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Free SMS On IPhone 3G Via AOL IM Client

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the dodging-the-gouge dept.

Cellphones 267

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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267 comments

Oh lord (5, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174083)

Someone figures out to chat instead of text and it makes front page...

Re:Oh lord (3, Interesting)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174093)

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:Oh lord (2, Insightful)

DKP (1029142) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174255)

not apple but ATT's reaction why would apple care

Re:Oh lord (2, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (1)

superphreak (785821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174443)

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

but a flat rate unlimited internet plan will cut it????

Re:Oh lord (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174459)

but a flat rate unlimited internet plan will cut it????

As features and use rise do you expect unlimited internet to stick around in it's current form? Nah it was just way to help stoke flames of the iphone's success.

Re:Oh lord (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (4, Funny)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Oh lord (2, Informative)

gorrepati (866378) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174209)

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 (5, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174449)

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:Oh lord (2, Insightful)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (0, Troll)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175057)

Yes, I came here to whine. If you read the other comments, most of them say pretty much the same. It's not news, it's not for nerds, and it's not interesting. If you do find it interesting, then I'm sure there is a site for Apple fanboys somewhere that cater to your needs, but it certainly should not be Slashdot.

And no, I'm not going to disable stories about Apple; they do come up with something interesting now and then. The iphone was an example of that, but most of the "news" about it these days are pure spam. An IM client, give me a fucking break.

Re:Oh lord (3, Funny)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174931)

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:Oh lord (1, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175065)

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

Just like Scientologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174969)

Well, they are the same assholes who go on witchhunt whenever they get some mode points.

Happened three times that whenever I posted something negative about iphone (or Apple), suddenly even my older comments not related to iphone or apple got downmoded to death, and suddenly made some foes.

I had some karma to burn, and I don't care about friends/foes, but this shows that this assholes are nothing short of the cult of Scientology

Re:Just like Scientologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24175111)

As was pointed out elsewhere on /. someone has to make scientology look good.

Re:Oh lord (3, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175307)

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.

You're missing the point (5, Insightful)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174451)

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?

Re:You're missing the point (1)

Clete2 (823221) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174627)

Which company do you use? AT&T (here in the USA) sends out promos maybe once every 6 months and they are always free to us.

Re:You're missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24175055)

>I think the point is that telco's are gouging people for text traffic

If it's a ripoff, why do you go for it at all? Seems that plenty of people manage to get along just fine without "texting."
It also seems like a generational thing, even a fad.

Re:You're missing the point (2, Interesting)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175109)

My point is that text traffic only takes less than 1k total traffic and can cost $.25. Voice traffic can be $.25 a minute which is ~64k per second. Picture costs about the same as text but its about ~1Mb of traffic. Video is significantly more traffic than voice, yet is often charged at the same as voice. Why is texting so expensive? Its obvious.. a revenue model.. hence the point of the discussion is "To avoid getting screwed". Anyone against this is a bigot or shareholder for the telco's.

Re:You're missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24175281)

Warning! This message is low on content but I was so shocked I had to post.

Wait... you pay to receive messages?

Re:Oh lord (4, Funny)

Clete2 (823221) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174527)

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 (4, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174089)

Jeff Carlson is a freakin' genius! This is amazing! Oh wait, no, that other thing: mundane.

Ummm... (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174103)

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... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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... (1)

sskagent (1170913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175107)

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.

Wow the saddest thing is that this was modded Informative and not Funny.

Re:Ummm... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174275)

Wait. So...you can't call people and tell them to use the AIM client for the iPhone? I don't have an iPhone, so I'm not sure how they work or what they do, but my most basic assumption is that you can call other people since it is an iPhone.

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174753)

What you really mean is "I've worked with the OFFICIAL iPhone SDK and ...". Who here expects the 2.0 phone to stay jailed? Show of hands? The community installer is your friend...proprietary distribution systems will fail.

Re:Ummm... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175051)

The community installer is your friend...proprietary distribution systems will fail.

Yah, most of us here on /. will probably jailbreak our iPhones/iPod touches and will probably end up installing Linux to our unused older iPods, but as for everyone else or anyone who is an Apple fanboy, they won't use it. Will the community system be better? Yep. But will the general public use it? Nope.

Re:Ummm... (1)

Christopher Rogers (873720) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174869)

Apple has come up with a way around this by having a push client on the iPhone that listens to Apple's push "cloud" service that programs can use. So when a program is closed your servers can talk to Apple's and they send the message to your phone. This way the phone only has one connection open and only one knowingly "stable" program (that won't eat up your battery) actively running in the background. They announced it at WWDC in June. I don't think it'll be ready until later this year but the push notification problem has been "solved" to a satisfiable degree I would think, just not at this moment. I'd be curious to know if the AIM client is pushing IMs and if so how.

Re:Ummm... (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174901)

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.

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24175029)

Yet another reason I'll never buy an iPhone in it's current configuration. I want the choice of being able to multitask apps and run them in the background. I don't need Saint Jobs to decide what's best for me.

Re:Ummm... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174319)

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.

Re:Ummm... (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174583)

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 incoming email attachments if you use the built-in email client... and being Verizon you do not have the same 3rd party app options as other people.
Yes, it's a first world problem, but it's just stupidity of the carriers. The US had the same issue some years back when you could only send a text message to people on your network. I actually had to think who had the same carrier as i did before i sent a message.

OMG (1, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174147)

On my telus i can use msn for free too *shock*. my phone must be as good as an iphone. and so are all phones with internet access and the ability to install programs. *gasp* Silly submitter ~_~
 
  But hey its advertising for apple so its ok.

Re:OMG (1)

superphreak (785821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174383)

Actually, I don't have internet, but my phone comes with AIM/MSN/Y! "apppppppsssss" (aka "apps" ?) and with AT&T's unlimited text messaging plan, I can send and receive unlimited IMs as well, so it works both ways, either with unlimited internet or unlimited texting. Whee!!!!

Pleast Stop This Nonsense (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174159)

from the dodging-the-gouge dept.

Oh, so anything that's too expensive for kdawson is "gouging"?? Oh look, that Lamborghini there is selling for $400,000!! That's gouging!!!

Please, gouging would apply to items that are essential, text messaging is not one.

Once again, kdawson is an idiot.

Other person originates the SMS?. (1)

NoData (9132) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174187)

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?

Re:Other person originates the SMS?. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174291)

Easy solution. Move to a country where they don't charge the receiving end of a SMS.

Re:Other person originates the SMS?. (1)

superphreak (785821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174393)

Easy. The trick is to not have your friends SMS you. Have them IM you!!!!!!!!11111

Re:Other person originates the SMS?. (1)

aurasdoom (1279164) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174691)

That requires you to have the AIM client open and be connected to edge/3g/wifi which kills even more your battery.

Push email is ways better.

Re:Other person originates the SMS?. (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174739)

But an SMS is instant, AFAIK the iPhone cant notify you of an IM unless your IN the messenger app when you get it. so the solution is to get a real smartphone.

Good to know (2, Interesting)

Talsan (515546) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174197)

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.

Re:Good to know (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174299)

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.

Re:Good to know (1)

superphreak (785821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174429)

Well, the other special thing that AIM does is makes a longer message body per SMS possible. Email includes subject and sender with every message (even if subject is blank), which makes the entire message longer, which means a shorter body length, although it will split into 2+ messages if necessary.

Re: SMS email gateway (2, Informative)

dfsmith (960400) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175069)

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....

Probably Won't Be Around for Long (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174199)

AT&T likes to protect its iPhone revenue stream. If too many people catch on, expect Apple to crack down on AOL. At least we've found one reason not to completely hate AOL.

Re:Probably Won't Be Around for Long (1)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174883)

This has been around for a while. This isn't going to cut into the AT&Ts iPhone profit anymore than its cut into any other cell providers profit. Don't count on anything to change just because you can do it with an iphone now.

I can't believe this made the FrontPage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174207)

THIS is news? I don't think I've ever been more disappointed in this site...

Why hasn't a provider made SMS free yet? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

What Comes Around Goes Around (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174237)

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.

Re:What Comes Around Goes Around (1)

menace3society (768451) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174303)

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?

people... (-1, Troll)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174297)

always trying to figure out new ways to steal profits from Apple. I'm not impressed with this clever little trick. Hopefully they shut this down so iphone users will ease off the text messages or pay their fair share of bandwidth being used. Maybe its time to brick iphones when people try to circumvent the process.

Re:people... (1)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174793)

How are they "stealing" profits from Apple? They've already been paid for the damned phone.

If anything, they're "stealing" profits from AT&T, and if this were such an issue, they shouldn't be offering unlimited data. I'm pretty sure people have done this with blackberries--sending SMS through something besides the system is nothing new. Hell, I've seen it in a realtor magazine!

This article is definitely not newsworthy.

Heh, the captcha is "monopoly"

I do it with the Blackberry, etc. (2, Informative)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:I do it with the Blackberry, etc. (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174833)

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.

Let me correctly rephrase the first sentence (3, Funny)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:Let me correctly rephrase the first sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174347)

"Captain Obvious learns to speak the obvious very obviously." News at 11. :-)

Re:Let me correctly rephrase the first sentence (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174365)

But, does Cpt. Obvious wife sell sea shells somewhere by the sea shore? Some check named Shelley maybe? I hear she does?

Sheesh, Shelley :)

--Toll_Free

Re:Let me correctly rephrase the first sentence (3, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174487)

"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.

Paying when you receive? (4, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Paying when you receive? (1, Informative)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174607)

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.

Re:Paying when you receive? (1)

fangorious (1024903) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174891)

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).

Re:Paying when you receive? (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174933)

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.

Re:Paying when you receive? (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174913)

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 message if you find value in it. Just a lot of people who don't find value in it are nickle and dimed to death with a service that (for all the companies I've had) will not be turned off upon request.
 

Re:Paying when you receive? (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174947)

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.

AT&T's Rape Of Your Wallet (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174815)

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 want it."

They do have a relatively hidden url at mymessages.wireless.att.com [att.com] but it crashes on your iPhone and, surprise, surprise, sends you a nice 20c text message to allow you to sign up. Even then though, it'll only disable certain types of texting.

At least, if you got charged for incoming calls, you could choose whether to pick up or not. With texts, you automatically receive them and have the 20c deducted whether you want the message or not.

So, you get a system that costs more per byte than it costs NASA to communicate with Mars, that you have to pay to receive as well as send, you can't selectively ignore messages from and not pay, and you can't even disable entirely.

When, like me, you have asshat friends who you've yelled at countless times to stop texting you and yet they can't wrap their idiotic heads around the idea, your only option is to keep changing your number... end, even then, AT&T's own systems will keep texting you and billing you for those texts.

And all this on a device that can handle far better messaging formats with its bundled, unlimited net access anyway? It's sickening.

Re:AT&T's Rape Of Your Wallet (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174921)

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.

Yeah, but... (2, Insightful)

imstanny (722685) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Yeah, but... (1)

superphreak (785821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174455)

If you don't use SMS, you can turn pay-per-use off. Not the best solution, but not much else you can do.

Re:Yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174741)

Yeah, but... using a plan like this would allow me to bring down my 350 messages/month to something that fits under their 200 for $5 plan, so I wouldn't have to get the 1500 for $15 plan.

mundu (2, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174361)

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.

It's not really free... (1)

superphreak (785821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174473)

It's not really free when you're forced to pay $40/month for data, now is it???

Re:It's not really free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174531)

Its only $30/month, and that is free SMS then if you don't have to pay the additional costs for the other texting plans.

New hack... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174483)

I have also discovered a hack whereby entering a complex string of non-sequential numbers will open up a mode on the iPhone where you can simply speak and your voice will be magically transported to the recipient's device!

SMS is the reason there are no notifications (1, Interesting)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174491)

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 looked it at for an hour.) If it is, then this would potentially kill SMS but I find it hard to believe.

Re:SMS is the reason there are no notifications (1, Troll)

BSarp (222084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174899)

Who modded the parent interesting?

Yes, push email on the iPhone is "truly push". Your phone is notified of new messages without having to poll.

As for push notifications in the SDK, those won't be available until September or so, but they will be available. Jobs even said this in the WWDC keynote.

Re:SMS is the reason there are no notifications (1)

cthellis (733202) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174911)

I really don't mind them starting off from the "no background processes" perspective, because it's a door that--once opened--cannot be closed. I've seen numerous phones that start getting extremely unstable once you start playing with it; my brother's Treo used to crash 2-3x a day. If you let any app do whatever it wants, and you don't know what each app is doing... it could create a mess.

Bear in mind that they could change their stance at any time, but what they CAN'T do is "tagbacks" without seriously fucking people over (and likely prompting a ton of lawsuits), so... we'll see how this goes first. Also bear in mind that AOL can update their IM client at any point for "background-enough" processing; they don't have to sign off sessions, they can buffer messages, they can push updates... In short, they can take care of everything that an IM client would need to do in the background anyway, just with different methodology. It's a nice app, but it's the launch state, and Apple didn't really come out with the SDK Push updates until shortly before launch, so... SOMEone will take care of it, even if AOL doesn't get around to it yet. I don't think we're too far away from a multi-client IM app either. (One would think Adium would give it a shot, since they're OS X-only on the computer end, so getting their nice and clean setup onto the iPhone/Touch devices would seem to come naturally to them.

slashdot editor succumbs to 'over-acronym' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174511)

the slashdot community was rocked today with news that long time editor kdawson was found unconscious in his cubicle in what doctors are describing as the worst cast of 'over-acronym' they have seen since the collapse of the soviet union.

friends said that kdawson had recently been experimenting with putting acronyms in headlines, but had only joked about going beyond the legendary 3 acronym limit.

'sure, some newspaper editors had tried it, but we considered that to be a legend, sort of a fishermans tale' said rob malda, co-owner and co-founder of the slashdot community website. 'we didnt think he would go all the way, but he did'.

kdawsons family is hoping that this incident will serve as a warning to other internet users, to be careful how many acronyms they cram into the title of a story. 'you think there isnt a limit, but there is. there are always limits to what the human body and mind can tolerate' said kdawsons bereaved mother, mdawson.

'we just hope some good can come out of this tragedy' said his father, ddawson.

back to you, chuck.

tim, is anyone comparing this to the 'over-gold' crisis that struck the hip hop community in the early 1990s?

chuck, there are some making that comparison, especially those with a foot in both worlds, such as grandmaster flash, chuck d, and tron. but they say that there is hope, and point out all the rappers that overcame their disease with proper treatment, and loving care from families and friends. back to you chuck

tim, thanks for that report. ttyl.

Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174603)

HEADLINE NEWS: you can bypass ridiculous charges with a known downloadable for the world's least useful & most expensive phone.

Not impressed.

too bad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174773)

niggas can't afford iPhones, shiiiiit

If I didn't know better... (1)

Gm4n (1139093) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174819)

If I didn't know better, I'd say kdawson posted this. Oh, wait... Seriously, how is this news in the slightest? AIM has supported IMing to mobile devices for many years, and people have been using IM clients on the iphone for roughly a year now.

What a dumb post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24174867)

You guys are stupid for slashdotters, most of you are replying like you don't understand what's really happening. Maybe none of you have used AIM because it's so shitty, but it's not complicated and you can do it on your computer too. And despite what the anonymous coward that bitched about SDK said, it is possible.

But aside from that criticism, I'm glad someone else gets the real issue. As superphreak points out, it's not really free because you have to pay for mobile internet. Congrats to the poster for lying and nobody better argue that everyone with an iphone is paying for an outrageously useless internet service anyway. As I understand it, there are plenty of open wifi networks that would easily provide enough bandwidth for chat. Screw the data plan, screw the text plan, and screw this post.

How about... (1)

geogob (569250) | more than 5 years ago | (#24174873)

How about simply using a free web apps to send SMS instead of sending the SMS with the phone directly. With web browsers like the ones you have in recent data phones / pda, it should be fairly straight forward. You can even use an email to SMS gateway if you are that anxious to safe a few cents. most (if not all) providers use email to SMS gateways. But using SMS to push a conversation towards IM (or voice), that's really not the news of the century.

The rip off with text messages. . . (1)

krunk7 (748055) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175047)

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.

This is not new (0, Redundant)

redjen (246393) | more than 5 years ago | (#24175081)

AOL has had an SMS gateway for years, so this isn't exactly newsworthy except for it having to do with the iPhone.

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