Text messaging is simple, it’s quick, and it’s not just about teenagers using texting slang, like “hw” (for homework) or “ttyl” (for talk to you later), to gossip and get together.
Wells Fargo lets customers check account balances by text message. US Airways makes it possible to find out the departure time and gate of flights. And if you troll around the web, you’ll likely find news of other services to make text message a decidedly useful medium.
- Google SMS
With Google SMS, you can get weather reports, sports scores and local business listings via text message.
Jyngle lets you create groups of contacts, then send messages to people in those groups. Messages can be sent to mobile phones via the web or a phone. Even if you don’t want to text on your own, your business, sports club or other organization can send out text messages to your text-addicted customers or members.
With mobsaver, you can text a product number (an ISBN for books, a UPC code for other products), then get a price for those products at eBay and Amazon. That would come in handy if you’re at a store, yet wondering what you can save by buying online. Just type in the product code, and seconds later you’ll have a price.
An increasing number of online services provide the option of adding or viewing information via text message. That’s the case with Gubb, a web-based service that’s all about managing and sharing lists (like to-do lists). If you create web-based lists with Gubb (for grocery shopping, for business trips, for calls to make), you can add items from your phone with a text message.
ZAPtxt will monitor websites based on keywords of your choice. You could choose to monitor a sports website for your team or a business site for a company; when new information appears about your keyword, you’re notified with a text message. As with a number of other services, you can also opt to receive alerts via email or instant message.
Text messaging is increasingly viewed as a way galvanize political support, organize gatherings, and otherwise spread messages. TextMarks lets you select a keyword (or TextMark). Then, when anyone text messages that word to the number 41411 (after seeing it on a poster or t-shirt, say), the sender will receive a predetermined message of your choice.
- oh, don’t forget
You can schedule a text message to be sent at a specific time. You need to remember to text “Happy Birthday!” to your nephew? Just schedule it now, then forget about it.