11
Nov
XperiaZ1s-Thumb

T-Mobile has posted the changelog for an over-the-air update now rolling out to Xperia Z1s owners. The primary new feature is the inclusion of in-flight texting support. This way users can communicate with folks on the ground for free via Gogo thanks to a partnership T-Mobile debuted a couple months back.

This isn't all the OTA has to offer. The update will provide the Xperia Z1s with Wi-Fi calling enhancements, which are always a nice thing to see considering the carrier's reliance on Wi-Fi networks to complement its cellular network.

10
Nov
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Before the release of Android 4.4, stock Android came with a basic SMS app. It served as a simple way to exchange text messages the old-school way, without dealing with data connections or usernames. Then the functionality got merged into Hangouts, and while a new standard Messenger app is returning for 5.0, there are many people with devices that won't see that update for months—if ever.

That leaves plenty of room for a basic texting app, one without a fancy name or a distracting icon, and one that doesn't look out of place compared to Google's first-party offerings.

05
Nov
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They grow up so quickly. Just this summer, Pushbullet learned how to let its users respond to SMS messages via EvolveSMS. Then a few months later, it extended this functionality to all texting apps. Now the service is ready to give its users more than the ability to reply to text messages, but the power to start conversations from their computers as well.

As long as you have the Pushbullet Android app and browser extension installed, you just need to click on the SMS tab to get started.

17
Sep
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T-Mobile unveiled several Wi-Fi initiatives as part of Un-Carrier 7.0 that it hopes will help fill in the gaps where its network is weak and even extend coverage to places its towers have no chance of reaching. To make things better, one part of its plan doesn't ask T-Mobile customers for money, while the other is free with an asterisk. Both are publicly available starting today.

Screenshot 2014-09-17 at 12.02.57 PM

 

Let's get the latter one cleared up first.

19
Jun
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Pushbullet is one of those apps that gets continuously updated over time, and while many releases don't look particularly mind-blowing on the outside, they subtly introduce rather impressive functionality. A week ago we reported on upcoming integration with EvolveSMS that would allow users to receive, view, and reply to text messages from the comfort of their desktop computers. Users could download a beta to play around with the feature before, but now it's rolling out to everyone.

09
Dec
Hangouts-Thumb

Google is rolling out an updated version of Hangouts, and while version 2.0.2 doesn't introduce much in the way of exciting new features, it squashes a handful of annoying bugs introduced when the app took on the ability to handle SMS and MMS messages.

What's New?

The newer, SMS-tackling version of Hangouts came with a few quirks that have been rubbing more than a handful of users the wrong way. For starters, the app converted any text message sent to multiple receivers to an MMS, which is chargeable for many people.

06
Dec
nexusae0_defaultSmsApp
Last Updated: December 12th, 2013

First, we heard that KitKat would bring some changes to the API, breaking many of the SMS apps we've come to rely on. On the day KitKat was released, we were given a more full explanation, shining some light on the technical details and exactly what types of apps would be affected. But did anybody really think this was the end of the story? It turns out that a hidden permission exists which can still grant non-default apps the right to modify the SMS database just like they used to - no rooting required.

31
Oct
2013-10-31_14-27-49

You might remember a couple of weeks ago when Google gave developers a heads up about changes to KitKat that might cause problems for SMS apps. At the time, we knew that this only meant there would be a single app in charge of writing to the database, while all of the others would...well, that part wasn't really defined. Today, one in a series of developer videos gave us a little clarification on what it means to be a default app, and what it means for the rest of them.

14
Oct
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In a post on the Android Developers Blog earlier today, Google has given us yet another indicator of upcoming changes to the Android platform. When KitKat launches, it will finally introduce a public API for the last remaining functions texting apps could not achieve without diving into private APIs. Developers are often advised to stay away from private APIs since they can change with each new version and may not be kept consistent across different OEMs.

15
Apr
sendhubtiny

Google Voice is a great service for replacing your carrier's voicemail and texting options. If you need something that's a bit more robust, however, SendHub has launched on Android and allows business-class users to set up a phone number (or set of numbers) and get texting and calling for free or cheap, depending on what class of service you need.

sendhub1 sendhub2 sendhub3

Free users can get 60 voice minutes, 500 messages, and 3 groups of 50 contacts for their first line.

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