Are you still paying for text messaging? If so, you may want to try out a service called HeyWire. It’s a service for iOS, Android and Windows Phone that lets you send free text messages to any mobile phone in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and China. On top of that, you can send text messages to most phones in the Caribbean, as well as South and Central America.
It’s also totally free in every single country to send HeyWire-to-HeyWire messages; so the more friends you get to sign up, the better because you’ll be able to communicate with all of them for free.
In addition to text messaging, HeyWire also lets you send and receive tweets, chat on Facebook, and chat on GTalk. If that’s not enough for you, AIM and Yahoo! Messenger are also coming soon. So it looks like HeyWire is aiming to be the ultimate app for text messaging, chatting, and tweeting on your mobile device.
For the purpose of this review, I used HeyWire on an iPad; so your app may looking slightly different depending on the device you’re using.
Texting Messaging and Chatting
To start texting, just tap the message icon. You can add people from your contacts or manually enter a phone number. You won’t receive notifications while the app is open, but once closed you’ll receive notifications for new chat messages, texts, and tweets.
The chat/text window is set up just like any typical chat window with different colored speech bubbles for each person. You can also enlarge the text of any individual message by tapping on it. Another unique feature is the option to delete individual messages from within your chats.
Enable Twitter Text Messaging
This is one of my favorite features: the ability to enable Twitter text messaging using your HeyWire text number. Since I don’t have a mobile device, I haven’t been able to reap the benefits of receiving tweets from preferred users via SMS. To link HeyWire with Twitter, send the word “START” to 40404 and follow the prompts.
Basically, you’ll have to reply back with your username, password, and “OK” to fully enable Twitter text messaging and notifications. The next time you log into your Twitter account, you’ll notice your HeyWire text number under the mobile settings. It’s a good idea to go here to enable/disable the types of notifications you’ll receive.
There are many options from the home page that you’ll want to check out.
- Online Buddies – see which of your friends are online.
- HeyLo – see which of your HeyWire friends are close by.
- Chat Services – add your Facebook and/or GTalk accounts so you can chat on those as well.
- Settings – enable/disable features, choose a theme and default sound, change your password and profile info, etc.
- Upload Contacts – import your contacts from the Contacts app on your iOS device
- Tell-A-Friend – share HeyWire with a friend.
- SmartSMS – an auto-responder that replies back to messages for you letting your friends know that you’re unavailable – a great feature to turn on while you’re driving to eliminate distractions.
- Store – the place to purchase extras (see more about these below).
- TweetNow – instead of sending a tweet to 40404 for posting, just press here to automatically open a new message that will be sent to Twitter.
HeyWire has quite a few extras that you can purchase in their store (accessible from the home page).
- Remove Ads – $4.99/3 months or $9.99/1 year.
- Buy Themes – HeyWire only comes with 3 themes, but you can purchase more from the store for $0.99 – $1.99.
- Buy Sounds/Tones – HeyWire has quite a selection of rounds and tones to choose from, but if you’re looking for more they’re also available in the store for $0.99 – $1.99.
My only issue with HeyWire is the fact that I didn’t receive a phone number in my local area. When signing up, you’re required to put in your zip code, so I thought it would only be natural to receive a phone number within my area code. Unfortunately, I am in the 813 area code and HeyWire gave me a 312 phone number.
Luckily, HeyWire is not like regular services that will charge you extra for numbers that are not in your area; texting to my number will still be free whether I receive a text from a friend in California or New York. Most people probably won’t mind this at all; it’s simply just a personal preference.
HeyWire is definitely a must-have app for communication, with very useful features. So what are you waiting for?
Sign up for HeyWire now to start sending free text messages around the world.