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Cellphones Apple

Free SMS On IPhone 3G Via AOL IM Client 267

Posted by kdawson
from the dodging-the-gouge dept.
Glenn Fleishman writes "Jeff Carlson has discovered that you can bypass the 20 cent per message or $5 to $20 per month fees for SMS (text messaging) with the iPhone 3G and AT&T by using AOL's downloadable instant message client for iPhone 2.0, which is free. Just like the full-blown AOL IM system, you can add buddies that are the phone numbers of cell phones you want to send SMS to, and you establish a two-way conduit. The recipient still pays for SMS (if they have a fee) on their end, but if it's another iPhone user, you could coordinate with them via SMS to use instant messaging instead."
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Free SMS On IPhone 3G Via AOL IM Client

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  • Oh lord (Score:5, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:32PM (#24174083)
    Someone figures out to chat instead of text and it makes front page...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BPPG (1181851)
      This really isn't a big deal. The big deal will be Apple's reaction to it. Will they like it, since people might be encouraged to use AOL on iPhones as an alternative to SMS? Or will they kill the AOL client and make iPhone users pay for SMS?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by DKP (1029142)
        not apple but ATT's reaction why would apple care
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by negRo_slim (636783)
          That was my first thought, then I realized SMS is a quaint and antiquated tech. Which I do use nearly everyday, but our fairly modest plan has sufficed and I've never had to pay for overages... So, from my point of view, it's not as if this is going to jeopardize any tremendous revenue stream as most txt is covered by the plan anyways. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to do away with SMS all together and get ya sending via the interweb (emails, IM, etc) so you're more inclined use more data. A
          • Re:Oh lord (Score:5, Funny)

            by radimvice (762083) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:51PM (#24175113) Homepage

            Just my .02USD

            Actually, your 'two cents' post would cost you .60USD at standard SMS rates...

          • Re:Oh lord (Score:5, Interesting)

            by nbert (785663) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:53PM (#24175501) Homepage Journal

            a flat rate system like SMS just isn't going to cut it

            Exactly the reason why they offer flat rate services. The more people have data-plans, the less it makes sense to charge for individual SMS'. In the end they will charge 5 bucks for unlimited SMS if you want it or not, because otherwise they would lose that source of revenue while data plans get cheaper and cheaper.

            Btw: For the same reason the telcos of many countries refuse to sell you DSL without a telephone line. Voip could fill the void completely and it would be even possible to implement a free system on a global scale, but it would hurt those providing access to voip services and for that reason they won't let you use it exclusively (or at least let you pay for what they don't earn the traditional way). And if you are paying for it anyways there is less incentive to switch to free alternatives.

            I love flat rates in general, but sometimes they are just designed to keep the status quo. In the end everything gets cheaper in regards to what we pay per minute, but the bill at the end of the month still is as high as 8 years ago.

            Just look at how many households still have a fax machine and you will realize how much pricing is preventing a real step forward.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bhtooefr (649901)

        They could always do what Sprint does, and charge for IM messages at the text messaging rate (with the carrier IM client - I'll note that I run a third-party client on my phone.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by geminidomino (614729) *

          Pretty sure the carrier IM client actually USES SMS on the backend. The client on my Windows Mobile phone (Moto Q9c) loves to hard-wedge my phone until I need a master reset to recover. Last time I did it, I was still "logged in" to AIM even though I didn't have the IM client reinstalled (and opted not to again). I kept getting SMS messages that looked basically like headers directing to AIM messages, until I logged in on my PC and told it to disconnect all other locations.

          Not a big deal, since I have the u

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by onefriedrice (1171917)

        The big deal will be Apple's reaction to it. Will they like it, since people might be encouraged to use AOL on iPhones as an alternative to SMS? Or will they kill the AOL client and make iPhone users pay for SMS?

        Apple's reaction? You mean AT&T? Why would Apple care since they already approved the app in the first place?

        Fortunately, seeing as how there is also a VoIP app approved by Apple which allows calls via wifi, it doesn't look like refusing apps which bypass AT&T's services was part of their agreement, although I'm sure AT&T would like it to be.

        In short, yes Apple will like people using the AOL IM client because it's a benefit to those who purchase their product. AT&T may not like it,

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by FlyingBishop (1293238)
      It needs to make the front page of the fucking Times so that people will realize what a joke the pricing on texting is.
    • Re:Oh lord (Score:5, Funny)

      by muuh-gnu (894733) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:35PM (#24174117)

      But its "on the iPhone!!!!". Just wait till they start patenting those things as novelties because you can do them "on the iPhone!!!". It worked for a slew of obvious so called "on the internet" inventions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gorrepati (866378)
      Yeah, Give Jeff Carlson a Nobel and while at it throw in a Pulitzer for Glenn Flieshman for authorship. Seriously, where the fuck are the editors? How does stuff like this make it to the front page
    • Re:Oh lord (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrHanky (141717) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:17PM (#24174449) Homepage Journal

      As long as it's about the bloody iphone, it makes the front page. Who the fuck are these idiots who vote up every crap story in the firehose as long as it's about fucking Apple? This can't be interesting, not even to the die-hard Apple fanatic, and it's certainly not something specific to the iPhone. It's weak advertising for a feature you may find in any other phone.

      Enough with the iphone stories, already. I fucking hate the device now, and only because of the incessant spamming.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ultra64 (318705)

        Instead of whining about stories that other people might be interested in reading, is there some reason you can't just skip to the next story on the page?
        Or go to your preferences and disable stories about Apple.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)

          Perhaps you should have skipped his comment, if you didn't like it...

      • Re:Oh lord (Score:4, Funny)

        by Tokerat (150341) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:21PM (#24174931) Journal
        Yeah, you know what else I hate because I see stories about it everyday on Slashdot? Linux!

        I mean, Jesus H Christ, enough already!
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by MrHanky (141717)

          So when did this site turn into "News about iphone. Advertisments for Apple. Fashion products for wannabe geeks"?

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by linuxpng (314861)

            incoming flaimbait....when they added apple.slashdot.org

            oh and when commander taco figured out he could play the sims on a powerbook.

      • Re:Oh lord (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mdwh2 (535323) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:23PM (#24175307) Journal

        I agree. And not just Slashdot - I was walking in London yesterday to see "news" about 3G ... on the Iphone! - plastered over all the news billboards. Is there really nothing more happening in the world then a years-old feature being added to one particular phone?

        God, I guess when they finally add basic UI requirements like copy/paste, it'll be first story on the Nine O' Clock News.

        I wish Apple would stop spamming me via email too, come to that.

      • by Lars T. (470328)

        As long as it's about the bloody iphone, it makes the front page. Who the fuck are these idiots who vote up every crap story in the firehose as long as it's about fucking Apple?

        Looking at most posts to these stories - it's probably the "Apple sucks" crowd, who want some article they can post in.

      • by eggboard (315140)

        Right, because 10 million people aren't buying new iPhones this year and they don't need to know that there's an alternative to paying SMS fees! Thank goodness, that those 10 million people wouldn't be bothered with this useful information. (Writes the guy who submitted the story, but did not write it.)

    • by c0d3r (156687) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:17PM (#24174451) Homepage Journal

      I think the point is that telco's are gouging people for text traffic, which has a very small impact on their infrastructure. If you compare the network traffic for text vs. picture vs. video, they are ripping people off. I even get messages sometimes from the telco, which means they are getting free money everytime they send a promotion to every cell phone. Say 1 million cell phones are sent one $0.25 message that's 1/4 million dollars for each message sent with very little impact on their infrastructure. What am I going to do? Spend an hour asking them to refund a quarter?

      • by Dirtside (91468)

        I'm on T-Mobile; SMS messages to or from them are free for me. This is the case for most cell carriers, AFAIK.

        As far as gouging... it may be overpriced, but it's not gouging in the legal sense. The reason they can charge 15 cents per SMS is because so many people are willing to pay it. I don't really think it's worth it and use SMS sparingly for that reason.

      • by Urza9814 (883915)

        Wow, what crappy telco are you on? As much as Verizon sucks, every text they have ever sent me is preceded by 'THIS IS A FREE TEXT MESSAGE FROM VERIZON WIRELESS'

      • by Tim C (15259) on Monday July 14, 2008 @05:11AM (#24178967)

        I even get messages sometimes from the telco, which means they are getting free money everytime they send a promotion to every cell phone.

        You guys have to pay to receive text messages? Wow, no wonder so many US-based slashdot readers seem to hate sms so much... Over here in the UK, receiving them is free (unless you sign up for some sort of charged service, e.g. daily horoscope, sports news, etc) and most plans have some number per month included in the price (e.g. on my plan I can send up to 500 per month at no extra cost).

    • Re:Oh lord (Score:4, Funny)

      by Clete2 (823221) <other@NOSpam.clete2.com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:28PM (#24174527) Homepage
      I figured this out on my LG CU500. Except that the AIM client still goes through SMS. Guess who went over their SMS limit by $30 that month?
  • Jeff Carlson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ari_j (90255) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:33PM (#24174089)
    Jeff Carlson is a freakin' genius! This is amazing! Oh wait, no, that other thing: mundane.
  • Ummm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:34PM (#24174103) Homepage Journal
    but if it's another iPhone user, you could coordinate with them via SMS to use instant messaging instead.

    Or you could just....email them? They will have push email, and I assume if they have an iphone they have an email address, so why not just use that instead of creating these elaborate schemes....
    • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:45PM (#24174185)

      Or, instead of email, I hear these crazy little contraptions let you talk to one another just by talking. It's quite shock to some, but I think you can dial a "phone" number and say something like, "Put AIM on your phone so you don't have to use SMS for texting." when the other person picks up.

      • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Helios1182 (629010) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:46PM (#24175449)

        I saw a person on some other website complaining about the lack of voice chat on the AIM client. The lack of voice chat... on a phone...

        • Re:Ummm... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dn15 (735502) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @06:41PM (#24176191)

          I saw a person on some other website complaining about the lack of voice chat on the AIM client. The lack of voice chat... on a phone...

          It does sound odd at first, but it makes sense. Consider that your talk time is metered and you are billed extra if you use too much -- but data is supposedly unlimited. AIM voice chat, or Skype, would minimize the number of paid minutes you have to use. Not that AT&T would like it, but there's good reason to want it as a bill-paying customer.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Helios1182 (629010)

            If you are using Skype the person you are calling also has to be on Skype, or you are going to end up paying to make/receive calls (to a phone number) through Skype anyway.

            • by dn15 (735502)

              If you are using Skype the person you are calling also has to be on Skype, or you are going to end up paying to make/receive calls (to a phone number) through Skype anyway.

              Of course, you'd be in the same boat as if you were using Skype on a regular computer. But think about the cost of expanded AT&T service -- or worse, absurdly high per-minute charges for overuse! Easily hundreds of dollars extra per year. The charge for unlimited SkypeOut service in the US is minuscule by comparison. The savings would be enormous if the option were available.

    • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:46PM (#24174193)

      I've worked with the iPhone SDK and 3rd-party apps cannot push to the UI unless they are selected and running.

      So yes, email FTW. Because it's pushed to the UI. Unlike 3rd-party app messages.

      Next.

      • Re:Ummm... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:17PM (#24174901) Journal

        At WWDC, it was mentioned that there would be something called Universal Push Notification. Some explanation here [macworld.com]. It seems you will be able to push either badges (that will attach to your app's icon), custom alert sounds, or overlay text messages (I assume like MSN chat does), which will overlay any currently running app.

        Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any reference to this on their developer web site, which miserably has no search functionality. Yes, that's right, I am also developing for the iPhone. What have I developed? Why, the iVibe. Exactly what it does is left to your imagination. No, it is not yet on the Apple store. Coming soon, for better or for worse.

      • I've worked with the iPhone SDK and 3rd-party apps cannot push to the UI unless they are selected and running.

        Glad I haven't spent much time looking at the iPhone SDK. We could push to UI on Motorola phones as far back as the first RAZRs and the v715 even. And this was old hat when I was involved with that project. It provided MSN Messenger and Yahoo applets on the phone that could either run, run in background, or even run in background and push through to the main UI or even to the Text Inbox pretending t

      • by illumin8 (148082)

        I've worked with the iPhone SDK and 3rd-party apps cannot push to the UI unless they are selected and running.

        That's completely incorrect. Steve Jobs even made a big deal about the Push API that they let any 3rd party app use. The push technology shows a standard iPhone popup window in whatever application is in the foreground. The developer encodes a URL into the push message that allows the user to select a button that will launch the app into the foreground and handle the pushed message. How else do

      • Then I guess you missed the last iPhone keynote.

    • by peragrin (659227)

      shhh don't spoil the secret.

      actually half the text messages I get are short emails, it is far simplier to send a quick email with directions than try to describe a location on the phone.

    • there are still a LOT of people that don't have email on their cell phones. there is still a weird disconnect between some people's phones. some phone (iphones and more) can't receive or send picture messages, many don't have email. i suppose the issue is when you try to send a picture to a few people at once. say you have something like a Treo that supports picture messages and emails. you have to split the people up into delivery options. If your Treo is on Verizon (like mine is), then they strip out all

  • How long before this feature is gone?...
    • by rizzle (848961) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:49PM (#24175471)

      It's not going anywhere as far as I know. I'm one of the developers of AIM for iPhone, and frankly we're glad that it's been discovered and slashdotted :)

      Sending IMs to a mobile number is a feature of the AIM service, and there's no reason that we shouldn't have it for the iPhone. In fact, our data API (which is open sourced here [google.com]) doesn't distinguish between mobile numbers and buddies.

      • by sabrex15 (746201)
        wow now that's a wonderful thing to hear. :) kudos to you and all your colleagues.
      • by nuggetman (242645) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:32PM (#24175777) Homepage

        Firstly... has the AIM team just thrown in the towel on AIM for Mac?

        Second... I've found the iPhone client to be horribly glitchy when you close the app without signing off. If messages are sent to me while it's closed, I just get blank messages upon reopening the client.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by c_forq (924234)
          Why would AIM put work into a Mac client when iChat uses the AIM protocol?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rizzle (848961)

          Firstly... has the AIM team just thrown in the towel on AIM for Mac?

          In addition to iChat (which uses AIM), we have a new desktop suite for Mac, which includes a new AIM mac client: AOL Desktop for Mac [aol.com]. The Mac team at AOL's blog is here [aol.com]

          Second... I've found the iPhone client to be horribly glitchy when you close the app without signing off. If messages are sent to me while it's closed, I just get blank messages upon reopening the client.

          Yeah, we noticed that on the first day of release, too. There seems to be a difference between the developer OS build and the OS build that was sent out to consumers on Thurs/Fri. We're definitely looking into it. Do you get it every time you re-open the client? or sometimes you get it as blank and sometimes not?

  • I kinda knew about this, but I'm still not clear on something: How can I use this trick when another party *originates* an SMS to me? This technique catches their replies to an SMS I start via IM, but doesn't help if someone sends me an SMS in the first place. Anyone know a trick for that?

  • Good to know (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Talsan (515546)

    I never knew that AIM could send SMS messages to mobiles. Does anyone know if this works for any other country codes? --It doesn't seem to work for Norway (+47) numbers.

    • by Firehed (942385)

      In general, sending an email to phonenumber@carrier.com texts that number (at least in the states, YMMV). The only special thing AIM does is presumably a carrier lookup.

      • by dfsmith (960400)

        The SMS gateways [wikipedia.org] are very useful from the command line:

        echo "Where am I?"|mail -s "Please tell me" 14085551212@txt.att.net

        But by and large, the browser on my phone is too slow for me to bother to look up the address and log in to email. So, the phone company gets another 10c for my laziness....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:49PM (#24174215)

    It seems like in this semi-competitive market, one of the providers would've made the unusual move of switching to free SMS. I realize it's pure profit for them, but it seems like they could make up the difference with the influx of new customers, and potentially less voice bandwidth usage.

  • Take a look at this [paulgraham.com]. Well now, it's come full circle, hasn't it? Of course, this time it's probably not illegal, and it doesn't require any hardware hacking... but the similarity seems striking to me. Arguably, it doesn't affect Apple directly either, although I'm sure it won't help their relationship with AT&T.

    • Waaaaay Off-topic, but Woz in that pic (on the right) looks like a bearded version of Justing Long, of "I'm a Mac" fame. Who wants to start the bastard-child rumors?

  • by gcnaddict (841664) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:00PM (#24174311)
    I've been using JiveTalk with the Blackberry (not advertising this) to avoid text messaging fees for a while now. JiveTalk is 30 bucks for a user license, but it's gotten good reviews from BGR, etc. so I thought it might not be a bad deal.
    • by metamatic (202216)

      I've been using JiveTalk with the Blackberry (not advertising this) to avoid text messaging fees for a while now. JiveTalk is 30 bucks for a user license, but it's gotten good reviews from BGR, etc. so I thought it might not be a bad deal.

      Considering the current BlackBerry firmware comes with Google, ICQ, AIM and MSN clients built in, paying $30 for that functionality doesn't seem like a terribly good deal to me.

      • Considering the current BlackBerry firmware comes with Google, ICQ, AIM and MSN clients built in, paying $30 for that functionality doesn't seem like a terribly good deal to me.

        Except it is. Jivetalk has a nice UI, it brings all your IM protocols under one app so it's all consistent, it handles hundreds of contacts and it is light on your battery. You can easily leave it running all day without worry.

        Also, I have the latest Blackberry OS update and it does not come with all of those clients built-in. It will list them on the app updater if you have previously installed them yourself though, just like it does with all third-party apps.

        JiveTalk is easily the best $30 I've spent on m

  • by Toll_Free (1295136) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:01PM (#24174317)

    "Jeff Carlson has discovered"

    Should actually have read:

    "Jeff Carlson has READ THE HELP FILE / INSTRUCTIONS / MANUAL"

    I mean, c'mon. It's common sense that AOL can send SMS. One idiot figures out a program and it makes the front news.

    "How to disable Clippie the Paperclip". Details at 11

    --Toll_Free

    • by Miseph (979059) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:23PM (#24174487) Journal

      "I mean, c'mon. It's common sense that AOL can send SMS. One idiot figures out a program and it makes the front news."

      I, for one, had no idea that AIM could do that. Anyway, why would it be common sense? There are all sorts of totally incompatible protocols and formats that accomplish essentially the same task, and while it's cool that AOL apparently decided to code an intuitive workaround in this instance that isn't the general state of things. Of course, I use AIM very little 9and SMS even less), because I prefer to just call people, so perhaps I'm just out of the loop on this one.

      That said, I agree that this is hardly worthy of the front page; it isn't even as funny as installing Skype on PDA with a wireless data plan and skipping, possibly I remember using AIM on a Nokia about 8 years ago with no trouble outside of only typing ~3 words per minute.

  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:02PM (#24174325)
    Paying when you send a message, understandable. Paying when you receive a message, makes no fucking sense. If you call someone long distance, do they normally pay long distance fees? Of course not. You don't really have an option not to receive someone's message, and if you get spammed then you have to pay for it out of your own pocket. It's asinine.

    This whole AIM over iPhone thing just goes to show how trivial it is to send/receive SMS anyway, and it really might as well be free in the scheme of things.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      If you call someone long distance, do they normally pay long distance fees?

      Yes, if they have a cell phone. That's how cell phones work in the US: both sides pay. SMS is nothing unusual in this regard.

      • No, the length of the call is deducted from you plan, but you don't pay long distance rates on top of that. At least no carrier that I've used has operated charged me long distance rates for receiving a long distance call (Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile).
        • You pay for the call. The fact that most plans give you a certain amount as part of your monthly fee does not change this fact.

          Many plans also include a certain number of SMSs per month, in which case incoming SMSs are deducted from that, and any excess is charged.

          It's exactly the same system in both cases.

          • The question was "If you call someone long distance, do they normally pay long distance fees?" and the answer is no. You pay for minutes, but you don't also pay long distance rates in addition to paying for the minutes. It was a rhetorical question to contrast against the fact that we do pay to receive a call or an SMS message in the US.
            • I just don't understand that. Immediately before that question was, "Paying when you receive a message, makes no fucking sense." Well, you pay to receive a phone call, why would you not pay to receive a message?

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by liquidsin (398151)

                i can choose not to answer the phone call, and thus incur no charge. this is especially useful if i don't recognize the number on caller id. i cannot, however, choose not to receive a text msg. even if the phone is turned off, i'll get the msg when i power it back up. see now?

      • SMS is different that, while you can look at who's calling and reject an incoming phone call and let it go to voice-mail if you want to, once someone sends you an SMS, you paid for it whether you wanted it or not, whether you read it or not.

        Best thing is, carriers will charge you to send a text message but delivery is *not* guaranteed. Unlike a phone call where you're not charged if the call doesn't connect (most providers that I know).

        I understand it may your choice to spend $ .15 to $ .25 to send a mes

        • It's great that you hate SMS, but I don't see what any of this has to do with my post or the one I was replying to.

    • Paying when you receive a message, makes no fucking sense.

      It's even worse than that...

      The basic account comes with precisely zero text messages included. Every one of them costs you 20c.

      You activate your phone, they already start sending you texts. "Hey, here's a notification from us. By the way, we just paid ourselves 20c from your wallet to tell you this. Thanks. We'll be sure to send another in a few minutes."

      Having spent quite a bit of time searching on line, as far as I can tell, there's absolutely no way to say, "That's cool, your system's a rip off. I don't

      • by vijayiyer (728590)
        You don't get charged for the messages from the carrier, and you most definitely can have text messaging disabled. I called AT&T and asked them to turn it off, and they obliged. I can neither send nor receive text messages now.
      • by dbcad7 (771464)

        That sucks.. T-Mobile is.. 10 cents to send, 5 cents to receive... and they don't charge for the text messages they send me.. I think I have gotten 1 spam text message, and 2 wrong number text messages in about 5 months. (I wish that guy would put the right number for whoever it is, on his damn phone.. his memory isn't cutting it.)

        I really could give a crap about SMS.. but I am too lazy to get it turned off, and I figure 15 cents in 5 months ain't going to break me.

  • Yeah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imstanny (722685) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:06PM (#24174359)
    What if someone sends you a SMS, and you don't have a subscription? You'll end up paying for the received SMS texts, charged at a premium, b/c you don't have a subscription.
  • mundu (Score:3, Informative)

    by fermion (181285) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:06PM (#24174361) Homepage Journal
    Though not an app, mundu [mundu.com] has allowed us to do this for quite some time, and you are not stuck with AOL.

    I must say that I am glad I am not a kid. The amount they charge for IM, which appears to be aimed at younger people, and often paid by parents, is almost criminal. Of course, there is the choice not to use it. I suppose there is also the choice to never have a friend. It kind of remind me of when you could no longer talk on the phone as long as you wanted for a quarter(for those of us that did not have whistle, that is).

    Hopefully one advantage of smart phones will be the wider use of IM, which should force cell companies to just include texting with the data plan.

  • Apple's lame excuses aside, the reason there is no "background processing" or notification capability in the official SDK is so as not to harm AT&T's SMS cash cow.
    Look at the thought and effort that AT&T put into SMS pricing tiers. It would be worthless if there was a hint of SMS like capability in the SDK. A lot of money says Apple intentionally crippled its SDK/phone capabilities to keep SMS around.
    I don't know if e-mail is truly push on the device (i.e. it buzzes in your pocket after you've not l

    • Apple's lame excuses aside, the reason there is no "background processing" or notification capability in the official SDK is so as not to harm AT&T's SMS cash cow.

      I don't know if e-mail is truly push on the device (i.e. it buzzes in your pocket after you've not looked it at for an hour.) If it is, then this would potentially kill SMS but I find it hard to believe.

      The reason there is no background processing allowed with random apps opening network connections is that it really sucks for battery life. The developer of the twitter app for jailbroken iPhones has stated this at least once. When he set his twitter app to poll every 5 minutes it destroyed his battery life.

      People still want that functionality though, so Apple's solution is to create a push service that any app developer can tap into. That way there will be one open network connection handled by the phon

    • by nuggetman (242645)

      There will be a push notification service available to developers for roll out in September.

    • by illumin8 (148082)

      Apple's lame excuses aside, the reason there is no "background processing" or notification capability in the official SDK is so as not to harm AT&T's SMS cash cow.

      Again, this is totally incorrect. You're the second person that has been modded up in this thread with false information.

      There is a push API that Apple exposes to all 3rd party application developers. You can send a message to Apple's servers, a popup will be shown to the user (vibrate and audible alert) in whatever application is currently

  • Besides being insanely overpriced, is that you have no control over the charges since you get billed for *receiving* a message. This clause is absolutely absurd and if it didn't exist, the price would go way down.
  • Holy Cow... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:25PM (#24175325)

    This means that people that have been doing crap like this for the last 5+ years must be geniuses...

    Everyone I know has been going to live.com (formerly MSN) and using the WAP browser version of Messenger for years. And now that someone figured this out on the iPhone they are brilliant? WTF...

    Is this stuff really that 'cool' to the SlashDot readers, or has Apple just replaced all the Slashdot crowd with their drones while we weren't looking?

    (SlashDot readers, GET THE HELL OUT OF YOUR BASEMENT MORE OFTEN, NOW!)

    Holy insanity...

  • There should also be a slashdot article about this astounding hack: Did you know that you can send free messages from ANY phone, even a payphone or to long distance numbers, simply by making a collect call and when it asks for your name, say a short message. Isn't that clever?

    We really need to make sure the entire community is informed of such brilliant ideas that no one has ever thought of before.

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