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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 @02:32PM (#24174083)
    Someone figures out to chat instead of text and it makes front page...
  • Jeff Carlson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ari_j (90255) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:33PM (#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 @02:34PM (#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:Oh lord (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:35PM (#24174111)
    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:2, Insightful)

    by DKP (1029142) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:54PM (#24174255)
    not apple but ATT's reaction why would apple care
  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:02PM (#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.
  • Yeah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imstanny (722685) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:06PM (#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.
  • Re:Oh lord (Score:3, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:12PM (#24174419)
    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. After all e-mails and IM's facilitate the sending of files, uploading of pics (if only for your avatar), and on and on I can go. AT&T just wants you to consume ever more, and a flat rate system like SMS just isn't going to cut it... Not when it comes to padding the bottom line. Just my .02USD
  • Re:Oh lord (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrHanky (141717) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:17PM (#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.

  • by c0d3r (156687) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:17PM (#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 Miseph (979059) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:23PM (#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.

  • Re:Oh lord (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ultra64 (318705) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:17PM (#24174905)

    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:Oh lord (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ari_j (90255) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:36PM (#24175035)
    My answer to all of your questions: kdawson. Well, okay, there have been others, but he's the current one. The reign of terror is dynastic.
  • Re:Oh lord (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:23PM (#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 TooMuchToDo (882796) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:25PM (#24175321)
    I don't tell the gas station how much to charge me for pop, chips, etc. They charge what the market will bear. I don't tell Hollister what to charge me for shorts/shirts, they charge what the market will bear. How is this any different? If you don't like what they charge for text messaging, DON'T USE IT (or switch providers).
  • Re:Oh lord (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:28PM (#24175347) Journal

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

  • by c0d3r (156687) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @06:01PM (#24175555) Homepage Journal

    I don't like what they charge for text messaging, so I'll choose to use a free alternative, and tell my friends how they can save some money.

  • Re:Ummm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dn15 (735502) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @07:41PM (#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:Oh lord (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr@NOsPAm.bhtooefr.org> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:36PM (#24176755) Homepage Journal

    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.)

  • by liquidsin (398151) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:43PM (#24176795) Homepage

    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?

  • by c_forq (924234) <forquerc+slash@gmail.com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:24PM (#24177311)
    Why would AIM put work into a Mac client when iChat uses the AIM protocol?
  • Re:Ummm... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @04:24AM (#24178575)

    Not to even mention the ridiculous cost of international calls!

  • Re:Oh lord (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MrHanky (141717) on Monday July 14, 2008 @05:05AM (#24178745) Homepage Journal

    They don't work. This crap still shows up on the front page when I set the filter to "best only".

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