Friday, May 2, 2008

SMS Apps Roundup - Text Messaging 2.0

by Jon:

My cell phone is always on my person.  It's always in my hand, in my pocket, on my desk or in my bag, just a moment away from being in use.  This is a blessing and a curse, mostly because anyone and everyone has easy access to me 24/7.  However, the amazing apps of the internet have slowly been translating themselves to the mobile realm.  

While the "m." world is incredible, there's a number of amazing applications that don't require your phone to have WAP/Web access.  You can access a myriad of valuable tools by sending a simple SMS message.

Let me give you a quick overview of all the apps that reside in my Contacts folder:


While this seems basic, it's important to know that any email address can be easily accessed via text message: just find the @ sign on your phone and off you go!  This will be important for several of the tips listed below.


It's possible to craft a simple blog post using text or photo and upload it to your Blogger account in one text.  Simply visit Blogger's mobile site, to set yours up.  From then on out, just send your posts to and you'll be moblogging.


Visit your account settings on Flickr and access the email section.  You can setup a one-click upload option by creating a unique Flickr email address.  From there, simply add the email address to your Contacts list and any photo you create can be uploaded (and tagged) right from your phone.


Login to your PayPal account and access your Tools menu, then navigate to PayPal Mobile.  Click the "Activate Now" button and add any and all numbers you wish to access PayPal with.  PayPal will call and text you to confirm your number.  Next, add 729725 (PAYPAL) to your contacts list, you can text "BAL" to get your balance, and send payments like so:

  • send 10 to 4085552388
  • 10 4085552388
  • send 10 to

PayPal will call you to confirm and then email your recipient -- done and done.


Got a phone capable of sending MMS (video) messages?  Once you're done creating that pixellated concert shot, you can upload it to YouTube on the go.  Login to your YouTube account and create a mobile profile.  Next, add 98823 (YTUBE) to your contacts list and get ready to rock.


Looking for a house?  If you're out and about and see a "for sale" sign in a yard, simply text the address to 46873 (HOUSE) and wait.  In but a moment, the House database access public records and texts you back details about the house.  This includes square footage, bedrooms/bathrooms, the owner's name, and their buying price (if available).  Easy, convenient and public records -- what's more fun than that?


Qipit is a pretty new site but has some powerful potential.  Create a login and sign in, and after entering your mobile information you have a lot of powerful options.  Not only can you use the web interface to use digital camera photos and text documents, you can take a photo on your phone and upload to the service.  You can photo any kind of document, handwritten notes, or even a whiteboard, and Qipit will convert that text into a searchable PDF.  Just add to your contacts and start digitizing your scribbles.


Everyone's favorite internet powerhouse also has a formidable presence on your phone.  Not only is their whole suite of apps available through WAP access, nearly everything is text-able.  Add your mobile number to your Google account and hit the ground running.  My two favorite Google texts are:

  • Google Calendar - you can add detailed calendar events right from your phone -- just text them to 48368 (GVENT) and you'll get a confirmation back.  You can also setup your calendar to text you reminders before your events.
  • Google Search - you can text GOOGLE (466453) nearly anything and get results.  This includes local weather, sports, movie times, flights, data/facts, and local searches.  If you include a zip code Google will remember your location and include that in your next search.

There you have it -- a full phone and what's sure to be several hours of profile building on all your favorite sites.  Let us know your favorite SMS app and how you're using these!  Check back during the month of May for more tech posts and more posts on using your cell phone like a true geek.

1 comment:

Ben Wright said...

As more executives use cell & mobile phone text messages to conduct business, their companies should consider retaining the text records. The records may be needed for legal purposes. --Ben