TextNow allows you to send and receive text messages from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to any other mobile number for free. When you first start up the app, you set up a free account with the service and you're given a phone number to send texts from. When you send a message to another number, it'll show the message as being sent from your new TextNow number – making it indistinguishable from a text message sent over the iPhone's actual SMS app. What's more, the app also allows you to send pictures for free too (but not video, unfortunately).
The app uses Wi-Fi or 3G to send your messages, so you're able to use it even if you aren't paying for SMS support from AT&T or Verizon. This makes the app a legitimate option for those who don't want to pay for text messaging but still want to be able to text message.
The app itself is designed impressively well. It's sleek, functional and easy to use. Also, there are some nice extras. For example, you can change your conversation background to any picture in your Photos gallery or choose from a selection of included choices.
You might be wondering, "How's this free?" While there is no catch – it's actually totally free – the app is ad-supported, so you'll have to put up with some advertisements along the way if you want free text messaging.
In addition to offering free text messaging, TextNow also offers premium voice features that allow you to make phone calls and receive voicemails from within the app. This allows you to use either your iPod Touch or iPad to make phone calls. But unlike the free texting, though, this service will cost you a fee.
Head over to the iTunes App Store to download TextNow for free.