I covered it earlier that Google Voice offers unlimited SMS worldwide. I think somebody in Google read our post and took the action. International SMS are not going out anymore. Google Voice is officially available in US only and you can sign up for an account only if you are in US and you register at least one of your existing US phone number with it. You can still send SMS / Text messages within US from your Google Voice account.
This sounds too good to be true but things are moving in that direction. To promote the use of text messages on cell phones in my country, I remember cell phone operators were giving free SMS to subscriber around a decade ago. Once they started using it, it has never been free.
Today I will tell you a very simple method of sending free text messages to any phone, anywhere in the world. There’s no restriction how many messages you send but I recommend you use this service wisely and don’t lose the duck that lays golden eggs.
This is not going be surprise for some that this free world-wide sms service is being given by nobody else but Google. Free text messages is one of the feature of Google Voice that has not been talked about much. If you succeed in getting a Google Voice account, you can send out international text to your friends and family. Following are the steps that allow you to send free SMS to any number in the world.
Free SMS for Life
Step 1: Google Voice is still invite only. Goto http://www.google.com/voice and request an invite.
Step 2: You will have to wait for some time till you get the invite email, but it’s worth the wait. Once you have the invite email, sign-up for the service immediately. 🙂
Step 3: Log-on to the service and send free SMS. This apparently is your free outgoing text message account for life.
If you are outside US or Canada
Google Voice is available for US and Canada users only for now. If you are living outside US/Canada, you can read this tutorial to figure out how you can sign-up for Google Voice outside US/Canada.
An sms hoax has been floating all around especially on Ufone numbers. Different versions of the message have been forwarded but basically all of these messages ask users to exploit a bug/hack in ufone system by forwarding the message to several people to get some free balance. Now i dont know if its an effort of chocking ufone network or an attempt to give an sms revenue boost to the network. Following are the two of several versions of the message.
“UFONE HACKED BY STUDENT OF QUAID_E_AWAM UNIVERSITY .
Ye sms without editing ufone k kisi b 6 numbers pe send kro aur os k baad *146# dial kren 15 mints me 1000 sms ka pkg free me ho jae ga aur 5 hour k lie aap sirf ufone numbers pe free cal kr skte ho .it works because of these codes.
htp.\\trace\15m5-333s.3[ra-ga-5]+47.locate7\\09 .?ufone.htt.p.web.a.s [eco]%uni@hdnis. URL-4YR.K26.”
“Ufone Bug, Ufone ki Service main aik bug mila ha, jis ki wajha sy ufone ko lakhun ka nuksaan horaha ha. Is sms ko edit keay bghair 8 logon ko send krain, isk end par maujood code ki wajha sy apko 200 free minutes milain gy. Sirf 2 hr baad *706# mila kr check kegeyay ga.
Ufone has launched its Urdu SMS services and that’s what I call convenience with simplicity. We all keep sending messages in roman Urdu but keeping in mind that the mobile usage has gone way beyond the very basic literacy level, we need solutions that keep things in Urdu or even use picture illustrations for getting a message through. As far as I remember, Ufone is not the first one to launch such translation service, for example Mobilink is already running their SMS translation services.
How it works
For all your message recipients, who cannot understand English script, Ufone has come up with this very useful yet simple service. Simply send a message to 424 written in roman Urdu and you will receive a response translated in Urdu text. If you want to send the message to someone else, type [recipient number] [space] [message in roman] and the service will attempt its best to translate it word by word in Urdu script.
To give it a shot I sent a simple message from a Ufone number to a non-Ufone one and it was delivered within a few milliseconds. Here was a simple test run:
Received at destination as:
Most cell-phones out there in the market do not have Urdu-keypad and do not have Urdu typing support in their firmware/OS, but they have capacity to display Urdu messages. In these circumstances, the service can be a hit.
The only problem in this service is the use of roman combination and users’ habits. Ufone has a software at the back end that is translating these English character combinations to Urdu. In case it doesn’t find your desired combination, or you spell a certain word differently, the translation will not work perfectly. For example I’ve seen people using “Hay”, “He”, “Hey” and “Hy” for the same word “ہے” in Urdu. But once people start using it, they will learn the right syntax. I was expecting a detailed guideline or user-manual on Ufone’s website, that I couldn’t find.
Each message translated will cost Rs. 2+ Tax. Here are the details: