While recently traveling to visit a friend across country, I realized that while I was armed with reliable Wi-Fi thanks to in-flight Wi-Fi and I could email and IM friends, I was still without one critical component of my daily communication habit: I did not have access to SMS. This is a situation common to not only those flying, as SMS depends on cell phone reception, which can be unavailable in any number of situations. For those who rely on SMS — or are just addicted like myself — there are a number of ways to still use SMS on your computer with an Internet connection.
One of the easiest solutions to setting up SMS on your desktop is by using Google Voice. Users of Google Voice can use the Google Voice dashboard to send an SMS message to either a single recipient, or up to five recipients at one time. Google Voice users can also receive texts back right to the Google Voice dashboard, though they will be identified with a different phone number using a (406) or (972) area code. Google Voice users can also forward texts to email, which can be useful for desktop users who are more likely to see an email notification before they check their Google Voice account. This feature, like all other features of Google Voice (except for calls outside the United States or Canada) is free.
For those who are not keen on using Google Voice to use SMS on a computer, other options exist for forwarding SMS messages to the desktop, from a phone. DesktopSMS is one of the best-developed apps that performs this functionality, though it requires a jailbroken iPhone, which may not be ideal for many average SMS users. (A version is available for Android users that does not require users to root their phones.) With DesktopSMS, texts from your phone number are forwarded to either the desktop Web browser, Gmail, Or Google Talk. You can also use the app to send texts back. If you have a jailbroken iPhone or an Android device, this app is actually pretty easy to use; just install the app on your phone, open the app, and log in with the username and API from the notifo.com Web site.
Do you use SMS from your desktop? What are your favorite apps or programs to send and receive SMS? Let us know in the comments.