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Old 10-22-2017, 02:06 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Desperate text message help; have Internet but minimal cell service. Need answer fast.

Mrs. Devil is in the hospital in dire circumstances. I am two hours away with the Devilling; her folks are an hour away. They are putting a tube down her throat so she won’t be able to talk — text only.

Our house has spotty cell/data signal at best. Text messages often get hung up waiting to send (failing multiple times and so I need to resend) and messages sent to me can arrive a while after someone sent them.

I have a good wifi network here, so have access to the Internet. I do not have any aftermarket messaging apps or social media apps on the phone (no Facebook, Twitter, etc.). I have a basic Google account (needed to set up the phone, subscribe to YouTube channels, etc.), but I’ve only accessed it on my desktop. I don’t know what Google Voice or Hangouts is, but assume they’re available. I can install apps on my phone if it'll help (paid or free).

Her phone has talk and text but no data plan (so multimedia texts can’t get through, so she can’t do group messaging (when I put multiple recipients into my phone it automatically converts it into a multimedia message).

I think she can technically connect to the Internet on her phone via wifi, but she’s never done that before and now is not the time to tell her to figure it out. She is not in a position to install any new apps. She too has no aftermarket Facebook or other social media apps. She does not even have a Facebook account.

Please bear with me; we rarely use our cell phones so are clueless as to text messaging and other modern features.

Is there a way I can get send/receive text messages over the Internet instead of Cell towers? I believe I can send an email to her phone number@tmomail.net. Would her replies be sent to my inbox? Any easier way to make it portable (It's absurdly cumbersome to connect to email on my phone).

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2017, 02:15 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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Which cell service do you have? Some providers have a 'micro cell' device which is like a mini cell tower that connects to your router. Your phone doesn't know the difference, but everything flows over the internet. We got one free from ATT because service at our house was terrible and we were about to cancel.

Google Voice does allow you to send text over the internet. You have to install the app on your phone and the phone has to have internet access--either through cell or wifi. You also have to have a Google Voice phone number. Once it's setup, then you use the Google Voice app for texting. People can text to your GV number and it will go to the GV app.
  #3  
Old 10-22-2017, 02:23 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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MySMS lets you send and receive texts from your web browser. It's a browser extension for Chrome and you can set it up so if she texts your cell phone number, it will show up on your computer. The only drawback is that you'll need to keep your computer on (and not let it sleep).

Here's a link. See if that's workable for you.
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 10-22-2017 at 02:23 PM.
  #4  
Old 10-22-2017, 02:25 PM
whitetho whitetho is online now
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I have installed, and used for the past three years, the TextFree Voice wifi app on my Android tablet. It assigns you a free telephone number, and sending and receiving texts are also free. (Voice calls cost 10 cents a minute.)
  #5  
Old 10-22-2017, 02:39 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Thanks. We're on T-mobile with two different prepaid plans. Mine is $3 for a day of text/talk/data. Super expensive if I were to connect every day, but since I normally only use it a few times a month, my cell bill can be under a hundred per year.

She's on a prepaid plan too, but her's has unlimited talk and text throughout the month (but no data). I'm on T-Mobile right now and am going to change her to a $50 unlimited talk/text with 10GB of data (not that she'll use a lot, but at least we'll get over the multimedia message problem).

Going to set up a Google Voice phone number and put the app on my phone. As I understand you, she and others will be able to text to that GV number and as long as I have the app installed and a WiFi connection, I'll have no problems sending/receiving texts (even picture texts?).
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2017, 02:45 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
MySMS lets you send and receive texts from your web browser. It's a browser extension for Chrome and you can set it up so if she texts your cell phone number, it will show up on your computer. The only drawback is that you'll need to keep your computer on (and not let it sleep).

Here's a link. See if that's workable for you.
Can that work on the Chrome browser for Android? Last I tried (years ago) the Android browser didn't have add-ons.
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2017, 02:46 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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*You* don't need to have the GV app. Only she needs it on her phone. Everyone else can treat her GV phone number as a normal cell number and text and MMS as usual. But the advantage of you using the GV app is that it sends texts/MMS over your internet connection, which may be cheaper if your phone is connected to wifi.

Here's T-Mobile's personal cell station: https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-24269. Availability depends on your service level:
Quote:
T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot is available to current postpaid and simple choice customers. Prepaid customers cannot currently request a 4G LTE CellSpot.

Last edited by filmore; 10-22-2017 at 02:46 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-22-2017, 03:44 PM
jasg jasg is offline
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Try GoogleVoice - has both web and app support with free texting and calls.
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2017, 04:05 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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Another option is to switch providers. If T-Mobile is bad at your house, another provider may be excellent. The various pre-paid phones you see at the store piggyback on other providers. If you can find out which provider has better coverage at your house, you can get a phone which will work more reliably without going through these hoops.
  #10  
Old 10-22-2017, 04:20 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Doesn’t T Mobiles WiFi calling work with texts, too? I have T Mobile and I know it works with WiFi calls, and it seems it should work with text, too. It’s a setting. For me, on iPhone, it’s under Settibgs>Cellular>WiFi Calling>On.
  #11  
Old 10-22-2017, 04:29 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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I have WiFi calling on, but texts act funny nonetheless.

I changed her to a data plan, so that should take care of her multimedia issue. I don't know if her phone has data turned off in settings right now. She's out of commission for a while so I can't have her check; will hopefully get to visit soon and can experiment with both phones then.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2017, 05:01 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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No idea on the tech question, but big internet Hug. Hope it works out for you and Mrs Devil!
  #13  
Old 10-22-2017, 05:24 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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You can send a text message by email. If you're sending to a T-Mobile phone, compose an email like this:

TO: [phone number]@tmomail.net

then the text you want to send. It will be received as a text message. Not sure if any response will go to your email address (the email address from which the message was sent). Try it with someone other than your wife, it might work.
  #14  
Old 10-22-2017, 05:38 PM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
Thanks. We're on T-mobile with two different prepaid plans. Mine is $3 for a day of text/talk/data. Super expensive if I were to connect every day, but since I normally only use it a few times a month, my cell bill can be under a hundred per year.
I do have an answer for you, since you're on T-Mobile and I used to work there. You can use your email address to send a text message to anyone on T-Mo by using as the email address [phone number with no dashes or spaces]@tmomail.net and that will send it as an SMS to her phone.

ETA: teach me not to read the whole thread!

Last edited by SmartAleq; 10-22-2017 at 05:39 PM.
  #15  
Old 10-22-2017, 06:23 PM
bob++ bob++ is offline
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When I read the heading "Desperate text message help; have Internet but minimal cell service. Need answer fast." I assumed it was about a common scam where you get a call from someone you might know, desperately needing cash.
  #16  
Old 10-22-2017, 07:35 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
Can that work on the Chrome browser for Android? Last I tried (years ago) the Android browser didn't have add-ons.
Not the browser (I thought you were using a PC), but there are apps in the Google Play store for Android.
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  #17  
Old 10-22-2017, 07:59 PM
Iggy Iggy is offline
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If you both have stable~ish internet but spotty cell coverage then Whatsapp might work for you. Would need to set that up on both ends. Free messages, either text only or you could send voice clips, if sent over WiFi/internet. Would use data if send over cell.

There is a web version of Whatsapp which would let you text from your computer if that is more convenient than using your cell and that would definitely go out over internet. For the web interface to work your phone must also stay connected, either via WiFi or I suppose cell. Setting up web interface required a one time procedure of taking a photo of one of those weird barcodes to link my cell to this laptop.

Whatsapp works for me and I really have no idea how but it added contacts from my email /cell address book.
  #18  
Old 10-22-2017, 09:20 PM
hajario hajario is online now
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I agree that Whatsapp is a very good solution. It's easy to install and works just like regular texting.
  #19  
Old 10-22-2017, 10:59 PM
griffin1977 griffin1977 is offline
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Skype can send SMS text messages from the Skype phone or desktop app over the internet to a regular phone (without data or internet). You will need a paid account, but it is cheap.

Last edited by griffin1977; 10-22-2017 at 10:59 PM.
  #20  
Old 10-23-2017, 12:42 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
Which cell service do you have? Some providers have a 'micro cell' device which is like a mini cell tower that connects to your router. Your phone doesn't know the difference, but everything flows over the internet. We got one free from ATT because service at our house was terrible and we were about to cancel.
T-Mobile will give you a free signal booster ($25 deposit required) on request. I ordered one for my in-laws and it works brilliantly. However, I'm not sure that you can just pick them up at retail outlets; I think they have to be delivered.
  #21  
Old 10-23-2017, 01:12 PM
GiantRat GiantRat is offline
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I often find myself working in SCIFs (that's Secured Classified Information Facility, for the uninitiated). No phones allowed. Unfortunately, my other self teaches in the evenings and I have a gaggle of students who live and breathe by text. I'm not sure about T-Mobile, but with Verizon Wireless, I'm able to text via web interface by logging into my account through the unclassified system on my desk (personal email is blocked, but text seems to have snuck in under the wire). Works pretty well, in my experience.

That's the only nice thing I'll ever say about Verizon.
  #22  
Old 10-24-2017, 12:10 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
MySMS lets you send and receive texts from your web browser. It's a browser extension for Chrome and you can set it up so if she texts your cell phone number, it will show up on your computer. The only drawback is that you'll need to keep your computer on (and not let it sleep).

Here's a link. See if that's workable for you.
This uses an app on your phone that communicates your text messages back and forth over the Internet. If you do not have good cell coverage (as stated in the OP) it will not help. (I use MightyText which is basically the same thing.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hajario View Post
I agree that Whatsapp is a very good solution. It's easy to install and works just like regular texting.
Both users have to use Whatsapp. So it won't work for Mrs. Devil who does not have a data plan, and as stated in the OP this is not the time for her to deal with a new app.
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  #23  
Old 10-24-2017, 07:33 PM
hajario hajario is online now
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
This uses an app on your phone that communicates your text messages back and forth over the Internet. If you do not have good cell coverage (as stated in the OP) it will not help. (I use MightyText which is basically the same thing.)

Both users have to use Whatsapp. So it won't work for Mrs. Devil who does not have a data plan, and as stated in the OP this is not the time for her to deal with a new app.
But it works over WiFi which she will have where she is.
  #24  
Old 10-25-2017, 09:34 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hajario View Post
But it works over WiFi which she will have where she is.
Please read the OP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
I think she can technically connect to the Internet on her phone via wifi, but she’s never done that before and now is not the time to tell her to figure it out.
  #25  
Old 10-25-2017, 10:10 AM
x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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Maybe this app?:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ree.call&hl=en

Quote:
Text Free: WiFi Calling App

,,,

Textfree is the free calling and free SMS app that gives you a real US phone number so you can send text anyone, even if they don’t have the app. Keep in touch with features such as free SMS messaging, group messaging, free MMS picture messaging, international texting & calling, voicemail and more—all for free.

CUSTOM NUMBER SELECTOR – Choose your area code and search memorable numbers like, “(555) 414-SARA,” simple sequences like “(555) 500-2525,” or combinations that are, “JUST4U.”

UNLIMITED TEXTS & PICTURES - Send unlimited SMS and MMS picture messages for free.
Not sure how much purchase price of the app is, though. But free texts through wi-fi and your wife doesn't need to download anything, just you.

Last edited by x-ray vision; 10-25-2017 at 10:14 AM.
  #26  
Old 10-25-2017, 10:24 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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It's free. There are in-app purchases like custom phone numbers. But really, you should read the OP.
  #27  
Old 10-25-2017, 10:36 AM
x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
But really, you should read the OP.
Why don't you just tell me what I missed?
  #28  
Old 10-25-2017, 11:52 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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It's right after the bit quoted by CookingWithGas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
She is not in a position to install any new apps.
  #29  
Old 10-25-2017, 11:57 AM
x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
It's right after the bit quoted by CookingWithGas.
Quote:
She is not in a position to install any new apps.
I wrote this in my post: "and your wife doesn't need to download anything, just you."


Which I got from the description which I quoted in post 25:

Quote:
so you can send text anyone, even if they don’t have the app.
  #30  
Old 10-25-2017, 12:04 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Perhaps I really needed to read your post. Mea culpa.
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