iPhone, Text Messages, and “The Power”

By Aaron

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According to demographics, I am too old to “get” SMS txting. That’s OK. I actually don’t want to get it. In fact, not having an SMS option is a compelling reason for me to want an iPhone. Why? There are few reasons.

First, text messaging is a lot like email. Actually, text messaging essentially is email with restrictions and extra cost. If I’m already paying for the bandwidth, I shouldn’t have to pay more for small text challenged emails to my BFF. In fact,  you can easily go to most cellular websites and send your BFF a txt:

Secondly, one of the taglines for the iPhone is that you have “the power of the internet in your pocket.” Having the power of the internet in your pocket automatically makes SMS Text messages obsolete. I mean, you can watch youtube videos with no additional bandwidth cost, but txting costs extra? At least the data plan is unlimited. But with the new iPhone 3G plans, I’m not sure if AT&T gets it because they continue to charge extra for SMS text messages (like it’s worth extra). Yet maybe they do get it because SMS is optional. Either way, I am still perplexed with an article from AppleInsider recommending you play it safe and get the 200 sms text messages for $5 more per month. Let’s consider some alternatives:

  • You can use Safari on the iPhone to go to each of the above sites and send an SMS text to whomever you want. Additional cost to you: $0.
  • Send an email. It’s not all that different.
  • You can use instant messaging instead. There’s the new Gtalk web-app which is nicely suited for the iPhone, or you can use meebo.com and get all your instant messaging clients included in a one stop web-app.

Google Talk on the iPhone

  • You can use twitter and tweet from your iPhone instead of txt.

Twitter on the iPhone

Consider for a moment that these web-apps (and sites) are available right now (no new iPhone required). Come July 11th, when the app-store is also goes live, all of these applications (or similar ones) might be found on the app-store as native iPhone applications. The added bonus is with an iPhone 2.0 app, information can now be pushed to the phone. This means you can be interrupted with any number of application messages, just like text messages except without the additional monthly costs. Of course, iPod Touch owners are not left out with these web-apps either. All you need is some Wi-fi.

As the iPhone makes good on its promise to bring the power of the internet in your pocket and as competitors follow, text messages will become increasingly irrelevant. Kind of like that thing you did when you were young because it was cool and everyone else was doing it and then one day you were like “this is so immature”. It’s all part of growing up.

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