SMS Forwarding

By: Mel Joelle

SMS usage has skyrocketed over the last few years with the rampant growth of smartphone technology, so it only makes sense that we want to be able to receive text messages no matter where we are. iPhone users are out of luck here as the ability to forward text messages with answering capabilities can only be done on devices that are rooted. However, if you own an Android phone, you’re in luck because there are plenty of options available for you.

1. Google Voice

Google Voice is the gold standard in SMS forwarding, so long as you use a Google account. Currently the service is only available in the United States, but users can sign up and receive a phone number. Texts sent to this phone number can be set to be forwarded to the person’s actual phone number, or you can set them to be forwarded to your email. The Google Voice app allows you to reply to text messages as well, but the major distinction between this service is that it requires a separate number than the one issued to you by your carrier.

2. BrowserTexting

BrowserTexting is a combination app and browser plugin that will forward your text messages to your browser so you can respond to them while you’re at your computer. The app and plugin are completely free to use and feature the ability to send group messages to multiple people and see them all within the same conversation window. Texts are sent and received in a conversation view similar to an IM program, with recipients each having their own tab unless part of a group. This app is great for people who love to text but spend more time at their computer.

3. DeskSMS

DeskSMS offers the same concept as BrowserTexting, but it does not feature a Chrome extension. Instead, you’ll have to login to the DeskSMS website, though you can receive notifications through Chrome even if you’re not logged in. The end-user experience for DeskSMS is a bit more polished than that of BrowserTexting, but it also carries with it a $5 yearly fee. If aesthetics are just as important to you as functionality, then DeskSMS is a viable alternative with a very low yearly fee.

4. SMS Backup

This app is a little different from your traditional forwarding app as it forwards all of your SMS threads to your Gmail account for safe backing up. The app is completely free and requires you to set up your IMAP settings for your Gmail account, but once you’ve done this you’ll have all of your SMSes backed up and forwarded to your Gmail account under a label of your choosing. This is a great mimic of the chat archiving feature of Google Talk but now applies to conversations you have on your phone.

5. TextBusy

TextBusy is a paid application that mimics the features of SMS Backup and browser applications like DeskSMS. Instead of using a browser extension or a website in order to reply to texts you receive, instead you use an email address of your choice. This is also a great archiving tool for people who want to archive their text messages but don’t want to use Gmail to do so.

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