Everyone is using text messaging these days, and now you can use your MailBug to send and receive text messages too!
Most major wireless mobile carriers in the US offer a service (called a “gateway”) that allow email messages to be sent to a mobile cellphone as an SMS text message. Since SMS text messages are limited to 160 characters, longer email messages will be broken up and sent as several text messages. In the other direction, sending SMS text messages from a mobile cellphone to an email address can be typically be done by just entering the email address.
To use an email-to-text gateway, you simply send an email message and address it using the mobile phone number where you want the text message to be received. You must append the appropriate domain (the part of the email address after the “@” character) for that person’s mobile service provider. If the text recipient replies to your text message, you’ll receive that reply as an email on your MailBug. This means that your MailBug is also a text messaging machine! This can help connect MailBug users with younger family members who use texting on their mobile phones as their primary means of staying in touch.
To use these email-to-text gateways, you need to know what mobile phone service is being used by the person with whom you wish to exchange text messages. Most major mobile phone providers include these options for free as part of their service plans. Below are some email-to-text gateway addresses for major wireless carriers. If the cellular carrier you need is not on the list, then ask your provider for the appropriate domain to use for their email-to-text gateway.
How to Send a Text Message
Here are the formats used by the major wireless carriers:
- AT&T: email@example.com
- Verizon: firstname.lastname@example.org
- T-Mobile: email@example.com
- Sprint: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alltel: email@example.com
- Boost Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cricket: email@example.com
- US Cellular: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Virgin Mobile” email@example.com
- MetroPCS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: the number must not have any spaces, hyphens, or other characters, and must be exactly 10 digits in length (do not include a “1” as a prefix).
To make this really easy to remember, just create an entry in your MailBug’s email address book for those people with whom you wish to exchange text messages.
Say you want to send text messages to your granddaughter Jennifer who uses AT&T as her mobile service provider, and her mobile number is: 1-555-987-6543. Then you would create an entry in your MailBug’s email address book that looks something like this:
Name: Jennifer (text) Email address: email@example.com
Make sure to save your new address book entry.
Now when you want to send a text message to Jennifer’s mobile phone, just select her name from your MailBug’s email address book, and the above email address will be automatically entered into the To: field on your MailBug’s compose screen. This way you don’t have to remember it each time.
When your message is done and ready to be sent, press the SEND button in order to queue the message for sending. You can force the outgoing email to be sent immediately by holding down the CTRL key on the keyboard, and pressing blue button beneath CONNECT on the screen. This will force MailBug to dial and sent your email. Your message will get sent to Jennifer’s mobile phone as a text message. Jennifer can reply to your text message and you’ll receive it on your MailBug as an email. To manually check for a reply (after a few minutes), simply repeat the same key sequence to force MailBug to connect again and check for new incoming email.
Now it’s easy to exchange text messages with your whole family!