perfectly synced with your PC -- push your phone's notifications to your desktop, share files, and much more! Read More . We’ve explained all it can do previously, but let’s look at its text-messaging abilities in comparison to the others.

To set up Pushbullet for texting you’ll need to install its Android app, and your choice of its Chrome extension, Firefox add-on, or Windows program. After you install the Android app, you’ll need to enable its notification mirroring service. The app will show you this after you open it and sign in to your Google account, but if you ever need it again head to Settings > Security > Notification Access and check the Pushbullet box.

11-Pushbullet-Android-Notification-Mirror-Setting

Once you’ve done this on Android, install your browser extension and sign in using the same Google account, just like MightyText. The ability to respond to text messages comes whenever Pushbullet notifies you of a text from your default SMS app Text Better With These Alternative SMS Apps For Android Text Better With These Alternative SMS Apps For Android Don't like your default SMS app? Try a new one! Read More ; you’ll see an option to reply on the bubble.

12-Pushbullet-Android-SMS-Example

A rudimentary pop-up box allows you to compose a reply. There’s no support for attaching images, emoji Make Your Plaintext Emoticons Snazzy Using Emojicons Make Your Plaintext Emoticons Snazzy Using Emojicons Whether our IM client or SMS interface converts them to graphical smilies or not, every single one of us has typed out an emoticon before. There's so much more possibility when it comes to textually... Read More , or GIFs like in MightyText.

13-Pushbullet-Reply

This is the extent of what Pushbullet can do with text messages. Don’t assume that it’s not worth your time; on the contrary, it’s a powerful tool that can do much more than just replying to SMS, including sharing files between devices and dismissing Android notifications.

If you use multiple devices, it’s an invaluable service, but since it can’t even compose a new message on PC, it’s not your best choice in this contest. MightyText is superior in every way to Pushbullet for PC texting.

AirDroid

AirDroid is another time-honored service that allows you to use your phone on your bigger-screen desktop. We’ve covered it previously AirDroid - Send SMS, Share Links, Transfer Files & More [Android 2.1+] AirDroid - Send SMS, Share Links, Transfer Files & More [Android 2.1+] In the past, we have reviewed many apps that could make your Android phone even more spectacular. We do, in fact, have a great list of the best 100 Android apps we have encountered up... Read More , so you can find a full rundown of its features there. Like Pushbullet, we’ll focus only on its texting capabilities for this comparison.

To get started with AirDroid, install its Android app and open it up. You’ll be asked to create an account, which is a strongly recommended. AirDroid has no installations on your computer, so just head to the web portal when you’re ready. The easiest way to pair your Android with the web interface is to use a QR code 7 Great Uses For QR Codes & How To Generate Your Own For Free 7 Great Uses For QR Codes & How To Generate Your Own For Free Quick response codes, or QR codes for short, have been used for a few years now to provide rapid access to URLs, messages or contact information. Marketing and advertising departments love QR codes, as with... Read More , which the app will prompt you to do. If you don’t want to do it this way, just use your account login.

14-AirDroid-Welcome

Once you’ve signed in, you’ll get a crisp desktop-looking interface, seen below.

15-AirDroid-Desktop

From here, AirDroid allows you to manage your device’s files, music, contacts, and even its clipboard. You can also install apps from AirDroid if you like.

It’s a slick service that lets you do nearly anything you need with your phone. Of course, we’re interested in its messaging capabilities for now. When you click the Messages icon, it opens a window within the browser window.

16-AirDroid-Messages

The messages window works as expected. You can easily switch between conversations and attaching files and emoji is supported. A search box is also available in the upper left that will scan the body of your messages — a great feature if you need to recall something but don’t remember its recipient.

17-AirDroid-Message-Search

Also appreciated is the option to switch between “Enter” and “Ctrl + Enter” for sending a message — MighyText requires you to click “Send” with your mouse if you choose not to make Enter send. When you get a new message, you’ll receive a pop-up in the corner of the AirDroid window, but there’s no way to enable notifications anywhere like MightyText has. If you’re not in the window when you receive a message, you might miss it.

18-AirDroid-Popup

AirDroid features a premium service for $2 per month or $20 per year, but it doesn’t offer many upgrades in the texting realm. The only new feature you’ll enjoy if you use AirDroid exclusively for texting is the ability to add more devices to your account, so if you have more than one phone this may come in handy. Otherwise, the free service will suffice.

AirDroid-premium-features

 

The phone side of AirDroid doesn’t offer much use to you. Besides providing the link to connect to the web interface, it includes a built-in task manager (which you shouldn’t use Why RAM Boosters And Task Killers Are Bad For Your Android Why RAM Boosters And Task Killers Are Bad For Your Android At first glance, RAM boosters and task killers sound incredibly useful, but a closer look shows that they could actually be harming your phone instead. Read More ) and file manager if you don’t already have another one installed ES File Explorer - The Best File Manager For Android [Android] ES File Explorer - The Best File Manager For Android [Android] Android doesn’t come with a file manager. Google thinks file managers are part of the past – a complicated tool that we shouldn't need when our data is stored in the cloud and retrieved on-demand... Read More for some reason. Other than that, the app only offers some “recommended” junk apps and a few settings that aren’t crucial for its operation.

20-AirDroid-Junk-Apps

Overall, AirDroid is another solid option, and while it offers more than MightyText, it still does messaging well. However, I had problems with it on a university network, so be advised that if you’re in a business or university environment that has restrictions on Internet usage, you may need to choose another option.

While AirDroid has message search, MightyText’s ability to show you notifications of new messages anywhere — not just as a pop-up in its own tab — and its ability to work on any network (I have no problems using it at university) makes it more useful. Therefore, MightyText is still in the lead at this point.

SnapPea

SnapPea is another full-featured client that seeks to be a sort of iTunes for Android Can I Sync iTunes With My Android? Three Sync Apps, Compared Can I Sync iTunes With My Android? Three Sync Apps, Compared When I speak to friends who prefer iPhones over Androids, many of them cite "ease of synchronization" as one of their most important reasons. I have to hand it to Apple on that point: even... Read More . You’re used to this process by now: snag the Android app to get started. You can choose to use SnapPea from the its web interface or its Windows program.

21-SnapPea-Choice

If you choose the Web option, you’ll need to sign into the app with your Google account, and then do the same online. For Windows, install the program, launch it, and then link your phone over WiFi with a passcode or via a USB cable. You’ll need to enable USB debugging What Is USB Debugging Mode On Android? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is USB Debugging Mode On Android? [MakeUseOf Explains] If you use an Android phone and you’ve searched forums for solutions to problems, you’ve probably heard the term “USB Debugging” every once in a while. You may even have seen it while looking through... Read More if you want to use a cord — the app will show you how to do this.

Once you’re set up, you’ll be greeted with the main interface of SnapPea.

22-SnapPea-Interface

Like AirDroid, it’s more of an all-in-one management interface so it handles more than just texts. You can browse for new apps, watch your phone’s videos, and even back up your device with SnapPea.

Its messaging capabilities were inferior to all other previous contenders in my testing. I sent several messages to my phone using Google Voice 5 Awesome Things You Can Do With Google Voice 5 Awesome Things You Can Do With Google Voice Blog from your phone, call Canada for free or use your computer to make free phone calls. Google Voice isn't the easiest Google service to explain to non-techies, partially because it can be used for... Read More and was not notified of any of them. Worse yet, even after several minutes they didn’t show up in the messaging section of SnapPea — as if I never sent them at all.

23-SnapPea-Texting

Perhaps there’s some sort of delay, but I was using the USB connection (since I had connection issues yet again) so there shouldn’t have been any problems. The only option SnapPea gives you in terms of messaging is to enable notifications for new SMS or not, so it’s a bit lacking. I wasn’t able to test the web interface, but it’s similar to the Windows client that it shouldn’t make a difference.

Overall, SnapPea is unsatisfactory. It has the unique feature of being able to use a USB cable if you’re having connection issues, as well as a choice between PC clients, but what’s the use if it doesn’t work as it should? AirDroid even has a prettier interface; SnapPea falls short in many ways.

EndlessJabber

The final challenger is EndlessJabber, a lesser-known client. It has an Android app and a web service, along with an extension for Chrome, so it fits right in with the gang. The developer linked to a Firefox extension in the app’s description, but it’s now defunct.

Once you open the app, you’ll have to choose the right account and if you want to sync old messages. The main interface is like all the others — you won’t find much except a few options and instructions on how to launch the web app. EndlessJabber also supports texting from tablets through its website.

24-Jabber-Welcome

The home screen is clean and similar to MightyText; you’ll find recent threads on the left, along with the other features of the app such as viewing your contacts and recent MMS photos. It claims to work best with EvolveSMS, but any app will do.

Though I hadn’t heard of EndlessJabber before, it was a pleasant surprise after SnapPea. Everything you expect is in the app, including attaching pictures, and it’s snappy. A Statistics screen lets you see who your most-contacted friends are as well as the number of messages sent per day. This is a neat feature if you like to keep track of your smartphone usage Addiction, Quantified: How I Measured My Smartphone Usage For A Week Addiction, Quantified: How I Measured My Smartphone Usage For A Week For one week, I installed apps and set up counters to measure my smartphone usage. What did I find out about my own smartphone addiction? Read More .

25-Jabber-Statistics

As expected, this app features a Pro subscription. For $2 per month, you’ll be allowed to access all the app’s features, including Jabber Mode, which sends messages faster than usual.

Other features include searching messages, scheduling, deeper statistics, and removing ads. It’s a reasonable price if you’re a power user of the service.

26-Jabber-Pro

The Chrome extension functions like MightyText’s, except that you can’t compose new texts from it. You can choose what parts of the notification pop-up to enable, and clicking it will open a windows with EndlessJabber to respond to it.

EndlessJabber is currently running a Kickstarter to enrich its app. The goal has already been passed, but you can check it out if you’d like to help them become even better.

And The Winner Is…

After examining each app thoroughly, here is their rank them from best to worst:

  1. MightyText
  2. EndlessJabber
  3. AirDroid
  4. SnapPea
  5. Pushbullet

MightyText wins due to its dead-simple interface and setup, variety of extensions and apps, and notification system. Its only shortcomings are the lack of a search feature and an expensive Pro plan.

EndlessJabber is a close second. It’s almost a twin to MightyText, but falls behind because its lacks an interactive pop-up for each contact, a Power view, and a working Firefox extension. It’s still an excellent choice, though, and should become even better after its Kickstarter ends.

AirDroid is a great service; it does too much to focus on just messaging, however. There’s nothing wrong with its messaging functions, and if you need a full-fledged suite then it’s your best choice. But its limited notifications and potentially problematic login system keep it from being the winner.

SnapPea was a disappointment. I’m not sure why it barely functioned, but an app can have all the great features it wants — if they don’t work, it’s useless. This was the impression that SnapPea gave. If you hate AirDroid but want a full client, give it a try, but for most the former is far superior.

Pushbullet comes in last this time, but it really isn’t meant to be compared to any of the above. If you only want to quickly reply to incoming messages, it will serve you just fine. For others it simply doesn’t offer enough to be considered, though you still should check out the service.

Need a way to text from your desktop without an existing phone number? We’ve reviewed Pinger Desktop Pinger Desktop - The Best Desktop Texting Application [Mac OSX & Windows] Pinger Desktop - The Best Desktop Texting Application [Mac OSX & Windows] Over a year ago, I introduced MakeUseOf readers to Textfree. Since then, a lot has changed. I still use Textfree to this very day, and the entire application has been rebranded as Pinger. If you... Read More , a great way to do so.

Did we miss any other options? Which PC texting service do you use? Leave a comment and let us know!

  1. hotdoge3
    September 25, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Send Text Messages From Your PC
    free with my ISP Wi-Fi it's same as a Phone I can send to a Phone and can TxT
    back to me

    • Ben S
      September 25, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      I'm not totally sure of what you're saying here, but it sounds like you have a good solution set up!

  2. Andy Frame
    September 19, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I use skype. It is set up to appear that texts come from my mobile phone. Using a proper keyboard makes texting easier.

    • Ben S
      September 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Another good way to do it! I hadn't thought of that one either.

  3. Howard
    September 18, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    What about MySMS ?
    I have been using it for a long time now - perhaps a year because it's simple, straightforward and reliably does what it's supposed to do, it is free.
    Prior to that I used Mighty Text.

    • Akri
      September 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Same here, I tried 3 different web to text services before settling on MySMS and it works very well across all platforms; Another vote for MySMS.

    • Ben S
      September 19, 2014 at 12:58 am

      MySMS is another service I hadn't heard of, but the website looks quite polished! I'll keep this one in mind for future articles. Thank you!

  4. Dennis
    September 18, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Does anyone know of an option that will work on a FreedomPop phone?

    • Ben S
      September 19, 2014 at 12:57 am

      I haven't heard of FreedomPop, Dennis. What makes it different - can you only send messages over the Internet?

  5. Richard
    September 18, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Most people may have forgotten, but AIM allows you to send a text/SMS to any phone from the computer. You can use the browser or the AIM desktop app to do this. You don't need a Google account or even a phone if all you want to do is text from a PC/Mac/Linux/Tablet.

    • Ben S
      September 19, 2014 at 12:55 am

      I didn't know this! Do a lot of people still use AIM? I haven't heard of anyone using it in quite a while, but this is a unique solution too.

  6. Dan R
    September 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I like the Motorola Connect software. I found out about it when I got my Moto X Maker. A little flaky at times but generally works well. I'm assuming only for Motorla, of course. Almost as good as MightyText in my book for just having a Chrome SMS tool.

    • Ben S
      September 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      I have friends with the Moto X and they've told me that Connect is a useful tool. Since it's only open to Motorola users I couldn't include it here, but I'm glad there's another choice!

  7. Rob H
    September 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    My solution is rather different, there are prerequisites but once set up it's dead easy to use. It's a UK service fax.co.uk originally set up as a way of sending emails to a FAX machine. It allows me to send an SMS by sending an email to [anyfax number]@fax.co.uk The limitation is that it only works from senders at a specified internet domain.

    I use another feature of the same service another way. I have an email address there like [my name]@fax.co.uk An email sent there results in a SMS message to my mobile phone (cellphone for american readers).
    That works because in Gmail I set up a filter with a rule like: if email subject line reads "Monitor Is down" (indicating one of my servers has gone offline) then forward to [my name]@fax.co.uk

    It can be argued that as modern mobiles can recieve email, sending SMS is unnecessary. There are 3 reasons SMS is better for this purpose.
    To receive an email I need a mobile data connection. With a busy email account with a low cap on mobile data that could get costly. By contrast I use SMS very little so when I get an SMS arrival alert from the phone it probably is important.
    The filter only alerts me to these important messages my filter has selected. Normal email arrival notifications might be coming every few minutes and many of them will be relatively unimportant.
    Mobile service connections, especially data, can be very poor in rural and mountainous areas. If there is no signal SMS will keep trying and it only needs a fraction of a second of connect time to sent the SMS message so an SMS can get through in situations where voice calls would stand no chance.

    • Ben S
      September 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      That's quite an elaborate solution! I agree about the benefits of SMS; since email requires a data connection, if you're in a poor-service area, you might not be able to get an email out.

      It really depends on the user and what their contacts prefer to do, I think.

  8. likefunbutnot
    September 18, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Why are we fighting to make SMS more available? Why not fight to make SMS less interesting by advertising the fact that most phones probably already work with other systems?

    Since Sprint is my phone provider, I have full Google Voice integration. I blacklist SMS messages by default so that there's no alert on my phone, but for the few people who are allowed to send them to me, they show up as E-mails on all my devices rather than the messaging app on one specific device. I tell acquaintances that I do not accept text messages but to call or Email instead.

    I think SMS messages are a ridiculous compromise. I've had a phone that's fully capable of sending and receiving E-mails and Instant Messages since 2004. Both of those things work fine on every device I have and will work without carrier or character-length limits and neither depends on a single piece of delicate consumer hardware that I'd rather not be married to . I've never received a portion of an E-mail message out of chronological order. The sooner that other human beings realize they too can use the fully-available services that are also on every other PC and mobile device, the more idiotic SMS messages are going to seem. I'm fine with that.

    • Ben S
      September 18, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      I don't dislike SMS messages like you do, but I appreciate you elaborating on why you feel that way.

      I can't speak for everyone of course, but I would say that the overall reason for SMS being as popular and used as it is is just that - everyone uses it. iMessage is great, but it only works between Apple devices. Most people find email clunky or too formal for day-to-day communicating. Were you to find some awesome new app - even something like WhatsApp - what's the use if none of your friends use it?

      Telling people who contact me that I don't accept the most-used form of communication would be off-putting, so I don't do it. SMS may not be perfect, but it's what people use until something better becomes the new norm.

    • likefunbutnot
      September 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      @Ben S,

      Because of the nature of my work, I'm more or less permanently on call; sometimes, I will have worked 40 hours in a week by Monday evening. If I make myself as available by SMS as I am by phone (my business line forwards to Google Voice so I can answer from a computer or my personal phone, though for the most part no one calls me directly unless there's an emergency) or Email, I'm giving up really the last bit of personal space I have with regard to communication. SMS is fundamentally tied to a phone. When I'm at home, my phone goes on a charger next to my car keys, where it will be ignored until I need to go someplace. Email and even IM, I'll get right away, independent of what may or may not be happening on my handset. It makes sense that I would want to discourage the least convenient contact option. Email, unlike almost any other option, will work on pretty much anything smart enough to have an IP stack. It's the universal option.

      For what it's worth, I generally disclose my personal phone number to as few humans as possible. No one in my family uses SMS messaging (or social networking services) though almost all my aunts, uncles and first cousins are smartphone users. I have no idea how prevalent SMS messaging is. The only reason I receive SMS messages at all is that a few individuals I know demand communication via either SMS or Facebook and I refuse to make a Facebook account.

    • Ben S
      September 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      That's really interesting, to be honest. I'm so used to SMS that I never think twice about it, but your take on it is really neat. Thanks!

  9. Paul Werner
    September 17, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    It's nice to have choice but I'll stick to Google Hangouts with Google Voice integration

    • Ben S
      September 18, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      If that works for you, that's awesome! I have a Voice number, but it's not my primary one so I don't use it often.

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