Smartphones, as much as we all appreciate them, are somewhat cumbersome when it comes to texting – even if you’ve mastered the art of two-thumbed mobile typing and can tap out a message at an average speed of 38 words per minute. Sending a text would be faster and more convenient if you could send text messages from a computer, particularly so for businesses that need to send texts en masse. Thankfully, there are quite a few ways you can text from computer to phone, as this article explains.
Sending a text from a computer
Texting from a computer generally enhances your typing experience because you can use a bigger keyboard. Tiny phone keyboards are awkward even if you use predictive text or autocorrect. Those tools are certainly handy and can speed up typing, but they’re definitely not foolproof. Seemingly ordinary words can be transformed into something else entirely, leaving your recipient bewildered, annoyed, amused, or shocked. Check out how ‘pastie’ so easily becomes ‘pastor’, and ‘DVD’ becomes ‘dad’. You can imagine all sorts of other words that autocorrect spits out!
Avoiding spelling mistakes isn’t the only reason you might want to text from a computer. SMS is one of the most accessible communication channels around for businesses because even people that own a basic feature phone (not a smartphone) can receive texts. That’s 22% of all mobile phone owners in case you’re interested.
Those businesses that choose to connect with customers via SMS need to manage any number of conversations quickly and effectively, possibly using multiple team members in the process. And with that requirement comes the need for advanced SMS features like automated responses, categorisation, personalisation, SMS marketing campaign templates and bulk messaging capability. All of which can typically only be done through a specialist desktop application.
Apps that let you text a recipient's phone number from your computer
There are plenty of apps available to download that enable you to text from a computer. Most of those in the online app stores are best suited for personal or very limited business use, purely because they tend not to have advanced capabilities like those set out above. That said, the following are some of the most popular ‘text from computer’ apps around currently.
iMessage is an iOS app that allows you to send texts over a wi-fi network directly from your Apple computer (e.g. a Mac or iPad) to other iPhones. It works exclusively across Apple devices. Text messages can be sent to Android users from an Apple computer with iMessage; these are sent as SMS/MMS messages and require a text messaging plan.
Google voice allows you to send messages to any mobile phone number in many regions. In order to work with this app you just need to open google voice and click the messages icon to text. It is free to use with any google account and you can create group chats for multiple conversations with ease. To the people that receive messages from google voice, your text messages will appear from a google voice number so they will know the app you are using.
Messages for web
Android users can text from a laptop or PC using Google’s Messages for web app. It displays all your conversations, just like the Android Messages mobile app. To pair your phone with your computer, you simply open up the native messages app on your mobile and locate a setting enabling you to scan a QR code on the desktop messages app.
Messages for web works on multiple Android devices, but you can only have one instance of this app open at a time. Operator fees apply whenever you send a text from your computer, just like when you send an SMS from your phone.
Airdroid lets you control your Android phone from any Windows, Mac or Linux device. It mirrors what’s on your phone to your desktop, allowing you to send texts, transfer files and view app notifications directly from your PC. Airdroid is a paid-for app with different pricing plans for personal and business use.
Another way for Android users to send text messages from computer to phone is to use the MightyText app. You can text from a computer and see your messages synced with your phone’s SMS inbox. The app also lets you view and dismiss notifications from your desktop and supports file sharing so you can quickly free up space on your phone. It’s free to download and has some advanced premium features like text message scheduling, themes and templates.
MySMS for Android lets you send and receive texts on any device including tablet, PC and smartphone. Messages are synced between devices, so you can switch between your phone and laptop, for example, and see your latest texts in real-time. You can also synchronise calls to your tablet and text other MySMS users for free. The app also supports group messaging and multimedia support.
Text from a computer with an SMS online platform
Businesses that have a growing or ongoing need to send out business-critical or marketing messages in bulk by text are best placed to use an SMS messaging platform. These have sophisticated features such as the ability to send blanket or targeted SMS messages to multiple customers, conversation labels for categorisation, SMS scheduling, templates and message preview functionality.
Other features to look out for include detailed analytics, CRM integration and the ability to feed into multiple communication channels. And if your customer base is spread out geographically, you’ll want to ensure you choose a provider that can deliver your messages reliably worldwide.
Other ways to text from your laptop
Wireless carriers – web app
Depending on your wireless carrier, you may be able to text from your laptop using the wireless carrier’s website or app. For instance, Orange’s Enterprise Messaging solution allows you to send and receive text messages through a web interface or via its API. Other carriers known to offer this include My Verizon and My AT&T (both American firms). Check with your particular carrier whether they provide a web interface for text messaging.
Free web-based applications
There are some websites you can use to send texts for free online. One example is SendaText, where you can text from computer to phone for free. There are some caveats, though. For instance, you can’t use your own phone number as the sending ID; SendaText creates its own ID – so you’ll have to let the recipient know who you are within your message content. Useful if you accidentally lose your phone and need to text someone urgently, but not so helpful when texting customers.
If you’re planning to make use of a free SMS website to send texts, be sure to check how your data (and any recipient data) will be used and whether it will be kept safe. One more important thing to note is that free web-based applications struggle with delivery quality. So, if you plan to send business-critical messages, we recommend going with a paid service provider.
Text from your computer with Messente
Messente’s global messaging API enables you to send a wide range of texts to customers’ phones right from your desktop. Send order confirmations, delivery updates, customer service messages and marketing campaigns in bulk, and at the right time, in just a few clicks.
Two-way messaging is supported so customers can reply and interact using shortcodes or long codes, and you can view your campaign stats in an easy-to-use dashboard. Messente is built to scale and will grow with your business, no matter the volume of texts you need to send.
Create a free account to try Messente for yourself today.