Texting questions


Senior Moderator
Dec 12, 2008
A coworker was asking me about this and I'm not sure.

Are there any apps that really let you send and receive texts for free on stock iPhones? Can they be used to send texts from an iPhone to a dumb phone and from the dumb phone back to the iPhone for free? Does the person with the flip phone have to do anything aside from replying back to your text or your number to ensure that you don't get charged?

When AIM is set up to push and used to send SMS, do you get charged for the texts.


Mar 16, 2009
AIM sends the text to the person and they get a number to reply to you(ex: 00-000) The first text would say something like "Screen name has sent you an IM. To accept IM's from Screen name reply A, to decline reply D." After accepting you will always be able to receive their text messages/IM's. AFAIK the number never expires and they could respond to you at any time. With PNS on the iPhone it would come up like a text. The person using the iPhone AIM app wouldn't be charged anything since it is using data and not a text and the 'flip phone' would be charged standard text rates unless they had internet and AIM set up on their phone if it is capable, but wouldn't know when you responded until they checked their app.

I am sure other apps do the same but AIM is a great free app that does what your friend asked about. I hope this answered everything (probably overanswered)


Aug 19, 2008
AIM works, as well as TextFree.

Both have their ups and downs. AIM is a free app that works all the time, also has push notifications. However, your AIM screen name comes up, and if you're friends don't have your SN it can get kind of confusing.

TextFree isn't free (ok the light version is but you're stuck with 15 text a day), it's 5.99 a year for unlimited texts. It has push notifications, and it also allows you to input any name you want, that shows up on the receiver's end. Now, I'm not 100% sure if someone else can text you any time they want through TF, I haven't tested it yet.

TextFree works really well, IMO and 5.99 a year is a heck of a lot better than 5, 15, or 20 a month. It might not work as well as your basic SMS functions, but it is a hell of a lot cheaper.

Oh, and it works with "dumb" phones too, I text my mom all the time and she has a Samsung Alias on Verizon, and it works no issues.