Texting with Pingerby Amy Stanbrough
No matter if you love to text, hate it or fall somewhere in between, it's useful to be aware of Pinger. This free application can change how, when and where you send and receive messages. Pinger has a few fun features that many texting apps don't have, and you can use it for texting on an iPod Touch.
Nearly every cell phone comes with a texting application preinstalled. This native application knows that you and your phone number are -- according to the Internet -- one and the same. So when you send a text or photo to a friend and he or she replies, you receive it at the "address" that is really your phone number. Pinger cannot completely replace this native texting application. Although you can register your phone number with Pinger and receive texts to that number in the Pinger interface, you won't be able to send a text from your number through Pinger. This is because Pinger has its own network that must be accessed through an Internet or Wi-Fi connection. A message sent to your cell phone number uses your mobile carrier's network, so Pinger must retrieve it from them in order to deliver it to you. Pinger can't access your carrier's network to make a call or send a text from your number.
According to Terrence Sweeney of Pinger.com, any two people can send unlimited texts and make unlimited calls to one another anywhere in the world with the Pinger application. However, you will need to use the phone number Pinger assigns you when signing up to make calls and send texts. This phone number will be yours alone. If you want to use Pinger instead of a native texting application, you must instruct all of your contacts to use your Pinger number instead of your cell phone number. This might not be an issue if you don't use your phone for voice calls or if you only text on your iPod Touch.
Pinger is available for nearly every device and operating system. Versions for Mac and PC desktops and iOS and Android devices are downloadable from Google Play or the iTunes store. You can sync multiple devices through a single Pinger account. If your phone is in another room and you receive a text, the message is retrievable through the Pinger desktop app. You can reply to the message this way as well. All the messages will also be on your phone, so you won't have to backtrack to keep the conversation going as you move from phone to laptop to tablet.
Pinger boasts a "buzzword" feature you probably don't have in your native texting app. For example, if you type a buzzword like "pizza" into your text, Pinger will highlight it and link it to a related Web page that will allow you to order pizza; likewise, the word "weather" will link you to forecasts for your area.
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