You don't switch away from your PC to your smartphone to reply to an email or an instant message, so why should a simple SMS message be any different? Thankfully, if you have an Android device, you can continue using your PC (and its full-size spacious keyboard) to read and send text messages. Our choice for this task: MightyText.
Platform: Android, Web, Chrome Price: Free ($4.99/month Pro) Download Page
- Syncs SMS and MMS on Android phone and Web
- Stores messages up to six months for free (forever for Pro users)
- Syncs contacts from phone
- Syncs photos and videos from your phone's gallery, with editing and filters
- Add media from preloaded gallery of popular GIFs, videos, memes, emojis and quotes
- Favourite texts
- Default list view, grid-based power view for multiple conversations
- Battery indicator
- Notifications for incoming calls
- Dial a number from the web (needs phone to talk)
- Ring your phone to find it
- Chrome extension to send messages from Gmail and Facebook chat windows
- Schedule text messages to send later (pro only)
- Save message templates (pro only)
- Create contact lists for easy group messages (pro only)
- Send messages to 25 people at a time (pro only)
- Add signatures (pro only)
- Block certain numbers from syncing with MightyText (pro only)
- 11 additional themes (pro only)
Where It Excels
Of all the different PC text messaging solutions for Android, MightyText is the easiest to use. Install it on your Android, sign into Gmail, fire up the web app and you are ready to go. The app hooks you with the "it just works" charm and then unloads some handy extra features to keep you happy. The big seller is how effortlessly it syncs your text messages, whether you are connected on Wi-Fi or using a data plan. The Power View makes it easy to carry out multiple text conversations simultaneously. Plus, if you use the Chrome extension, it will give you pop-ups when you are in your Gmail or Facebook tabs, much like how an incoming chat message looks in those windows. And you can compose new messages too. The Pro version ($39.99/year or $US4.99/month) takes it up a notch with the ability to schedule messages and save templates — both useful features that are worth the money if you text a lot.
Where It Falls Short
Search. That's the biggie missing in MightyText and there doesn't seem to be a good explanation why you can't search through all your text messages, even though they are right there. It's not even available in the Pro version. The preloaded gallery of GIFs, videos and more is limited, doesn't have great material, and there doesn't seem to be a way to add your own to it. MightyText also has some issues with MMS on Android phones that aren't using the stock messaging app, so if you are using a text messaging replacement for Android, you may have to switch it off from "default" to solve the problem (at least according to the MightyText FAQ).
If searching through your text messages is important to you, then AirDroid — which is a complete Android-to-PC control solution (not just texting) — is your best option. One of the main features of remote controlling your Android through the web is robust text messaging support, as it indexes all your messages and carries out quick searches. However, MMS support on AirDroid is weak in both sending and receiving files, especially if you are messaging to a non-Android phone. In our tests, MMS messages sent to an iPhone and a BlackBerry didn't go through at all, and the BlackBerry's MMS didn't come through either.
A popular second option is DeskSMS, but there doesn't seem to be much reason to consider it, especially considering it requires an annual $5 subscription. Both MightyText and AirDroid are better options, but it does have one thing going for it: integration with Google Talk/Hangouts. Plus, it has a nifty tablet app called TabletSMS that basically lets you handle text messages on an Android tablet.
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