Text messaging – especially among the younger crowd – is probably the number one thing we use our phones for. Think about that for a second. We use our phones, which were designed for calling people, to send text-based messages instead. That’s not to say we don’t call anyone, but texting has become second nature to us. It’s very easy to do.
The way texting usually works is you would take out your phone, select all the recipients of your message, type it out and send it. Then you would get multiple replies and have basically the same conversation a few different times in order to coordinate your plans with the entire group. Well, that’s all about to change.
In this article, I’ll be unveiling three phone text messaging apps that have really been generating a lot of buzz lately. Each one offers a unique and interesting way to communicate via text message and they’re all free, so if you don’t have an unlimited SMS plan you can start saving some cash on your cell phone bill too.
Real-Time Texting With Kik
Kik Messenger is a free smartphone to smartphone messenger, not unlike BlackBerry’s Messenger. One of the things that makes it different, however, is that it is truly cross-platform. It will work on your iPhone, BlackBerry or Android device.
The best part about KIK (a popular misspelling of ‘LOL’) is the real-time messaging. You get free, unlimited cross-platform messaging to all Kik users and your text messages are turned into real-time conversations, meaning that you’ll know that your message has been sent and when it is read. Because this process is fast, Kik makes texting feel more like a face-to-face conversation.
If you’re too busy to read a new message, but don’t want your friends to feel ignored, Kik steps in and tells them that their message has been delivered but not yet read.
Kik Messenger also features push notifications, free cross border messaging, landscape typing, offline messages and – according to their website – it works worldwide. According to Kik, the next step is adding free (legal) music sharing.
Kik Messenger is the fastest, most reliable instant messenger that allows you to connect with your smartphone friends for free! Enjoy real-time conversations enabled by your data plan that you can use to talk to your friends all over the world. Say goodbye to texting!
Group Texting With GroupMe
GroupMe allows you to create free texting chatrooms for your real-life friends. The way it works is simple:
First, you start a group. This can be your family, college buddies, co-workers or really anything you want. When you start a group, you get a unique number for it. Save your group’s number to your contacts so you can get a hold of the group at any time. Once you’ve created your group, add contacts to it.
Then, start texting your group. All of your group’s contacts will be brought into a chatroom where you can all see the entire conversation. If you would prefer not to text, you can call your unique number to start an instant conference call. How cool is that?
GroupMe is said to work on any phone, but they do have an iPhone app for download.
Fun Team-Based Texting With Fast Society
While the previous two apps offer you fun ways to send text messages, I think this next app was designed specifically with the word fun in mind.
Fast Society is another group texting application that is totally private and works with every phone on every carrier (in the US). It allows you to “create temporary teams of friends around fun events in your life.”
You start by choosing your team. You can choose a few friends or invite anyone, even those who don’t have the app. Then you pick a length of time for how long you would like your chat session to last. Temporary teams means no commitment, and because the session expires you won’t have to get a stray message the next day from someone who was “unconnected”.
Then, what happens next is up to you. You can start texting your team for a simple group chat via SMS, or call them for an instant conference call. Members of the team can also share their location with the group.
Have an iPhone? Fast Society has an iPhone app, but it also works on other phones, so head to the website.
I realize that these text messaging apps might not seem very “fun” at first glance, but I assure you once you start using them with your friends you will really start to get into it. Changing the way we text message is such an interesting dynamic to me, and judging from the current popularity of these applications I think it is something to keep an eye on.
If you’re interested in these apps, check out some other SMS tools.
What do you think of these apps? Will you be trying any of them with your friends?