Ina Fried

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Verizon Adds iMessage-Like Capabilities to Its Text Messages

Aiming to add life and utility to the venerable text message, Verizon on Thursday announced a service that allows short missives to be read on multiple devices.

Verizon Messages-feature

“A message sent to a customer’s mobile number will appear simultaneously on his or her PC, Android smartphone, and Android or iOS tablet, making sure an important text message will not be missed no matter what device they’re using,” Verizon said in a blog post announcing the new service. “The message will be delivered to the other devices and stored on the Verizon cloud for up to 90 days unless deleted by the user.”

On the PC, the service is browser-based, while on iOS and Android devices it requires a Verizon Messages app that can be used in place of or alongside the standard text messaging app.

The new program, now available in Google Play and the Apple App Store, is a significant expansion of Verizon Messages. Earlier versions of the app had more limited features, such as the ability to save text messages to an SD memory card.

Apple, of course, delivers iMessages to multiple devices, but only of the Mac and iOS variety. Other services also deliver messages to multiple devices, but one thing that makes Verizon’s approach particularly interesting is that it does this with standard SMS messages.

On the PC side, Verizon Messages works with Chrome, Firefox (with a plug-in) and Safari 6.0 and higher. A Verizon representative said the Web version also works in Internet Explorer but users won’t get the pop-up notifications for new messages that they get in other browsers.

Here’s a video Verizon did showing the service in action.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik