The iTunes App Store features a variety of text messaging applications that provide alternative functionality and free texting capabilities to your Apple iPhone. From applications that modify the text message interface in a variety of fashions to full-blown SMS replacement applications that offer free texting, the iTunes App Store offers a range of SMS applications that you can install in just a few taps of your iPhone screen.
Google Voice is a comprehensive voice and SMS replacement application that is intended to serve as a central repository for all phone calls and text messages. However, it is not necessary to completely transition your phone to Google Voice; you can use the application for just text messaging. The Google Voice text messaging interface is similar to the iPhone interface, and the application offers unlimited free text messaging. You can manage text messages from within Google Voice or configure the application to automatically forward text messages to your iPhone number. As of February 2011, the Google Voice app is free.
Similar to Google Voice, Line2 is designed to provide a full-scale replacement for voice and text functionality on the iPhone. As is the case with Google Voice, you can take advantage of free unlimited texting offered by Line2 without making a full transition to the service. Once the application is installed, you can send and receive SMS texts through Line2, thus reducing text message usage on your iPhone plan. The Line2 application is free of cost from the iTunes App Store as of February 2011.
Infinite SMS leverages the Google Voice text messaging services to provide a simple interface for managing SMS texts connected to a Google account. The application essentially isolates the text messaging capabilities of Google Voice -- leaving out the phone, voice mail and number management aspects -- to provide users with free unlimited text messaging. As of February 2011, the application costs $4.99 for the full version.
Freedom SMS is a send-only text messaging application that costs $1.99 as of February 2011. The application differs from Google Voice, Line2 and Infinite SMS in that it does not provide the user with an alternative phone number to send and receive text messages. Instead, Freedom SMS utilizes the short-message system protocol to deliver text messages free of cost. These messages are effectively instant messages or email messages that are delivered to a mobile phone, so there is no way to receive a reply to text messages sent using Freedom SMS.
- Feng Li/Getty Images News/Getty Images