Are apps like TextFree reliable?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by California King, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. California King macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #1
    I currently have a 200 texts a month limit right now and am considering upgrading to a higher text plan or using TextFree as my main texting app.

    Does anyone know how reliable it is in regards to notifying you of incoming texts? Is it always immediate or is it unreliable sometimes? When I had my unlocked 3GS on T-Mobile, I didn't have a data plan so I had to wait till I was connected to wifi to get my texts, and even then, it doesn't always notify me...I'd have to open the app to check myself.
     
  2. Stuart21 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #2
    I have the 200 text plan and use textfree and it works very well for me. Textfree is pretty reliable but sometime if you are in a busy area or have weak signals it has a hard time connecting to the servers but overall It works well for me. I use those 200 texts for people who may not know I have a textfree account and emergencies just incase I cant connect to the textfree servers.
     
  3. james92se macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #3
    Kind of a bump:

    I noticed TextFree was free last night (it might still be), so I thought what the heck and installed it. I've been using it today with really good results. It notifies me just like a normal text message with a pop-up and I don't have to be in the app to check messages. It also seems to be very

    I haven't used it "out" though. So far all of my usage has been at home where I have a strong 3G signal.

    As a test, I turned off 3G and it doesn't appear the program works on EDGE and it seems to work just fine.

    So far I'm pretty impressed. I have the unlimited text package with AT&T and if this continues to work well I'll probably cancel my text package or at least drop down to the lowest one.
     
  4. treyjustice macrumors 65816

    treyjustice

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    Jun 14, 2009
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    TX
    #4
    I use textfree unlimited and it is awesome! completely free and you even get a number with your chosen area code!
     
  5. james92se macrumors 6502a

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    Dallas, TX
    #5
    How does it work for you when you're in an area with poor reception?
     
  6. bluer101 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    #6
    I use aim to text people and have no issues at all.
     
  7. treyjustice macrumors 65816

    treyjustice

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    TX
    #7
    edge is sometimes slow for push but wifi and 3g is instant
     
  8. S1njin macrumors 6502a

    S1njin

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    May 3, 2010
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    My only problem w/ TextFree is you are introducing another layer of hardware/servers in your texting. And those servers probabaly aren't as redundant compared to what a carrier would utilize.

    I've already taken the plunge, another 15 bucks for 1500 messages is ass wiping money to me at this point.
     
  9. bigjerries macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Text Free works fine for me too. 200 text messages isnt enough and i dont wanna pay more for 1500.
     
  10. BeyondtheTech macrumors 68020

    BeyondtheTech

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #10
    The servers do get slammed a bit for TextNow and TextFree every now and then, but it's only momentary, and it does beat the price of having to pay a monthly package.

    The only downsides of TextFree is that you are given an all new number to text with, and that you cannot send/receive any media. Calls to that number will thankfully notify you as an incoming notification, but you'd still have to call them back.

    As a Google Voice owner, I heard about TextNow and iTim, and they supposedly link your GV number to their service, which is great. You can give out your GV number and texts get forwarded to your phone, as well as calls (if you set it up that way). There's a small, but easy setup for it.

    The only downsides of TextNow is that 1. URLs sent to you cannot be clicked on (big problem), and 2. you can't copy a portion of the message - you end up grabbing the whole bubble of the message, and 3. there's no support for videos, just pictures.

    I didn't try iTim yet, but I hear it's similar to TextNow. The app (and their website) seem incredibly unrefined, compared to TextNow, but I may be judging it prematurely.

    My personal favorite is WhatsApp. Though it's no SMS feature, it's instant messaging with full media support, and it's multiplatform for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, though it's a paid app, which could distract from users from adopting it.
     
  11. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    around/about
    #11
    Agreed. It's not 100%, but it's reliable enough to be worth the money.

    Also, TextFree is introducing MMS support with their next update, as far as I know.
     
  12. james92se macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2010
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    Dallas, TX
    #12
    Could you explain this a little bit? I don't understand what you mean by this or its significance :confused:
     
  13. Mac In School macrumors 65816

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    Jun 21, 2007
    #13
    To clarify: If someone sends a picture to your GV# it will not forward to TextNow. GV completely disregards MMS messages, so you won't even get a notification of the picture you didn't get.
     
  14. james92se macrumors 6502a

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    Dallas, TX
    #14
    So I've been using TextFree now for a couple of days and am still impressed with it's reliability. I will say there was one night at about 9:30 PM where I couldn't send any texts for a solid 15 minutes because their servers were down

    However, I've noticed using TextFree quite a bit has cut my battery life by a solid 35-40% :eek:
     
  15. summerpeach macrumors member

    summerpeach

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #15
    i've been testing textfree for over 2 weeks now and have decided to make the switch. i downgraded my 1500 text plan to the 200 one the other day.

    i find that it's 99% as reliable as the phone texting and those 200 texts comes out to 6.5 texts a day, which i rarely even touch. i will use those only to send picture texts.

    so far i like it enough to keep it for the rest of the year. i will decide next summer if what i want to do for my texting needs (or if it even needs a change at all).
     
  16. Block macrumors 6502a

    Block

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #16
    I wonder how much of the information you text is kept on their servers. Is there anything in the agreement that says they can keep any and all information you send through their servers?
     
  17. james92se macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2010
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    Dallas, TX
    #17
    Have you experienced inordinate battery drain vs. the same amount of texting with the native texting?

    That's a good question
     
  18. summerpeach macrumors member

    summerpeach

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #18
    that is hard for me to say because i started downloading and using textfree when my iphone 4 was only a week or so old and it was during the phase when i was dowloading a lot of new apps that use push.

    also, i am upgrading from a 8gb 2g 1st gen iphone, so a lot more apps are available to me now than before. i am using my new iphone in ways i never dreamed of using my old one.

    that said, i do notice that my brand new iphone 4's battery life generally cannot make it through a day whereas my old iphone could go 2.75+ days on a single charge when it was less than 1.5 years old (eventually going down to about 1-2 days a charge when it was older). i believe my heavier use and more push apps in general are the main culprits.

    last night, after reading this thread, i did some internet research on textfree and battery life usage and found nothing determinative even though some reviews vaguely alluded to it.

    i have decided, though, that i should discontinue using textfree b/c i don't want the battery to eventually be reduced to a third of a day by the time it is 1.5-2 years old (which is how long i plan on having my phone). i figure anything i can do now to preserve the longevity of my battery life is worth doing, even if it means paying some extra money for 1500 texts messages. also, i miss group texting, picture texting, and the speed of the native texting app on my phone. i found textfree to be a satisfactory substitute because it was very reliable and similar to native texting even though at times i wished it was faster.

    i still have textfree running in the background, but i am planning on opening it only if people send me a text to that number, which should quickly decrease because i will reply with native texting.

    i will report if i notice any difference in my battery usage in a few days.
     
  19. james92se macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #19
    Well, I don't think using TextFree will really reduce your battery performance that drastically in only a year or two. In addition to my iPhone 4, I have an original iPhone (3 years old now), and I can discern no noticeable difference in battery performance since 2007, and I've really used it pretty heavily its first year or two

    So, I wouldn't ditch TextFree just because of possible future battery performance (or lack thereof), because that's probably unlikely IMO :p

    A "normal" day of usage for my on my iPhone is majority texting. I'll usually have about 30-40 minutes total of talk time, checking e-mail 5-10 times a day (no push), and maybe 15-20 minutes of web-usage on Safari.

    Normally (on my iPhone 4), I consistently about 6 hours of usage at the 20% indicator point. Since I've installed TextFree, I'm only getting about 5 hours of usage at the 20% point. Now, that's not that big of a difference to me to make me want to NOT save $15-20 a month using TextFree.

    I wonder if paying the $6 to get the ads removed would help, since it wouldn't constantly be loading ads when opening/using TextFree.

    Also, TextFree will be allowing MMS in the near future (or so I hear), which will be awesome
     
  20. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #20
    I think Textfree Unlimited is great, especially since they added a real phone number. It's now much better. The folks at Pinger are working on adding MMS (picture sending) to this app. Once they do that and add group texting, then Textfree will be just like the native iPhone app. At that point I will cancel my 200 message text plan with AT&T.

    I love that Textfree Unlimited is free, it only has a small ad banner at the bottom. But for $6 a year you can get it ad free. This is a really good alternative to AT&T and their overcharged text plan.
     
  21. james92se macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #21
    So I'll update this:

    I officially downgraded my text package with AT&T to the $5 200 text package that I'll use for picture messages and a "just in case" insurance against TextFree servers being down. I've been using TextFree very heavily and it has been ultra-reliable.

    The ONLY problem I've had to date has still been that 15 minute period that one night where the servers were down that I described earlier in the thread.

    Also, I paid the $6 to get the ads removed, and my battery life has gone right back up to about 6 hours of usage at the 20% indicator.

    I'm beyond impressed with TextFree. I don't know why I hadn't done it sooner and been saving $15 a month this whole time :mad:
     
  22. thetruthkc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #22
    iAds reduce battery life?

    I am all for paying $6 for the app (and I probably will). My wife and I never really texted, and I was about to add on the $5 plan to get texts back and forth between us... thank goodness for TextFree.

    But generally, do apps that use iAds and that remain in the 'background' still continue to download ads? That wouldn't be very smart of Apple to allow that to happen. It would drastically eat up battery-life and network resources.

    Can any developer confirm?
     
  23. james92se macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #23
    So I'll bump this again.

    Still using TextFree exclusively with absolutely no problems whatsoever these past few months except 2-3 instances of their servers being down for a minute or two at a time. TextFree combined with a discount through studentrate.com has enabled me to get my bill down to $69 total monthly on my iPhone 4 with AT&T with unlimited data/texting (texting using TextFree). I used to pay $110 total a month with my old 3G iPhone!!

    So, again, I love TextFree!

    I'll also add that beta testing is in progress for TextFree Voice and I got an invite today and have been using it. It gives FREE unlimited incoming calls and you can buy or "earn" minutes to make outgoing calls. To "earn" minutes for outgoing calls they give you a massive list (tons of free ones) of apps from iTunes to choose from. Downloading each one gives you a certain number of minutes (the free ones range from 10 minutes to 16 minutes). Anyway, all you have to do is download the app, and open it once, then you're credited with that number of minutes.

    So, it appears it's VERY easy to rack up hundreds of minutes all for free and VERY easily. I've gotten over 200 minutes already just in the past 20 minutes or so just from downloading free apps and opening them once, then deleting them.

    It almost seems too good to be true, but it is true, and it works! I've made/received several calls already today with it. The call quality isn't as good as a "native" iPhone 4 call on 3G, but man, it works great and it's free!

    You can also turn an iPod Touch or iPad into a phone with TextFree Voice with a mic/headset.

    I'm just beyond impressed with Pinger/TextFree. Now all we need is picture messaging from TextFree :D

    *edit - screenshot of TextFree Voice

    [​IMG]
     
  24. kcnck macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    #24
    Yes Apple has a policy i feel

    Till now Apple has a policy on the apps. So if any one want to submit a apps, then it must follow the guidelines. Have u seen any porn yet, i haven't.

    Still check it out on Apple website.
     
  25. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    Location:
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    #25
    I'm a VERY heavy TextFree user, and I couldn't be happier with it. Just reinforcing that is does work, and very well at that.
     

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