SMS-to-Computer Android App Review.

Overview

I hate typing on my smartphone. It isn’t that I’m miserably slow at it, it is just that I know how much faster I can accomplish the same task from a PC – and I almost always am within arms reach of my laptop.

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Image via CrunchBase

I’ve been using MightyText for forever (that being, since they were founded) and it has served me greatly, but recently I’ve felt some yearnings to explore greener pastures. So I did a search and looked at a number of different options besides MightyText: DeskSMS (which has been proclaimed better than MightyText by some, but I disagree), mysms (which appears to be an excellent competitor), CrossTxt (which isn’t impressive, but may be succeeded by CloudText which looks interesting), web SMS Sync (which I couldn’t get working), Talk2Phone (which thinks it is better than MightyText, I disagree), MobiTexter (lacks distinguishing features from competition), Keyapt SMS, FastText, and txty.mobi.

In the end, I’ve decided to stick with MightyText for the time being, though I’d like to try CloudText when it becomes available and might retry web SMS Sync if I can get it working. All that research for nothing! Well, hopefully not. Hopefully this post helps you choose the best SMS-to-PC application for your needs and also helps MightyText add a few greatly needed features the competition is ahead of them on. Namely:

  • Ability to backup/archive SMS messages permanently (e.g. to Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync) – DeskSMS, mysms, web SMS Sync
  • Mark messages read in browser as read on phone – web SMS Sync
  • Delete messages deleted in browser on phone – web SMS Sync

Did I miss any features MightyText needs? Are there any other competitors out there I should be considering?

MightyText

Developer: mightytext
Price: Free
Website: http://www.mightytext.net/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.texty.sms

I’ve been using this product since its early, early beta days and it has developed leaps and bounds to the present – and I hope will continue to do so. The reason for this post was that I am looking for better alternatives – if they exist.

Here are some of the great features of MightyText:

  • Shows SMS messages and incoming calls on computer.
  • Shows phone’s battery level.
  • Uses phone’s contacts.
  • Incoming SMS can be answered immediately via pop-up window.

The feature that is missing that I really desire is the ability to backup my SMS conversations. Preferably, I’d like this to be through Google Drive – though it would probably make sense with other services such as Dropbox and SugarSync as well.

DeskSMS

Developer: Clockworkmod
Price: Free
Website: https://desksms.appspot.com/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.koushikdutta.desktopsms

This product has received accolades, but I was under-impressed:

  • The MightyText extension provides pop-up notifications when a new text message comes in.
  • One has to scroll around to answer text messages.
  • It archives to email text messages – but only those received, not those sent.
  • There is no help documentation for the application.

mysms

Developer: Up to Eleven
Price: Free
Website: http://www.mysms.com/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mysms.android.sms

I liked this product, it supports Android, iPhone, and Windows Phones as well as Windows, and Mac OS X native applications. It also has a browser-based interface. The one problem with the app is that it allows for saving SMS messages (incoming and outgoing) but only to Evernote, and I’m not a big fan of Evernote. I hope they will soon add Google Drive integration.

CrossTxtT

Developer: CloudTextPrice: Free
Website: http://www.crosstxt.com/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lozingo.crosstxt

Looks to be somewhat outdated, but they appear to be launching a new product CloudText which looks very appealing.

web SMS Sync

Developer: Rivet Solutions
Price: Free (for up to 500 “connects”)
Website: https://websmssync.com/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bechard.cloudsms

This solution looks pretty slick, and the pricing on additional connects isn’t horrible. Unfortunately, I was unable to test the application as each time I attempted to register via their Android app it failed.

Still, if they can resolve this issue features like the following are very appealing:

  • Backup of all messages.
  • Messages read in browser marked as read on phone.
  • Messages are deleted off phone when deleted via browser.
  • Supports reply-all.
  • Messages can self-destruct after being sent.

Talk2Phone

Developer: Mobile Notifications
Price: Free
Website: https://code.google.com/p/websmsdroid/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.notifier.talk2phone

This app boldly proclaims, “We think this is a pretty awesome app — even mightier than MightyText.” I did not find it as impressive. The free version includes the ability to locate one’s phone and a premium version for $1 offers some interesting extra features including ringing the phone, initiate a call, and perform other system settings config. Web user interface is definitely inferior to MightyText.

MobiTexter

Developer: MobiTexter
Price: Free
Website: http://www.mobitexter.net/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.mobitexter

Not a bad product. UI seems decent. But lacks anything to distinguish it from competition.

Keyapt SMS

Developer: Keyapt
Price: Free
Website: https://keyapt.com/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.keyapt.keyaptsms

The user interface scared me off from the start, as did the statement “free for now.”

Other Options

  • Noorzaini Ilhami’s FastText.
  • txty.mobi.
  • BrowserTexting – There is a free app, but there is also a premium version – this costs a one-time fee of $9.99.
  • SMSnetwork for Chrome – Website was down when I attempted to access (3/20/13).
  • SMS2PC – Requires a desktop app – Windows, Mac, and Linux clients are available. Costs $3.

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