When you start thinking about communicating with your clients or creating an SMS campaign, you will quickly realize that it simply isn’t practical always to text clients from a phone. You can only have one message open at once and have to type things in with the small phone keyboard instead of the full-size one on the computer.
Being able to send text messages from computers to phones overcomes this challenge by letting you use the computer’s keyboard and manage everything on the larger screen of your computer. That way, you can take full advantage of all the tips in our SMS marketing guide.
The good news is that it is straightforward to learn how to text from computers, and multiple solutions let you do that, including for MMS messages.
How to text from computers step-by-step
As mentioned, multiple solutions let you send text from computers. Because of this, each one will have slightly different steps to follow. Some of the most popular methods involve using iMessage for iPhones, Android messages for Android devices, or Google Voice. Other platforms like Podium Inbox allow you to text customers regardless of phone type from a desktop app.
We’ll look at each of these three main methods in more detail, but first, the following are the general steps you would likely follow for any solution.
If you use the Samsung Messaging App for select Samsung devices (i.e., the Windows app called Windows Your Phone, WhatsApp, or another method), the steps will be some variation of the following. The key will always be that you need the phone app in question on your computer in the form of the relevant phone companion app. From there, you can send and receive SMS text messages.
You will have to start by figuring out what service or program you want to use to text from your computer. Make sure you choose one that is compatible with your smartphone and your computer. This is important, as some methods work only for either Android devices or iPhones, while some work for both.
If you haven’t already done so, create an account with your chosen method. Then, follow the process to connect your smartphone and computer. This may involve a QR code appearing on your computer that you scan with your phone. It may include sending a text to your phone, opening a link on both devices, or even manually inputting a specific code. The exact method of linking devices varies by SMS method.
Once everything is linked, you can open the given program on your computer. It will automatically connect with your phone, and you can send a text like you normally would, but on the larger screen and with a full keyboard. You should have a range of message types to choose from, including the ability to add multimedia.
You can also receive messages by opening the platform on your computer after linking to your mobile phone.
How-to for Android phones
If you have an Android smartphone, you can use Android Messages to text from your computer.
Start by confirming that your phone has the most recent updates for Android Messages.
On your computer, visit messages.android.com to set Android Messages up, so it is ready to go.
To connect your smartphone and computer, use the QR code. The QR code will appear on the right side of the messages.android.com website on your computer.
Go to your smartphone and open Android Messages. In the top right corner, you’ll see three vertical dots. Tap this, then choose “Device pairing.”
Select “QR code scanner.” Point the phone camera at the code that is on your computer. The phone should vibrate within a second, at which point your Android Messages app is linked.
Both your smartphone and computer should now show the messages.
Now, you can text as you would on your smartphone but with the larger screen of your computer. You can start a new message thread by clicking the “+” in the top left corner and entering a phone number.
Or you can continue a conversation by clicking on it on the left panel. This will open the conversation so you can type a message or add an attachment before clicking send.
How-to for iPhones
If you have an iPhone and a Mac, you can text from the computer using iMessage. If you don’t have an Apple computer, you can also use the web app for iMessage, which will work for PCs as well as Macs.
Make sure that your iPhone and computer are updated enough to use this feature. Your iPhone must have iOS 8 or a newer version, and your Mac must have at least OS X Yosemite. If not, update your devices.
Start by signing into the iMessage app on your smartphone and your computer. Make sure you use the same Apple ID for both.
If you are using the web version of iMessage, you may need to sign in if you haven’t already. Remember that Android phone users must use this web app.
Open your smartphone’s Messages app and select the three vertical dots. Then, choose “Messages for web.”
On the computer, go to messages.google.com/web. You must use Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. It won’t work with Internet Explorer.
The computer will display a QR code. On your phone, select “Scan QR code” and point it at the code on the computer.
You are ready to text from your computer using your iPhone. The interface that appears on iMessage web or Mac will be the same as that on your phone, so there is no learning curve. Just type in the text message box like you would on your cell phone. As with the other solutions, your text messages should sync automatically, and you can add multimedia files.
How-to for Google Voice
Before using Google Voice to text from your computer, remember that it is designed for 1-to-1 messages. Your account can be flagged and blocked if you use it for bulk messaging.
That means that you should just use it for personal conversations or one-on-one business conversations, not for the typical marketing for mobile devices. For example, you could use it for customer support or reservations. The key is that you can’t use it for automated or bulk messages. It’s also important to remember that you can’t use Google Voice to send texts to short code numbers.
You should also keep in mind that if you have multiple Google Voice numbers, you will only be able to send texts to the main Google Voice number. This includes responding to texts sent to your secondary number; the response will still be sent from the main number.
This solution works to send messages from an Android phone or iPhone.
With that in mind, the following steps let you text from your computer using Google Voice.
Visit voice.google.com. This will open your account and prompt you to log in if you haven’t already done so.
Go to the Messages tab, which is represented by the messaging icon.
Select “Send a message” near the top of the page.
Enter the phone number or the name of the contact. You can make a group message with up to eight total participants, including you.
Enter your message at the bottom. This is also when you should add an image if you want to. Remember that images larger than 2 MB will be shrunk.
When you are ready, click “Send,” which also has the send icon.
If you want to view your text messages in Google Voice on the computer, go to the same website and the Messages tab. New messages will be bolded. You can mark SMS messages as spam in the top left corner.
You can also click on a message to reply to it. The message thread opens when you click on a contact or message thread. You will see the option to enter your message at the bottom.
The impact of sending text messages from a computer
- You get access to a full keyboard to type more efficiently.
- You can frequently use Wi-Fi or mobile data.
- As most solutions include a multimedia messaging service, you can attach multimedia files.
- You get to manage your text messages on a larger screen.
- You can choose from multiple platforms.
- You can still send SMS messages from the phone even if the computer is synced.
- It’s easier to view digital marketing stats.
- You will have to spend a few minutes connecting the devices the first time you want to text from the computer.
- You have to choose which solution to use.
- Your computer is not as portable as your phone.
Choosing the right computer texting option
When it comes down to it, there are numerous computer texting options, including multiple free ones. All will let you send and receive text messages on your computer or mobile device.
You will have to decide which one has the features you need, such as mass texting or SMS campaigns. If you plan to use the solution for sending messages as part of your SMS campaign, make sure you can have multiple conversations, and there is no limit to how many messages you can send at once.
Podium is one option, as the Podium dashboard lets you easily send text messages from your computer to a phone, regardless of whether you have an iPhone or Android phone. Podium Inbox also includes Facebook Messenger so that you can use multiple communication methods on a single platform.