Phone Providers are making lots of cash from SMS, the Short Messaging Service. It's interesting in my opinion that they charge that much for such a small data transfer. A new trend that they probably do not like that much is the addition of new technologies that create free or low cost connections on the Internet because those connections can be used to send text messages for free.
It's just a matter of finding the right service that is compatible to the mobile phone. In the case of the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch the My Digital Life website posted a nice trick. Users can grab the AIM client for their clients and install it on the device. Then it's merely a question of adding phone numbers as clients in iChat or any other instant messaging client on the phone. To be precise the account name will be the complete phone number of the contact including country and area codes. A valid phone number would be +123456789 for example. The + sign has to stand at the beginning.
Now start the AIM client software and send the new contact a message. He will receive it as an SMS. His reply on the other hand will land directly in the AIM client software.
The benefit of this method is obviously that it is completely free if the Internet connection is free. Do you know other ways to send free SMS with the iPhone, iPod Touch or other mobile devices?
Update: Applications like What's App recently have put the pressure back on. They allow you to message people who are also running the app without having to pay each time you write a message. While you need an Internet connection instead, it is certainly a lot cheaper than sending SMS.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.