When was the last time you forgot your phone at home and spent the whole day thinking about all the text messages and missed calls you got while you were away? How about that evening when your workout drained your energy away and made you too lazy to stand up, walk all the way to your phone just to reply to that text you just received — Oops, it was just your bank promoting their newest credit card!
We have the right apps for these occurrences: the ones that let you read your text messages straight from your computer, wherever you — and your phone — are. Even better, you’ll be able to reply to messages, send new ones and even check your missed calls from your PC or tablet. Some apps offer even more advanced features, so it’s worth checking them out to find the perfect one for you!
MightyText is by far my favorite remote texting application. In addition to letting you send and receive messages from your computer or tablet, the app also supports multimedia messages and syncs your phonebook. This way, you can see all your contacts’ photos and phone numbers when texting them. The setup process itself is particularly simple: the app identifies your Google account and uses it for you to login on other devices, which is particularly convenient and saves you the trouble of remembering yet another password.
In addition, MightyText also synchronizes your photos and videos – à la Dropbox — so you can access them straight from your browser. This feature is also particularly convenient when you want to send a picture you took to your friends, as you don’t even have to touch your phone to do so. The app can even apply filters to the pictures you send, so your MMS messages are Instagram-style!
If you’re the hardcore texting person, MightyText’s PowerView is just what you need, as it lets you chat with 6 people at once — check out the screenshot below to see what it looks like. For discreet people, MightyText has a GMail extension, which is designed in the same fashion as Google Hangouts. This way, your text messages are displayed exactly like chats, making it very easy to follow.
Lastly, MightyText has a lot of extra features, such as missed call and low battery notifications and it even integrates with Google Chrome’s notification system. This way, you can see notifications without even having the website open. MightyText also has a native Android tablet app and an iPad one is being developed, so texting from your tab can be even more convenient than using your browser. Oh and the best of all? MightyText is completely free!
Browser Texting offers a lighter experience and interface than MightyText, with three various themes you can pick from. The application doesn’t require any signup: you simply open the website, scan a QR code using your phone and you are ready to go. I personally find this process simple, but somehow inconvenient when in public areas or at work.
Thankfully, the application also has its own Chrome extension, which allows you to text from any webpage. The interface is fairly simple, as your conversations are organized in tabs and a contacts panel always stays on the right, so you can easily start a new conversation.
Unfortunately, Browser Texting doesn’t let you send MMS messages at all, and incoming ones are not supported in all browsers, which I find to be particularly annoying, as any browser can display an image! The app also lacks notifications for incoming calls and the phone’s battery level, but does alert you with a chime when you receive a new message — the tone, however, is not customizable.
Another major limitation with Browser Texting is its inability to open more than 3 parallel sessions. While this may not seem like a problem at first, a session on your tablet, another one on your home computer and a last connection from the office PC will bring you to the app’s limit sooner than you realize, forcing you to unpair the device from a browser. The application itself can be tried for free, but further usage will cost you about $10 if you’d like to keep your outgoing messages free of commercial messages.
BrowserTexting’s interface is very simple, and the contact list is alway handy, should you need to write a new message.
MySMS has one of the nicest interfaces for a remote texting application, even though it looks somehow similar to MightyText. MySMS also has a dedicated Tablet application, but the main difference with this app is that it actually replaces the default SMS application on your phone. This means that you’ll have to use MySMS to send your messages instead of your favorite one — I personally use Facebook Messenger, because I find the chat heads to be particularly convenient. Don’t worry though, My SMS has a handful of gorgeous themes available, so you should actually enjoy using it.
In addition to being an SMS manager, MySMS is actually a dual application: It works like iMessage, as it will send a regular SMS to your contacts, but a free message if the person uses MySMS, no matter if you’re texting from your computer, tablet or phone. This feature is particularly convenient in comparison to other similar applications, such as WhatsApp, which won’t let you text from you computer or tablet — even though Viber now has a desktop client too. MySMS even integrates with Evernote, so you can backup your messages or make reminders out of them. The application is free to use, but also comes with a Pro subscription, if you’d like to get more out of it.
My SMS offers a very intuitive and pleasant interface
If you’re only looking for a simple yet nice interface, go for FoneLink. The user experience is extremely straightforward, with no additional buttons or icons. In fact, the screens are so simplified that there aren’t even any contact pictures and MMS capabilities within the app, which make it look particularly empty — I’m sure contact pictures would have looked great next to the contacts’ names on the left tabs. A feature I particularly like is the built-in search system, which allows you to search throughout your SMS conversations, in case you’re looking for something specific. The app’s login system is defined on the phone and works as a standard credential for the site. FoneLink is free to use, but doesn’t have a Pro version in case you wanted less simplicity.
Fonelink’s interface is very simple, and a bit too minimalistic.
If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t particularly care about the looks, then KeyApt’s hideous interface may be OK for you. The tradeoff to such an unpleasant look is the app’s “encrypted” SMS, which supposedly secures your messages — I’m not sure whether sensitive data should be exchanged using this kind of app, but in case you do, your data is hard to access.
Conversations are tabbed, like BrowserTexting, and clicking a number will have your phone automatically dial it. Also, if you search for a contact, KeyApt will display the last SMS you exchanged with that person, which can be quite handy. Connecting the web application to your phone is somehow awkward, as you have to type in a pairing code displayed on your phone. If someone sees that code, they can easily access your data, so you might want to be careful about that! Regarding the price, the app is currently offered as a “Free “trial”, but should soon become a paid app, so you might want to give it a try before it does.
Keyapt’s interface is definitely not its strong suit
You’re now all set to text straight from any machine connected to the Internet, as long as your phone is online too. The advantages are many: you can text more discreetly from the office, type faster and check messages even if your phone is not next to you. I also particularly like to use such apps to copy one time passwords I receive, which saves me the hassle of leaving my computer to fetch my phone!