Text messaging

Updated: 04/30/2020 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as SMS messaging, text messaging is sending a digital note that is received on cell phones or other portable devices.

How do I send a text message?

Text messages are sent and received using a cell phone or smartphone using a messaging app. Today, all smartphones come pre-installed with a messaging app. On iPhones, the Messages app is used to send and receive text messages. On Android phones, the messaging app may use an app also called Messages or a messaging app developed by the phone manufacturer.


It's also possible to send a text message from a computer or e-mail to a phone. See: How to send free text or SMS messages online or from a computer.

How much does it cost?

Depending on the service provider, there may be an additional fee for text messaging. However, most mobile service providers include it in the majority of their plans. If included, make sure it is either unlimited or that it provides you with enough messages each month. If your plan has a set limit of messages and you exceed that limit, you'll be charged an additional fee for each additional message sent.


You can avoid service provider charges using an alternative messaging platform like Facebook Messenger while connected to Wi-Fi. If you're not connected to Wi-Fi, you'll be using your phone's data plan when using any Internet service.

When was the first text message sent?

The first SMS message was sent by Neil Papworth on December 3rd of 1992. The 22-year-old engineer used his personal computer to send "Merry Christmas" via the Vodafone network to the phone of Richard Jarvis.

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