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Send SMS on iPhone for free iOS devices
With AIM available in the iPhone's App Store, you can now send and receive SMS messages without paying for a plan or individual messages. Also, this will be even better when the notification service works on applications sometimes this fall.

First, download AIM onto your iPhone, then start it up. If you want to send a text message to (617) 555-1212, just send a new IM to +16175551212. You should receive a confirmation message from AOL saying your message has been sent, and the user can reply and you'll receive it on your phone as an IM. Hope this hint saves some people a few bucks.

[robg adds: We covered this technique for SMS via iChat a few years back, but I felt it worth mentioning again in the context of the iPhone.]
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Send SMS on iPhone for free | 8 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Send SMS on iPhone for free
Authored by: adrianm on Jul 21, '08 08:18:50AM

Doesn't seem to work for UK/O2 numbers.
Just comes back with an error that (phone number) can't receive offline messages.

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Send SMS on iPhone for free
Authored by: Puzo on Jul 21, '08 08:29:10AM

sms via aol is usa-only feature



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Send SMS on iPhone for free
Authored by: aegisdesign on Jul 21, '08 11:00:02AM

The +1 is just the country code for the USA. +44 is UK.

It won't work outside the USA though. The USA uses reverse charging where the recipient pays for the SMS unlike the rest of the world. This means IM to SMS is often free in the USA but not elsewhere where the IM service would get the bill for sending the SMS.



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Receive not free!?!
Authored by: gerti on Jul 21, '08 09:27:46AM

AFAIK receiving an SMS on the iPhone with AT&Ts plan in the US incurs a fee as well, so this method would only allow for free outbound SMS.



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Receive not free!?!
Authored by: pakkman781 on Jul 21, '08 10:24:56AM

No, see, you will receive the reply within AIM, as an IM. This method completely replaces the SMS app with AIM.

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Receive not free!?!
Authored by: milkmage on Jul 21, '08 05:34:50PM

haven't tried it, but it says the response will show up as an IM in the AOL client. How is ATT supposed to charge for an incoming SMS?



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Receive not free!?!
Authored by: ezpkns on Jul 22, '08 01:55:24PM
No, this tip it theoretically allows free inbound SMS messages, provided you stay logged into AIM long enough to receive your reply.

Where it all falls apart is if you log out of AIM for >5 minutes, or your phone goes to sleep, that reply is lost forever. Down a dark hole in the internet. The only thing worse than not getting an important reply is when the other party is certain that you did.

So, use with caution.

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Receive not free!?!
Authored by: jamito on Jul 28, '08 09:08:15AM

Yeah, I guess if you are waiting for a reply that takes a while to come back you'll have to keep the program "active" in order to receive it. I did make a point to say in the hint that it would be much better in the near future when Apple gets the push system working for the program, then AIM will stay logged in and you can receive the message regardless of having the program "active". At this point you could really fully replace SMS messages and use just AIM.



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