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Commentary
3/2/2009
05:38 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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Doing More Than Messaging With SMS

Just about everyone knows that you can send and receive text messages with their phones using SMS (Short Messaging Service). Texting, as it is sometimes called, is just the beginning, though, of what you can do with this service.

Just about everyone knows that you can send and receive text messages with their phones using SMS (Short Messaging Service). Texting, as it is sometimes called, is just the beginning, though, of what you can do with this service.Cellphones.org has an article about 10 things you can do with texting. Some can be done with texting alone, and others require you to first sign up for a service (free, of course) that you text to and it does the legwork for you and texts you back the requested information. For years I've been using the [email protected] or [email protected] e-mail addresses to track shipments via e-mail with FedEx and UPS, respectively, but not everyone can do e-mail from their phone. Additionally, e-mail is slow compared with the instant gratification SMS can give you. Enter TrackThis. Sign up for a free account on your PC and you can start tracking packages via SMS. You also can follow them on Twitter if you like. There is a neat service called Xpenser that allows you to send all of your travel expenses in via SMS and receive a report at the end of your trip. You can even have the report forwarded to your boss for approval, but you may still have to figure out how to get the receipts attached. One of my favorite ideas listed is updating your Amazon wishlist via SMS. Again, you need to sign up for a service on your PC first, this time at Kwiry. I've not tried this yet, so I will have to see how exact your description in the SMS has to be for it to get added. There are a number of others as well, like apartment hunting, quitting smoking, and stock quotes. Read the full article to take full advantage of what SMS has to offer. Just be sure to call your carrier and make sure you have an unlimited text plan, and even if you do, watch texting when traveling abroad -- international texts can run $.25 or more per inbound and outbound message.

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