As much as we all appreciate them, smartphones are somewhat cumbersome when it comes to texting, even if you've mastered the art of two-thumbed mobile typing and can type out a message at a speed of over 38 words per minute. Sending a text would be faster and more convenient if you could send text messages from a computer, particularly for businesses that need to send texts en masse.
Thankfully, there are quite a few ways you can text from computer to phone – and we'll share them all with you!
The need for sending a text message 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 not foolproof.
Seemingly ordinary words can be transformed into something else entirely, leaving your recipient bewildered, annoyed, amused, shocked, and sometimes offended. Check out how 'pasta' quickly becomes 'pastor', and 'DVD' becomes 'dad'. You can imagine all sorts of other words that autocorrect mixes up!
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 for businesses because even people who own a basic feature phone (not a smartphone) can receive texts. And 22% of all mobile phone owners have feature phones, so it's a significant number!
Businesses that 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, audience segmentation, personalisation, SMS marketing campaign templates, and mass texting capabilities. These can typically only be done through a specialised web or desktop application.
Apps to send text messages from PC to a recipient's phone number
There are plenty of apps available for 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 because they tend not to have advanced capabilities like those above. The following are some of the most popular 'text from computer' apps currently available.
iMessage is an iOS app that allows you to send texts over a wi-fi network directly from your iOS device (e.g., a Mac computer or an iPad) to other iPhones. It works exclusively across Apple devices. Text messages can also be sent to Android users from an Apple computer using iMessage. However, these are sent as SMS or MMS messages over cell networks and require a text messaging plan.
Google Voice allows you to send messages to mobile phone numbers in various parts of the world. These texts are free to send within most US and Canadian regions if you're connected to the internet via wi-fi or mobile data. Otherwise, roaming charges may apply.
To send messages using Google Voice, open the Voice website and click the messages icon. Your text messages will appear from a Google Voice number, so recipients will know which app you used to text them. You can easily create group chats for multiple conversations too. The site is free to use with any Google account, but premium features are only offered to paying customers.
Using this app for business messaging is not allowed, as explicitly stated in Google's terms and conditions, and can get you reported and banned.
Messages for Web
Android device 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, open up the native Messages app on your phone and locate a setting enabling you to scan a QR code on the web app. The web version will then be linked to your phone, and your texts will be synced across both devices, enabling you to SMS text messages from your computer.
Messages for Web works on multiple 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 uses.
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 that you can quickly free up space on your phone. It's free to download and offers a range of advanced premium features like text message templates, scheduling, and themes.
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 and see your latest texts in real-time. You can also synchronise calls to your tablet and send free text messages to other MySMS users. The app also offers group messaging and multimedia texts.
Text from a computer with an online SMS platform
Businesses with a growing or ongoing need to send out business-critical or marketing messages in bulk by text must consider using an SMS messaging platform for PC. This software has 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 previews.
Other features to look out for include detailed analytics, CRM integration, and the ability to feed into multiple communication channels. 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 send a text from your laptop
Web apps from wireless carriers
Depending on your provider, 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 service include Verizon and AT&T, both American firms. Check with your provider 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 TextFree, where you can text from computer to phone for free. The web app allows both SMS and MMS messages. There are some caveats, though. For instance, the service only works for sending texts to US phone numbers.
Another issue is that you can't use your own phone number as the sender ID; TextFree generates a list of random US phone numbers for you to choose from, so you'll have to let the recipient know who you are within your message body. It can be helpful if you accidentally lose your phone and need to text someone urgently, but not so beneficial when texting customers.
If you're planning to use 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. Another important thing to note is that free web-based applications struggle with quality and deliverability. The user interface is often borderline unusable. 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 SMS software for PC allows you to send a wide range of texts to customers' phones right from your desktop. Send timely SMS order confirmations, delivery updates, customer service messages, and marketing communications in bulk, all in 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.