Phone on a brown table with a note that says hello on it

September 7, 2018

TextPlus Review – App hit or miss?

As the world becomes more global, friendships tend to span countries (or even continents). Unfortunately, mobile carriers haven’t been able to keep up: many still have to charge steep fees for keeping in touch with international friends and family.

And while many apps exist to “text” friends in other countries, most require both users to download the app. Good luck getting your Great Aunt Greta to download a unique app to just text you, or wrangling all your cousins onto the same platform for your group texts.

The creators of textPlus saw this problem and decided the world needed a solution.

How the App works

textPlus allows you to text the United States or Canada for free – that’s right, free. Whoever you text isn’t required to also have textPlus, so you can use this app to text people whether or not they’re tech-savvy. You simply input their contact information in the app and use it like any other texting app. The other person will receive the text as if you’d sent it from a regular texting app, and you won’t pay heavy texting fees.

textPlus uses Wi-Fi for texting, not a standard cell signal. This means its dependability doesn’t rely on your cell service. If you have a US phone, for example, you probably will have very poor reception in Canada (if any), and vice-versa. textPlus allows you to keep in touch with your family back home when you’re traveling, and the people you meet while travelling when you go back home. If you have a great data plan, textPlus can use that to send texts, as well.

The app also offers low-cost international calling and free inbound calls. If you’re called, you don’t pay; if you call someone else, you pay a low international call rate. For some areas, including Canada, Mexico, China, and the UK, calling is under 3 cents/minute! Just like with texting, your textPlus phone number will function like a regular number, so anyone calling it can use a regular phone (like a landline) and they won’t need to do anything special to reach you.

textPlus Features – an Overview

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Here are some of the reasons textPlus is the next must-have texting and calling app for keeping in touch with international contacts:

Choose your own number

If you want an easy-to-remember number, or you’d like it to represent something meaningful, you can do that with textPlus. textPlus allows you to select your own phone number when you sign up – you can even pick the area code if you’d like to pick something with a familiar “ring” to it.

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textPlus also lets you change your number anytime. Changing your number could become important if someone you meet while traveling starts harassing you and you’d like to no longer be in touch with them.

Gone are the days when you had to close out your old phone contract and get a new cell phone to change numbers: with textPlus, you can easily change your number simply by accessing your account settings.

Even though this number is different from your usual phone number, all your textPlus calls and texts will still route through your personal phone – because simplicity is important for sanity.

Just make sure you use textPlus once every 30 days to keep your number; if you don’t, they’ll assume you’re ready to move on, and give your number to someone else.

Free inbound calls & inexpensive outbound calls

There’s nothing more aggravating than having a solicitor call you, only to find out you paid long-distance charges for even picking up the phone.

And if your mom calls and wants to find out how your day is going, but you’re on a tight budget, you don’t want to cut her off because of your phone bill charges.

That’s why textFree offers free inbound calls. If someone calls you, even internationally, you won’t have to pay for the call. This simple but incredible feature provides peace-of-mind when the phone rings unexpectedly but you don’t want to pay the long-distance charges for answering it.

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The app also includes extremely low-cost international calling. If you have to make a call to a landline or business, you can use textPlus to make the call, and pay less than 3 cents/minute for some destinations (like Canada and Mexico). Call rates vary, but you can use textPlus to call anywhere in the world from your cell phone.

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Calls are an especially important feature if you’re a frequent traveler who plans to contact businesses. Hotels, event venues, restaurants, and other businesses won’t be able to use a nifty smartphone Wi-Fi app to call your username, so having a specific phone number that they can dial to reach you is important.

Free multimedia and group texting included

Multimedia and group texting used to be an expensive add-on feature. Today, many domestic plans offer it for free, but not all international texting plans include MMS or group messages.

Nevertheless, families that are spread across continents need a way to share pictures of growing grandchildren or coordinate travel plans. Group texting is an important feature for anyone with a few friends across the border, and textPlus includes it.

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This means that next time your cousin-who-moved-to-Toronto has a cute baby picture to share, she can share it with everyone – your mom in Chicago, her best friend in New York, Uncle Tom in Alberta, that cousin whose name you always forget (at least you think they’re a cousin….) and you’ll be included in the loop. It also means you can share pictures of your travels with people back home if you’re exploring somewhere new in the US or Canada: just click and send, the way you always would.

Again, because textPlus uses a regular phone number, everyone who you text will receive the pictures you send as normal pictures. No extra apps or hassle downloads.

We’ve looked at the “good”, but what about the “cons”….

Unfortunately, not everything is perfect with textPlus.

While it offers low-cost international calling, it isn’t the most competitive price on the market. There are other phone services and apps that offer more inexpensive international calling for keeping in touch with friends on the other side of the world, and some that are free.

However, textPlus is one of the only reliable phone-based apps for international calling (in that you can use it to call a landline in another country – you’re not calling smartphone-to-smartphone) and it doesn’t require an annual contract to sign up. If you purchased a phone plan, you’d need to sign a contract to get a good rate, and other options are either more expensive or less reliable.

textPlus is also limited to the US and Canada in its free texting. If your California friends decide to head to Mexico for a weekend, or you have a friend you’re keeping up with who lives in Ireland, textPlus won’t help you.

But within the US and Canada, textPlus is a reliable way to text phone-to-phone without forcing both parties to download the same app. If you live close to the border or know plenty of people on both sides of the border, it’s a great way to stay in the loop with everyone on your contacts list.

If you have international friends, textPlus is a seamless way to keep in touch.

When you look at the pros and cons of textPlus, the pros far outweigh the cons, especially if you’re a frequent traveler and plan to use your number in networking and contacting businesses. It’s crucial that you don’t limit your ability to stay in touch with important family members and networking connections; having a real phone number is one of the most reliable ways to communicate with the many types of people you’ll meet.

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Thanks to textFree’s many free and low-cost features, adding a second phone number for international contacts won’t break the bank. That’s great, not just because saving money is helpful, but because you’ll need those funds for future adventures – because there’s always more to explore.

Phone on a brown table with a note that says hello on it

Choose a second phone number

+ Unlimited calling

+ Unlimited texting

Only $6.99 $3.99/month

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