SMS without plan?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by macdot, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. macdot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #1
    I know you can send SMS through AIM, but I was wondering if there was any way to receive an SMS (besides someone replying to my AIM SMS) so that I am not charged for it.

    Is there something like Google's GrandCentral, but for text messages? Are any apps out there that would help me out?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. vega07 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #2
    I don't think so. If there were, people would be all over it by now.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    I think the rub is wanting to be able to receive unsolicited (non-reply) messages... you really need a phone number for that.

    Sigh... just buy an SMS package. They're not particularly expensive. Downgrade your minutes plan if you need to.
     
  4. macdot thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #4
    I pretty much refuse to spend $5 on 200 messages (less than 1MB of data) when I already have an unlimited data plan. It's insane.

    Hopefully something comes along and helps out in this regard.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    But out of curiosity, what would that solution look like? Like it or not, SMS doesn't really use the cellular data services your data package pays for. It works through a different aspect of GSM (which has been covered ad nauseum already), and it's tied as a system to phone numbers. If you're a large company like AOL running a chat service, you can afford to set up banks of temp numbers that allow people to send and receive SMS from an IM gateway. But when someone SMS's your phone, they're sending their message to your phone number -- it goes straight to AT&T and then gets pushed out to your phone.

    How would an app go about intercepting this process in a way that wouldn't involve you being charged?

    So then alternatively, the best you would ever get is that someone would create an app and backend that would assign you another, different phone number purely to use for the purpose of receiving (and sending) SMS. But then someone has to pay for maintaining that infrastructure, because a phone number isn't something you can just obatin for free. The VOIP services like Skype don't even give you a dedicated incoming phone number for free. Services like eFax do, although they're ad supported at the free level.

    So, the solution... the best solution that's technically feasible... that you might get someday is that you'd have a second phone number for SMS that would be free, most likely ad supported. And your friends would all have to put this second phone number in their phones and text you at the alternate number (since such a system would have no way of preventing you from being charged for texts at your actual phone number).... That's the best that's even feasible. And that's why there are tons of apps to send SMS for free over the net and none to receive it....

    Is all of that really worth $5 a month?
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #6
    yea but what are you going to do?
     
  7. macdot thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #7
    Yep--just like was I mentioned earlier--GrandCentral for text messages. I don't care if I have a text number and a regular number, doesn't bother me. It would also be convenient if you could text to email address (then I could solve my issue that way).
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #8
    why not just use the aim app and sms that way? that way it only counts as data

    the trick however would be how to have friends default to sending texts that way vs your reg number. though if you started the convo they would send to your sn vs your phone as most people reply to texts vs start new ones

    edit: haha just say that your first post posed this exact same question! my bad for not reading it lol
     
  9. AiralynRose macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #9
    you can text to email addresses.
     
  10. snipersix macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    #10
    I believe AIM lets u do this on the Iphone through the AIM app. You just need to sign up to AIM, type in the number ur sending the text to, and the recipient receives the text with ur screen name instead of ur number. So, only people that reply to ur text needs to pay, you don't provided u are using free wifi.
     
  11. macdot thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #11
    Really? How so?

    Whenever I text from AIM it comes up on my friend's phone as a 5 digit number that forwards to my AIM address for a limited amount of time.
     
  12. AiralynRose macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #12
    just type in their email address in the To field... it worked on every other phone i have ever tried, haven't tried on the iPhone though since it has email.

    You can also email a text message to a phone... you just have to know their service provider...

    Verizon: ##########@vtext.com

    T-Mobile: ##########@tmomail.net

    AT&T: ##########@txt.att.net

    Sprint: ##########@messaging.sprintpcs.com

    Nextel: ##########@messaging.nextel.com

    Virgin Mobil: ##########@vmobl.com
     
  13. macdot thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    #13
    Weird--my phone only lets me enter numbers when I put in the "to" on a text message.
     
  14. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    to problem with all these instant messenger solutions is that you have to remain logged in, either the apple app program or the safari programs

    this is not feasible on the iphone as a text replacement because you are not allowed to run programs in the background..

    so unless you are actively logged into those programs, you will miss the incoming IM messages, making it a useless solution

    if someone can figure out a way to run an instant messenger program in the background that supports push, then you have a valid start to finally get rid of SMS

    i agree $5 for what amounts to about 100k of data is RIDICULOUS
     
  15. StoneColdSober macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #15
    Apple is working on the push option to allow IM apps (and others) to get notifications. This will make it possible to close out the app and still get the message notifications.

    It's in the works and is supposed to be released in September. However, with all the more critical issues that the phone and 2.0.2 are having I wouldn't be surprised to see this delayed.
     

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