Tagged With text messaging

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Mac: If you've been using Messages for a while, you may not want to let your archived messages go when you move to a new Mac. iCloud should backup and restore a lot of it, but if that history goes back pretty far, it won't get it all. iMore shows you how to make sure it comes over to your new computer.

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The text message is far from dead, but smartphone apps that let you chat with others (whether via text, video or voice) without charging you for every single message are increasingly popular. We've rounded up five of the most popular choices.

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iOS (Jailbroken): One of the problems with iMessage is that the service doesn't automatically group your contact's different information together. So, if you get a message from an email address, it doesn't combine that with previous messages from a phone number. Merge is a jailbreak tweak that fixes this.

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iPhone (Jailbroken): If you hate responding to texts on your phone and would prefer to do it on the desktop, DeskSMS will let you answer your messages via any IM client that supports Google Chat (or you can just use GChat in your browser). It requires a jailbreak and you might run into some setup issues, but it's definitely worth the trouble.

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You're probably aware that your iPhone has a feature that displays previews of SMS text messages when they're received, and if you've ever received something private when you're not alone you know how embarrassing those previews can be. Fortunately there is a very simple way to disable them and keep people from accidentally seeing a conversation you'd rather keep to yourself.

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We've already shown you how to shutdown Windows via SMS with Outlook and how to do the same on a Mac using Mail.app, but a user on the Hak5 forums demonstrates how to setup a similar SMS shutdown using the venerable Thunderbird email client. The method requires the Mailbox Alert extension and a little configuration, but once you're done you can save some power with a quick text message next time you forget to shutdown your computer. The tutorial is Windows-specific, but I'm guessing you could mesh the Mail.app method with this one and accomplish the same thing for OS X. Remote Shutdown Via SMS

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US-centric: Health web site Diet.com's Nutrition on the Go service provides nutritional values for food items on popular restaurant menus via a simple text message. To use it, just text the name of the restaurant and the menu item you're looking for to DIET1 (34381)—for example, "mcdonalds southwest chicken salad." Diet.com will text you back with the nutritional values of your item, namely calories, fat, carbs, and protein. Granted, most restaurants (fast food, at least) should have that information available, but if you want a quick look-up in the drive-through or you don't want to be the one who makes employees blow the dust off the nutritional info, Nutrition on the Go seems like a service worth adding to your contacts. Nutrition on the Go - diet1 (34381)

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Blogger and remote-control enthusiast Tim Matheson, who previously showed us how to shut down Windows using a text message, posts a script and easy-to-follow guide for doing the same on a Mac. Everything needed for the hack comes included with OS X Leopard, except the cell phone, of course. Matheson suggests setting up a "super-secret" email address that you only use for shutdown messages, but there are other ways of remote-controlling a Mac using keywords. Hit the link to download a safe shutdown script, and post your own remote-control computing tricks in the comments. HowTo: Shutdown your Mac with a text message

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Windows with Outlook 2007 only: Send text messages in a dedicated Outlook interface with SMSOfficer, a free add-on for Outlook 2007. Once you finish the free sign-up and verification at SMSOfficer's site, you'll get a new menu item in Outlook, New->Text Message, where you can type in a phone number or contact and send a message of less than 160 characters (write more and it's split into multiple texts), with replies heading to your phone. You get 10 free texts, and additional credits can be purchased via PayPal—$US20 will get you 250 texts, with bulk discounts at higher volumes. Anyone with email access can send a text message by knowing the right carrier email addresses, but SMSOfficer strips out header text and is obviously convenient for Outlook acolytes. SMSOfficer is a free sign-up and download for Windows and Outlook 2007.

SMSOfficer

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Find and buy items from your cell phone with the new Amazon TextBuyIt feature. It works like this: Say you're out shopping and you see a book you want to buy. You figure you could save a few bucks getting it at Amazon, so you send a text message to 'AMAZON' (262966) with the title, author, or even the ISBN code of the book. Amazon sends a text back to you with search results. You pick the result that best matches your search, and an Amazon robot voice calls you with details and asks for purchase confirmation. The first time you try TextBuyIt, you'll have to link your phone with your account, but from there on Amazon wants to make it easy to find and buy products wherever you are—and hopefully you'll save some money, too. TextBuyIt is surprisingly easy to use, but if you give it a try, let's hear your thoughts in the comments.