NEW YORK - OCTOBER 14: An Apple customer displays his newly purchased iPhone 4s outside of the Apple Store on Broadway and 67th Street on October 14, 2011 in New York City. The new phone, which went on sale at 8 am local time in the U.S., …
One of the most expensive features on a cell phone is texting. And you get charged for both incoming and outgoing messages.
But some new free texting apps could soon change all that.
Texts run up bill
Are you still paying to text? Even if you have a texting "bucket" plan you can still end up paying $20 a month just to send messages via your phone.
But you may be able to cut those costs.
Mommy blogger Andrea Deckard has hooked up her family to a free texting app.
Andrea -- who runs the money saving blog Savings Lifetstyle.com -- uses Text Free , from a company called Pinger.
Its good for iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and even Andrea's son's iPod Touch. Andrea said "we downloaded that on his iPod touch, and we can text him and it's all completely free."
Other free texting apps include Text Plus , Kik, and What's App.
You will need a smartphone or iPod touch with WiFi.
Apple Game Changer?
But the hottest new text app of all is the one recently rolled out by Apple: iMessage.
Bob Flynn of Verizon Wireless said "it allows you to communicate with other folks with Apple products via text message. So you can instant message each other."
iMessage is part of the IOS 5 upgrade, meaning it's available for any iPhone or iPad with the latest software.
It's also color coded: Blue means you are using the free iMessage service.... green means you are on your carrier's texting plan.
With most of these services, the only catch is that both parties must have it installed on their phone to use the free texting.
But if you have a family all on the same type of device, like Andrea, it could be a big money saver.
Still costs a few cents
Of course, with any texting app you are still using your carrier's data plan. But the cost of that data used sending a text is just a fraction of the cost of sending a standard text.
So check it out and don't waste your money.
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