Text messaging is one of the most popular ways we communicate with people around the world. Texting is a quick and easy way to message someone without having to hop on a phone call. Canadians send billions of text messages every year for personal and professional purposes. According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CTRC), 500 million messages are sent and received daily. If you don’t have a phone or your plan includes limited messages, there are still ways to send text messages through text messaging apps.
Is SMS a text message?
This is a popular question and one you may have asked yourself at some point. The abbreviation SMS stands for Short Message Service. When sending an SMS, you can send a message up to 160 characters. If the message is longer, it will be split up into multiple messages. How can you compare SMS to MMS? MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging. While both are text messages, MMS allows you to send multimedia content including images, video, and audio files. In order to send an MMS, your phone must have a data plan. MMS will not work over Wi-Fi. The maximum file size you can send from your device varies, but typical MMS limits range from 600KB and 3.5MB for photos and 600KB for 15 seconds of video.
What text messaging apps are available?
Third-party texting apps (also called “Over The Top” (OTT) applications) have blown up. From WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger, these messaging apps provide users with a way to keep in touch without a phone in hand. Texting apps are also useful for people who want to keep in contact with loved ones in other countries since you can message them no matter where they live or travel.
Keep in mind that if you aren’t connected to WiFi, text messaging apps will use data when you send text messages, as opposed to traditional SMS text messages, which don’t use your phone’s data.
Popular text messaging apps include:
- Wickr Me
- Facebook Messenger
- Google Voice
The good news is you can access all of the apps listed above from a desktop computer. Here’s how it works. Download or open up the web browser for the app, input your information, and text away. In order to start sending messages to individuals or groups of people, you may have to provide a valid phone number, although some apps won’t require it.
WhatsApp is a basic text messaging app available as a mobile app, desktop app on Mac, Windows, or through on a web browser. With WhatsApp, you can send text messages, videos, photos, and voice messages to other WhatsApp users. In order to use WhatsApp, you need some kind of phone number – either a cell phone or landline. You can set up WhatsApp with or without a SIM card, although without a SIM card is a bit trickier.
Like WhatsApp, Viber is an easy way to send texts, pictures, and voice messages to other Viber users, and just like WhatsApp, Viber uses data to send messages when you aren’t on WiFi. Because the app uses data, you may incur charges if you are roaming or have run out of data on your plan. To avoid being charged for the app, make sure you’re connected to WiFi before using it. Viber is available as a mobile app and a desktop app for Windows, Linux, or Mac—you can download Viber here to start using the mobile texting feature.
Telegram is a secure text messaging app available as both an iPhone and Android app and desktop app. Telegram allows you to send secret chats that can self-destruct, leaving no trace of the message. In order to use Telegram, you need a mobile phone number or landline number. The app doesn’t support voice messages—this is a strictly text messaging-based app.
If you’re looking for a secure messaging app, look no further. You can download Wickr Me without a phone number or email address. All messages sent on the app expire after six days. A feature on the app called Shredder makes it impossible to recover deleted messages. As with the other apps on this list, it’s available as both a desktop and mobile app.
The good news is you don’t need a Facebook account to use Facebook Messenger through a web browser. Once you’ve opened the app on your browser, you can message with anyone on Facebook Messenger. It’s really that easy.
Google Voice is a popular mobile-based and web-based app that provides you with a phone number for both texting and calling. It’s a nice choice if you have several phones or laptops you want to use to stay in touch since it syncs across all your devices.
How to delete text messages
Messages take up a lot of space on your phone, especially MMS messages that contain pictures, videos, or voice messages. Deleting messages is good for privacy and keeping your phone organized.
Keep in mind, that when it comes to deleting messages on your cell phone, the message will only disappear for you—the other person will still be able to read it. Maybe one day, the tech giants will grant mercy on us and allow us to delete a message we didn’t mean to send, but for now, we can just erase it on our end. Read on to learn how to delete text messages on popular devices.
1. Tap and hold the message.
2. Tap More… in the pop-up menu.
3. Select the individual message you would like to delete.
4. Select the delete trash bin icon on the lower left.
5. To confirm you want to delete, tap Delete Message on the pop-up menu.
1. From a Home screen, navigate: Apps > Messages. These instructions apply to Standard mode only.
2. From the Inbox, tap the Menu icon (located in the upper right).
3. Tap Delete.
4. Tap the desired message(s). To delete all messages, tap 0 selected (located in the upper left).
5. Tap Done (located in the upper right).
6. Tap Delete to confirm.
1. From the home screen, tap the Messaging icon.
2. To delete an entire message thread, tap and hold on the message.
3. Tap the trash can icon.
4. Tap Delete.
5. To delete a single message, tap the message thread.
6. Tap and hold on the message you wish to delete.
7. Tap the trash can icon.
8. Tap Delete.
If you’ve sent a message on WhatsApp and want to delete it, you have about an hour after you’ve sent the message to request a Delete for Everyone in the chat.
1. Go to the chat that contains the text you want to delete.
2. Tap and hold the message and then tap Delete and then Delete for everyone.
This will show everyone in the group chat this message: “This message was deleted”.
1. Tap on the message you want to remove and tap on “Remove for Everyone”
2. You have roughly 10 minutes after a message is sent to delete it.
This action will prompt a message to everyone in the group staying that the message was removed.
If you want to delete messages on Google Voice, bear in mind that you won’t see them again, but they may still appear for the people you sent the message to.
1. Open the Voice app and click on Messages.
2. Tap the conversation and hold the message that you want to delete.
3. At the top right, tap Delete.
How can I send a text message without a cell phone?
There are creative ways to send a text message without a cell phone in hand. If you know the cellular provider of the person you would like to message, you can use an online form or send a message via email.
Here’s how to send a text message from a computer for a couple of the major carriers in Canada like Bell and Rogers.
We get a lot of questions about Bell’s Mobility Web Messaging. If you want to send a text message to a Bell Mobility text-enabled phone and you don’t have a phone, you can send one through the web browser. Keep in mind that the message cannot contain any HTTP links, URLs, or IP addresses. All Bell phones have a unique email address. It’s your 10-digit mobile phone [email protected]. To send a message enter this in the “to” field and enter your message in the email body.
If Rogers is your carrier, you can send a 2-way text message through a web browser. Here’s how it works. Use your 10-digit Rogers wireless phone number or email address to login. Once you’ve logged into the online browser, you can compose a text message to another Rogers subscriber.
Other Canadian Carriers
If you know the cellular provider of the person you would like to message, then you can use either an online form or send a message via email. Here is a list of other carriers’ text messaging information:
- Bell: [10-digit phone number]@txt.bell.ca
- Bell MTS: [10-digit phone number]@text.mtsmobility.com
- Chatr: [10-digit phone number]@pcs.rogers.com
- Eastlink: [10-digit phone number]@txt.eastlink.ca
- Fido: [10-digit phone number]@mms.fido.ca
- Freedom: [10-digit phone number]@txt.freedommobile.ca
- Koodo Mobile: [10-digit phone number]@msg.koodomobile.com
- PC Mobile: [10-digit phone number]@mobiletxt.ca
- Public Mobile: [10-digit phone number]@msg.telus.com
- Rogers: [10-digit phone number]@pcs.rogers.com
- Sasktel: [10-digit phone number]@sms.sasktel.com
- TBayTel: [10-digit phone number]@pcs.rogers.com
- TELUS: [10-digit phone number]@msg.telus.com
- Virgin Mobile: [10-digit phone number]@vmobile.ca
Depending on the carrier, there may be a charge (to the recipient) and/or limit on the size of messages sent via email (it is best to keep them to 140 characters to ensure the recipient receives the entire message). Recipient must be able to receive text messages. Delivery is not guaranteed.
How to text internationally when you’re on a Canadian plan
Texting friends and family from Canada is easy. If you’d like to compare how to send international text messages based on your carrier, here is more information. Keep in mind that international text messaging rates may apply per each message sent.
If your carrier is Telus, in order to send a message from Canada simply follow these steps:
1. After you write a text message, enter the following in the ‘To’ field: 011, then the country code, then the region code, then the mobile phone number. Press send.
Local rates apply when you receive a text message from an international number while you are in Canada. Roaming charges apply when you send or receive a text message to/from an international number when you are outside Canada.
If you want to send a text message outside of Canada or the U.S., enter 011 and then the International Dialing Code of the country you want to send the message to. Then, enter the recipient’s phone number.
Certain carriers charge for international texting so be sure to check what your carrier’s policies are ahead of time.
Which carriers offer international calling?
Frequently asked questions about text messaging
How do I retrieve deleted text messages?
Typically, once you click delete, a message is gone. Some exceptions can be made if the information needs to be used in court. Otherwise, you may be able to recover lost texts using a data recovery app or by keeping your data backed up on iTunes or iCloud.
How do I block text messages on iPhone?
Good question! First, tap on a message from the number you want to block. Tap the “i” in the top right corner, then tap the arrow to the right of the phone number and tap “Block this Caller” at the bottom.
How do I change text message to iMessage?
To change text message to iMessage simply tap Settings > Messages > Turn on iMessage > Tap on OK to confirm > Toggle the Send As SMS switch to off. This will still allow you to receive text messages. You can test that you set it up correctly by sending a text to another iOS user. The message should appear in a blue bubble.
How do I forward a text message?
Forwarding a message is easy-peasy but varies depending on your device.
Here’s how to forward on an Android device:
- Tap and hold on the message you want to forward until you see three vertical dots icon at the top right.
- Tap on the three dots and then select “Forward” and a list of your recent contacts should appear.
- Select the person you want to forward the message to and tap on “New Message.”
- When you’re ready to send the message, tap on the send (right arrow icon) SMS button.
How do I see my text messages on Google?
On a desktop, install Messages using Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Make sure you’re connected to the internet. If you have unread messages, the Messages icon will show a notification in red in your browser tab.
Can I send a text message online?
Yes, most carriers offer online messaging services like the ones listed above. There are many different sites that allow you to send free text messages online too, like SENDaTEXT and Foxtext. Keep in mind that these sites may not offer the same level of security and privacy that the apps mentioned above feature.