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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

A few months ago we reviewed an interesting app called Texty. This app connects an Android phone to a computer through Chrome, and allows the user to send text messages straight from said browser. This is useful when you are working on your computer and you do not wish to move your hands away from your comfortable ergonomic keyboard and start pecking away at a small 3-4" screen. CrossTxT performs a similar function, but in my opinion, is far superior to Texty.

Set-Up: Android

Firstly, CrossTxT is currently in beta and you will have to sign-up for a free invite.

The CrossTxT devs have been kind enough to provide us with 50 beta invites for readers of Android Police. To ensure you get an invite, head over to the CrossTxT beta sign-up page and in the "Comments" section mention "Android Police". Happy texting!

After you have signed up you will be prompted to download the CrossTxT app for your Android phone. The app itself does not do much, as it merely bridges your phone with your computer (specifically a browser). Once you have installed the app you can sign in (with your registered account), import your contacts and sync your messages (decide the amount you want to sync) with the online CrossTxT server.

screenshot_1 screenshot_3 screenshot_8

You can play around with some of the settings, but that's all you need to do on your phone to ensure CrossTxT is up and running.

screenshot_11

Set-Up: Web

Once you have installed and set-up CrossTxT on your Android, head over to the CrossTxT website. Login, and you should see all your messages listed on the left panel. Select one of the "conversations" to see the messages in the main panel.

testing message

You can send a text to any contact or phone number by selecting "Start Conversation". The contact sync worked without a hitch, and it even had auto-complete. While CrossTxT is entirely website-based, you can install the Chrome extension to provide you with pop-up notifications every time you get a message.

notification

Conclusion and Comparison with Texty

Both CrossTxT and Texty are great apps for a number of reasons. For example, you do not need to connect your phone to a WiFi network or initiate any kind of connection with a particular computer. The respective app needs to be running on the Android device and you need to be on a computer with a browser (though, again, Texty is a Chrome extension while CrossTxT is browser-agnostic). Further, the apps sync your messages and contacts so you have a full history of all the messages available to you on your computer. Finally, both apps take little or no interaction after the initial set-up.

In the end I chose to use CrossTxT over Texty simply because Texty was, at times, a little unreliable. Some messages I sent to friends showed as "sent" but in reality my friends never received them. Texty also seems to have issues syncing contacts - it simply never pulled some of them for me. I'm sure these issues are just  bugs that will be ironed out eventually, but considering both apps provide very similar functionality with minor cosmetic differences, the little things - such as reliability - really make a difference.

There were some other improvements I found in CrossTxT. Because Texty only works through a Chrome extension, it may not be usable on computers blocked by IT administrators; in such a case, CrossTxT would continue to function. On a more subjective note, I also found using the CrossTxT interface much simpler than the Texty one.

Nevertheless, Texty has one major head start over CrossTxT: it allows split texts. In other words, if you type texts longer than 140 characters, Texty automatically breaks it up, while CrossTxT requires you to send your first text and then send another one (but see below on update).

App Feedback

I had some feedback on CrossTxT and the support team got back to me quite quickly on all my questions:

Q: It would be useful to send multi-text messages. That is, if I write a message longer than 140 characters it should automatically split it into two (or more) messages.
A: We're toying with the idea of making multi-messages (along with other features like MMS support) a part of a 'gold' edition of CrossTxT to cover server costs. We don't want to sacrifice basic functionality on a free edition though, so we're definitely looking for beta tester feedback on this
particular issue.

Q: A dedicated desktop app would be nice (but not really necessary).
A: I get this request almost every day :) It's just a matter of finding the time.

Q: A search feature for messages.
A: This is definitely in the works.

Q: Photos of contacts (from Twitter, Facebook, or Gmail) would be useful.
A: Great idea. I've added it to the suggestions list.

Download CrossTxT

Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.

  • Aatif

    Interesting. Have used Texty for over a month now and gotten pretty reliant on it. Now if only there was a way for a PC program to handle my WhatsApp too.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu/ Abhiroop Basu

      Agreed! That would completely stop peeking at my phone while on my computer.

  • Product F(RED)

    If you're a Sprint user and you're looking for this kind of functionality, just use Google Voice integration since it doesn't use any extra battery syncing your messages. You can even use your own messaging app instead of the Voice app if you tick "Receive Texts On This Phone" through the web interface.

    • http://www.CrossTxT.com Quinn Damerell

      Google Voice is still a bit different. CrossTxT synchronizes your phone's inbox, instead of having a separate inbox like Google Voice. Also, CrossTxT does not use any battery. It only does actions when it needs to, which not very much at all. You should see no change in your battery life at all on your phone. If you do then I have not coded something properly. :)

      • Product F(RED)

        :)

        Well with Voice integration (not just Voice), your texts are sent through Google Voice (as well as Sprint) so your conversations are accessible via the web interface as well as your texting app. The advantage with your app is that, if I choose to use my default messaging app with Voice, if I reply to someone's text on the web interface, it won't show up on my phone.

  • http://crosstxt.com Bryan

    CrossTxT developer here:

    The good news is I accepted 50 of you, the bad news is that was less than half of the android police requests we received.

    For those of you that haven't yet gotten an invite, rest assured that we're working as fast as possible to invite everybody.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu/ Abhiroop Basu

      Thanks a lot for the invites Bryan!

    • tmogeek

      Does your app run in a mobile browser? I have a GSlate that doesn't have a native sms client. I'd be able to sync between my G2 and the GSlate if your app was compatible with a mobile browser.

  • djembeman

    Woohooo!! This is great! Thank you Android Police! Thank you cross txt team! I would like to be able to open hyperlinks within texts and would like a Firefox add-on.

  • OFI

    ^ Damn, just read the above :P

    Oh well, in for when it's open :-D Be handy for ahem.. work

  • Jake

    They have updated the app in the market about 4-5 times today lol. Not sure why there doing that.

    As of right now, if they improve there design on the browser it would be a extra. Focus of course right now if the source code.

    And, if they can add an option for enable/disable on the ongoing notifications icon.

    Great Job CrossTxT! Keep the updates a coming :)

    • http://www.CrossTxT.com Quinn Damerell

      We have been adding some bug fixes and features that our testers have been suggesting! The first was some fixes and improvements, the second enabled auto restarting after updating, and the latest enabled support for the full UTF-8 character set, meaning we now support many more languages!

      Also Thanks :)

      • Jake

        Awesome Man!
        Great to know, do you think you could add that info in the app description when updating each time? It's always nice to know about each update :)
        and for the Chrome Extensions, do you think you will be making one similar to Google Voice Extension? A drop down, that you can select the cell number and/or type it in. Then message below it? Just an idea that would be always accepted!
        Regards!

  • OFI

    Aww got my beta key and signed up, went through the whole process of importing everything only to get right to the end and find Internet Explorer isn't supported. Would have been nice to know that from the beginning.

    For my own use I want to be able to use it from work, a place I can't just install an alternative browser.

    Is there an estimated time when IE might be supported?

    • http://www.CrossTxT.com Quinn Damerell

      Yeah sorry about that. I know many work places only let their employees use Internet Explorer, and unfortunately right now it is not supported by CrossTxT. Internet Explorer does not support some of the advance elements we us to make the webapp. We hope in the future to support it, but it will take quite a bit of work. We are working on it though!

  • Natey

    This is an awesome app. I am loving it. I am not sure how I ever got a long with out it. Thanks Android Police for the heads up on this great app.

  • http://www.howtospyontextmessages.net John

    Very cool app! Received my invitation email just about an hour after I signed up!

  • Kelly Mc

    Is this truly a free app? I went to the market through my Android phone to download this app. Under the Permissions screen in the Accept and Download it states that "Services that cost you money send SMS messages". I am looking for a free app with no hidden or extra costs.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu/ Abhiroop Basu

      This only allows you to send messages from your PC, it still uses your phone to send the actual messages. The PC is only a platform.