textPlus: Text Messaging for iPod Touch and iPhone
There are some iPod Touch users that want to use their device as their main port of communication, and with many social networking and communication apps available on the App Store, this can become an easy reality. One of these applications, textPlus by GOGII, allows you to send text messages (over WiFi) for free. More on textPlus works and my review after the break…
What is textPlus
textPlus is a free application on the App Store that allows you to send unlimited text messages to SMS enabled phones over WiFi for free. Sounds too good to be true? Well, its mostly true with some asterisks. For one, you can only text to phones on certain carriers. And while most major US carriers are supported, carriers like metroPCS, Cricket, and basically every carrier outside the US is current not supported by textPlus, leaving out lots of people from the fun. You will also notice that this app has some advertisements on it. This is because the services itself is ad-supported, which helps keep everything free.
How to use textPlus
The first thing you will have to do in textPlus is make a username that your friends and contacts can recognize, which is important because text messages are sent from the GOGII server (60611) and not from your cellular telephone number. Once that is set up, you can compose standard text messages and send them to people in your contacts, and or to a 10-digit cell number. Text conversations will appear in a similar fashion to the iPhone’s SMS app.
Since your cell phone number is not required, people receiving texts from a person using the textPlus app will receive texts from 60611 (GOGII) with your username, message body, and instructions on how to reply back to textPlus. Typically, to reply, you have to type [a code (example: “T2″)], and then your message body and send it back to number: 60611. If done right, your text should be received by textPlus.
Push notifications is one of the features that stands out in the iPhone OS 3.0. Now, textPlus takes advantage of it, allowing you receive notifications on when you receive new texts. In addition to that, textPlus allows you to receive text notifications for textPlus on your phone, which really defeats the purpose.
Overall, I think textPlus is a wonderful application because there virtually no catch to GOGII’s claims of free texting, and even though it’s ad-supported, personally the ads don’t really bother me much. I do wish they would let you send texts from your own personal cell number. This would, not only make the process easier, but it can also reduce the service’s dependence on ads for money.
textPlus is available on Apple’s App Store for free. [iTunes App Store Link]