Archive for the 'SMS fun' Category

Get info with 4INFO

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

If you're an information junkie, you can get your fix with your mobile phone and 4INFO. This free service uses SMS text messages to bring you the latest and greatest from whatever you're interested in. Since it uses the humble text message format, you don't need a "smart phone" to use it (does that mean you can use a "dumb phone?"). You can check airline flight status information, posts on Craigslist, weather information, or even program listings from TV Guide.

All you need to do is to register with 4INFO at their website–they do need your phone number, after all–and go from there. Sign up for alerts to be sent to you, or with some services like the TV listings, you can send a text message from your phone and get an answer in real time telling you when and where you can catch the next episode of "Dancing With Whoever We're Dancing With".

4INFO is a free service. As with all text messaging services, you are responsible for your provider's fees.

High-tech babies

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

If you, or somebody you care about, are "in a family way", then you know there are dozens (thousands?) of details to be concerned about. Nutrition, immunizations, prenatal care, car seats–the list goes on and on. One way to try to stay on top of it all is to subscribe to SMS text messages from They'll send you three messages a week until your baby is a year old. You can also subscribe by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411.

This service is a joint effort between Uncle Sam and CTIA (a wireless provider trade group). All of the text messages are supposed to be sent free of charge (check with your carrier if in doubt). While this service is no substitute for visits to doctors and consulting with other providers, it is an easy way to get information out where it can do the most good, and since most folks have a cell phone, this seems like a perfect way to spread the word.

Be sure to take care of yourself and your baby, and remember that one of the best things you can do is to quit smoking. End of sermon.

Find cheap(er) gas

Friday, April 30th, 2010

While prices vary from place to place, we can probably all agree that we pay too much for gas. If you work at home, that's not such a big deal, but if you live in the outer suburbs or a rural area and have a long commute into work, that can eat up a sizable chunk of your disposable income. You could drive around looking for the cheapest gas in town, but that burns up what you've already got, so that's probably not your best bet. Turns out you can get a good idea of what's going on, price-wise, in your neighborhood. is a fuel price search engine. Go to their site with your web browser, enter your city and state or a ZIP code, and they'll report back what they know about gas prices in your neighborhood. And if you're out and about, they've got mobile versions as well at GasBuddyToGo, or you can send an SMS text message to 368266 with the text "gasbuddy" and your city and state or ZIP code (like gasbuddy 90001). They'll send you back a list of prices in your area, so you'll save a few bucks when it's time to fill up.

Send a text message without a mobile phone

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Text messages are a handy way to communicate. Use just a few characters to pass along tons of meaning. Of course, to send an SMS message, you need to have a cell phone. And you need to have it with you. Right now. And depending on your service plan, it may cost you a bit to send that message along. is a free service that addresses all of these issues. With this service, you can send a text message to just about any cell phone out there, but you don't need to use your phone–or pay your money–to make it happen. Go to their site, plug in the phone number and carrier of the phone you're sending to, enter your message, and send it. You don't need to sign up, so it's super easy to send your message.

SMS Text Message reminders on your phone

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Got a birthday to remember? How about an important meeting? Sure, you can set reminders in Outlook or other apps on your computer, but that's no good to you if you aren't sitting in front of your machine. What would be great is to have those reminders come to you on the one piece of technology you are never without: your cell phone. is a free service that sends reminders to your wireless phone via SMS text message. Go to their site, sign up for a free account, and start reminding yourself. Birthdays, anniversaries, meetings–they're all fair game. And you can have reminders sent to your phone, or send them via email, or even have them posted to your Twitter account. No, you probably don't want "send a card to Mom" out there in front of the whole world, but you may have some other important "tweet' you want to have hit some time in the future.

While is a free service, remember that you may incur charges for text messages that you receive, depending on your carrier.

Send tweets with TwitterFone

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

It seems like just about everybody is on Twitter. That's both good and bad: you can keep up with your favorite celebrities, but that also means that there are those poor souls who literally do just answer the question "What are you doing?" So how do you keep everybody up-to-date on your latest activities and opinions? Sure you can post on Twitter's site, or you can use a third-party tool to tweet. How about your phone?

TwitterFone is a service that lets you call up and speak your message. The magic TwitterFone machine takes your message and translates if from speech to text, and then posts it to Twitter for you. You can also listen to your Twitter stream as well.

TwitterFone is still under development, and is currently in beta. In order to join this service, you have to get an invitation from them. Submit your request on the site, and then just sit back and wait for the secret sign-up code to come your way. No decoder ring necessary.

Weather Channel forecast via SMS text message

Friday, July 31st, 2009

So what's the weather going to be like today? Sunny or cloudy; windy or calm; cool or warm? You can ask the folks at The Weather Channel to keep you updated on the latest forecast.

All you need to do to get the current forecast is to text your ZIP Code or city name and two-letter state abbreviation to 42278 (4CAST), and they'll shoot back their 36-hour forecast for your area. That means, for example, that you'll get info for today, tonight, and tomorrow as well.

If you're interested in a longer-term commitment, you can also subscribe to their forecasts. This time you'll need to text SUB + FCST + your ZIP Code (something like SUB FCST 90028) to 42278. They'll get back to you everyday for a month, letting you know whether to bring an umbrella or sunscreen.

These Weather Channel forecasts are a free service. As they say on TV, standard text messaging rates apply.

Send email to mobile phone

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The ability to send an SMS text message to a mobile phone is a rather helpful thing. If your message is short and you don't need a quick response, you can get the word out in short order and go about your business. That's all well and good if you happen to have your cell phone handy. If not, then it becomes much more challenging. Did you know that most cell phones can receive email as well? All of a sudden, your options have increased.

The only challenge here is that while it's easy to send a text message–you just send it to your recipient's phone number–where do you address the email? That's not nearly so obvious.

A recent post on can help you with that. If you know your recipient's carrier and their cell number, you can send 'em a message. The site lists gateways for domestic use (major US carriers), as well as many foreign carriers. Your mileage may vary, of course, and undoubtedly your normal text messaging rates will apply.

“Booty Caller” ovulation alerts via text message

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Everybody's experience of pregnancy is different. Some folks just cruise through it, while others have to struggle each step of the way. Easy birth, difficult birth. And even the challenges of getting it all started can be tricky. If "doing what comes naturally" doesn't seem to cut it, you can improve your chances of becoming pregnant by paying attention to your ovulation cycle. There is a limited window each month where conception is more likely. If you want to improve your chances, you may want to sign up for free ovulation alerts from BabyCenter.

Just enter your cell phone number into the form on the BabyCenter's Booty Caller page, and you'll get text message reminders when you're at the point in your cycle where you're most likely to conceive. So now when your phone rings, you can tell everybody that you really need to take this call.

Booty Caller is a free service, but your standard text messaging rates will apply.

Remind yourself with Kwiry

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

You're out running around and you find a new book / restaurant / movie, but you don't have a pen and paper to write it down. By the time you get home, you've forgotten what it was, and you know you'll never get it back. Too bad you didn't know about Kwiry.

Kwiry (pronounced "query") is a free service that helps you to remind yourself. Once you've got your free account set up, when you run across something of note, all you need to do is to send a text message to 59479 (k-w-i-r-y) and you're good. Kwiry will send your text to you via email, so the next time you're at your computer, your reminder will be there for you. No more lost opportunity.

Kwiry is a free service, but your standard text messaging rates will apply.