Texting from computer?
May 10, 2011 5:30 AM   Subscribe

Can I send text messages to a cellphone from my computer? How?

In my work I need to maintain short-term, though frequent communications with a variety of people. Sometimes text messaging is the most convenient format. It seems clumsy to me (old fart that I am) to set the person up in my cell phone so I can text them, only to have to delete the record sometime later because my need for ongoing communication has ended.

Is there a service/software that would permit me to send a text message directly from my computer screen?
posted by John Borrowman to Technology (19 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
You can email to a txt message:

AT&T – cellnumber@txt.att.net
Verizon – cellnumber@vtext.com
T-Mobile – cellnumber@tmomail.net
Sprint PCS - cellnumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
Virgin Mobile – cellnumber@vmobl.com
US Cellular – cellnumber@email.uscc.net
Nextel - cellnumber@messaging.nextel.com
Boost - cellnumber@myboostmobile.com
Alltel – cellnumber@message.alltel.com
posted by Blake at 5:32 AM on May 10, 2011 [14 favorites]

A Google Voice account will give you this functionality. I'm sure there are other services too.
posted by merocet at 5:33 AM on May 10, 2011 [5 favorites]

www.engadget.com/2004/07/13/how-to-use-aol-instant-messenger-to-send-a-text-message-to-a/ shows you how to do it one way. Also check with your ISP: some of them offer it as a service, via your browser.
posted by PickeringPete at 5:34 AM on May 10, 2011

What about sending it via email? Most (all?) cell phones with texting have an associated email address. I'm on Verizon, and mine is [10 digit phone number]@vtext.com. Just make a contact list with the pertinent addresses and away you go.
posted by The Deej at 5:34 AM on May 10, 2011

Best answer: http://textem.net/
posted by unreasonable at 5:34 AM on May 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

There ya go! Blake has the whole damn list for ya! :)
posted by The Deej at 5:35 AM on May 10, 2011

You can do this from Chat within GMail, even without a Google Voice account, IIRC.
posted by knile at 5:43 AM on May 10, 2011

Rather, I should have linked to a more useful article.
posted by knile at 5:45 AM on May 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've tried those in Blake's list, but they all fail, presumably because I'm trying to text to a non-US number (with a +39 prefix for Italy). Does anyone know of any European or Italian free services?
posted by aqsakal at 5:59 AM on May 10, 2011

I use chat within GMail to do this.
posted by SNWidget at 6:01 AM on May 10, 2011

Just nthing email. I don't have a cell so this is how I "text" my fiancé all the time. Just be careful not to exceed 160 characters for SMS recipients (I believe).

It's true those addresses are for the US services. You may need to inestigate further otherwise.
posted by asciident at 6:02 AM on May 10, 2011

You might want to check twitter as well - some of my friends told me they use the twitter dm function with sms, but I have not tried it myself so ymmv.
posted by TrinsicWS at 6:06 AM on May 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you have an Android phone and use Google Chrome there's a new service called Texty that looks to be awesome. I've signed up for the beta but haven't gotten in yet; it was just announced last week I believe.

Most existing text-from-PC methods have serious drawbacks, IMO, such as sending from an email or chat address, not your cell #, etc. Texty looks to solve all those, though you need to use Android & Chrome (which I do :))
posted by sprocket87 at 6:24 AM on May 10, 2011

For the most part, you have to use the email suffix specific to the provider if you want to email a SMS.
posted by advicepig at 6:24 AM on May 10, 2011

If you are in a place that doesn't have an email to text gateway - you can do this with another cellular phone (or dongle) and have the computer send SMS directly - in situations where you are worried about the phones being out or cut or whatever, this is preferable.
posted by TravellingDen at 6:41 AM on May 10, 2011

skype will also let you text to cell phones.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:44 AM on May 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

When I used T-Mobile (in the UK), I could log into the T-Mobile website and send text messages from there that were sent as if they were sent directly from my phone.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:08 AM on May 10, 2011

Oh, and I forgot to mention another avenue if you're an Android phone user: GtalkSMS, an Android app that allows you to send texts from your device using your Google Talk chat window on your PC. You can also control certain device settings (volume control, phone locate, place call, etc) all from the chat window on your PC. It's a little cumbersome to use but it does work.
posted by sprocket87 at 7:39 AM on May 10, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you MeFites. There ought to be something in here that will work for me.
posted by John Borrowman at 8:32 AM on May 10, 2011

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