Sending text messages to cellphones using your compuer or laptop

By | May 8, 2011
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Did you know that you can send a short email from your computer to most any cellphone? You can. Cellphones use what’s called “SMS” to send messages from one cell phone to another. SMS is an acronym for Short Message Service. You can also send a text message as an email to any email address too.

We both have Verizon cell phones, but no matter who your carrier is you should be able to send messages from your computer to an any cell phone. Most providers provide a special email address for their cell phone customers. With Verizon, the email address is the cell number @vtext.com. For instance 555555555@vtext.com . You send an email to the phone number@vtext.com and the email is converted to a text message and delivered to the phone, just like any other text message. Most all carriers provide this type of service. Normally you can send the email directly from your email program; some carriers may require you to send the email via a special web site. Check with your carrier .

You should be aware that most carriers limit the number of characters you can send in a text message, and this applies to emails which are converted to text messages too. With Verizon, for example, the limit is 160 characters. To get the most information into your 160 character message, always send the email as plain text. Abbreviate as much a possible, even if you think you’re going to look foolish. If you need to get a message to someone, it’s better they get the whole thing than part of it because you were afraid to use texting abbreviations like l8ter, cya, and so forth.

Here’s a message in what Verizon calls ‘Spk’n TXT’ and the translation.

Been working hard 2DAY. WRU? WOT time do U WAN2 meet and where? Get back 2 me right away. TLK 2 U L8R. TC (38 characters remaining to use)

I’ve been working hard today. Where are you? What time do you want to meet and where? Get back to me right away. Talk to you later. TC. (7 characters remaining to use.)

Don’t forget, every character in your email address is counted against the 160 character limit on Verizon. Limits may vary by carrier. Your best bet is to keep your message short. If you plan on sending text messages a lot from your computer to cell phones, learn the shorthand that texters use, as foolish as you may think it is. It comes in handy if you have a lot to say and only 160 characters to work with. By the time you’ve typed in your email address you’ll have less that 150 characters to work with.

Also, be thoughtful. Some people have to pay for each text message they receive. If someone’s getting billed ten cents for every text message, they won’t want you to be sending them frivolous text messages. But, if you really need to contact someone who has a cell phone and you don’t want to call them, you can email them in the form of a text message.

There are several services on the Web that will send text messages to the cell phone of your choice. But if you can send an email directly from your email program to the cellphone, why bother using the services?

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