Use TextPlus to Send Free Text Messages Using An iPhone – iPod Touch [How-To]

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Over the past week, the groovy research team (MrGroove and I) have spent some time looking at many of the different applications designed for sending free text messages from an iPhone or iPod touch.  With each app, there were a few various criteria to be met before being considered.  Is the service free or inexpensive? Is the app itself free?  Is it easy to use? Etc.

At the end of the day, of all the apps we looked at, textPlus came out on top.


The app textPlus is free to use and download; funding is provided through built-in advertisements that comfortably fit near the bottom of the page (a little annoying but not bad.)  Everything managed with the app is through its own shortcode network on the number 60611.  You manage conversations from a conversation Window which allows you to store and archive virtually endless conversations.

Unlike traditional texting, through textPlus you can invite multiple people to join one conversation. TextPlus will organize who is talking and send conversation updates via SMS to either the cell phone or textPlus application of those in the conversation.

textPlus conversation organizeer for text messages

The application has a built-in contact manager, where you can store the name, email address, and phone number of people you talk to on textPlus.  You can also integrate your textPlus contacts with your saved contacts on your iPhone or iPod including contact photos.

the contact info bar on text messager textPlus

There’s a lot more you can do with textPlus so let’s take a quick Screenshot tour of the product!


How To Set Up textPlus To Send Text Messages For Free From An iPhone or iPod Touch

1.   Download and Install textPlus from the Apple AppStore.

install the textPlus app

2.  Open textPlus on your device, and then go through the welcome screen.  Tap Cool, lemme in! to get started.

go through the textPlus welcome page

3.   On the next page, Enter your username.  This name will be your textPlus address, so choose it wisely.  Tap Go when you finish entering it. You cannot change this name later.

enter your textPlus user account name, this is new and permanent

4.  Next, is the Settings page.  Enter either your Real Name or Nickname; this is what name people will see when you send them a text message.  Tap Get a FREE account! to continue.

Note: If you like you can turn on notifications. Push (recommended) will send you alerts and sounds on your iPod or iPhone, but it requires OS version 3.0 or higher.  Regular Text alerts defeat the purpose of using a free texting application as it just forwards your messages to your phone.

enter a real name or a nickname that will show up when you text message people set up notifcations, Push is great but requies OS 3.0

 5.  Next is the Sign Up page.  Enter your email address and a  new password for your textPlus account.  You can leave the rest of everything at default if you like, but don’t forget to Enter a Postal Code before you Tap Sign me up!

enter the rest of your details and click sign me up

6.  This next step is optional. You may choose to register your regular cell phone number. Then whenever another textPlus member sends a text to your phone, it will instead be received on your textPlus account, thus saving you the SMS fee.

head on over to the last step and register your number, or not

Now it should be all set up!  Text messaging from the textPlus application is pretty straight-forward.  There is a  compose button on the top-right corner that lets you enter a new contact or choose from an existing iPhone address book contact.

conversations are easy to start, you can do so with your built in address book or by phone number, or text another textplus user

So now you have this spiffy new textPlus account, but it’s going to be tough to make it useful unless your friends know how to communicate with you on it.

How To Text Message A textPlus Account From A Regular Cell Phone

We have two different ways any cell phone user can contact a textPlus user.

  • Method #1:  Reply texts
    • When a textPlus account text messages a phone, the user receives a message that will look like this on the recipient’s cell phone:
      recieved mail from textplus service system
    • The cell phone user can reply like normal, and the response text message goes to everyone that you have invited to the conversation.  Once you’ve sent your reply the service will send you a new text with the option to name yourself for others to see.  To initiate any of the available commands, respond to the message with the command, or send it directly to 606110.
      image textplus options that you can text as commands
  • Method #2:  Texting directly to a textPlus account from a cell phone
    • To contact someone there isn’t yet a direct number you can text to from a phone.  That’s the downside to the app. It will take a couple of texts to make that happen.  First Send a text to 60611, and in the message only put the textPlus username of the person you want to contact.
      send a text message first with the user name send your SMS to the user
    • After you receive the text message saying you can reply, then reply to it with the message you want to send to that textPlus user.  You will be required however to respond first with your name.
      finally after you've sent your name, your txt SMS will actually be sent

Be sure that the people you are texting to are on compatible networks!  Here is a list of cell phone companies that will allow textPlus interaction.

Supported Carriers:

  • AT&T
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Sprint
  • T-Mobile
  • Alltel
  • US Cellular
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Nextel
  • Boost
  • Cellular One
  • Dobson
  • nTelos
  • Cellular South
  • CellCom
  • evol
  • ECIT
  • RINA
  • Bluegrass
  • Cox
  • Inland Cellular
  • West Central Wireless
  • Centennial
  • EKN
  • RCC
  • Immix/Pc Management

So that covers a look at textPlus for free messaging from an iPhone or iPod touch.   As we saw above, the only downside to the program is its complexity to contact someone on a textPlus account from a regular phone unless the textPlus user initiates the conversation.  The rest of the programs performs excellently. However, because it’s still in beta, I’ll wait to review the full application until release/gold code.



  1. Keyur

    February 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you very much. I have this app in my iphone and was trying to figure out how to use it ? It helped me a lot.

    • MrGroove

      February 11, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      Glad it helped out!

  2. Kimber

    March 10, 2010 at 11:41 am

    A great help! I’m using this for my iPod Touch and was curious about how it worked on the other side of things. When someone with a cellphone texts you, do they have to go through that process EVERY time they do or is it just the first time? I suppose they could always save your last message to them and just reply that way…

  3. Chris

    March 23, 2010 at 6:58 am

    I have a question. When a cell phone user reply’s to a text i sent them on text plus, is it free of charge for them to reply? I understand if they send me a text to text plus it will cost them if they send it first. However, will it cost them if they are just replying to a text i send them?

    • grooveDexter

      March 23, 2010 at 11:02 am

      @Chris, great question!
      Using Textplus is very similar to just using a cell phone with an unlimited texting plan. No matter what, it is free for YOU to send and receive texts to/from anyone, regardless if the person you are texting has an unlimited texting plan.

      Unless the person you are texting has an unlimited texting plan, then it is ALWAYS going to cost them 1 text OR $0.05-$0.25 to send and receive texts regardless of who the sender or recipient is.

      You’ll always want to make sure your friend has a good texting plan whether you are texting with them from your phone, email, messenger, or TextPlus.

      • Chris

        March 25, 2010 at 6:51 am

        Thank you very much! This was very helpful! I couldnt seem to find a straight answer anywhere! Thank you, again!

    • brandon

      September 25, 2010 at 8:01 am

      yes it will cost unless you have free texting on your phone.

  4. Brittany

    March 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I’m still confused, I’m sorry. My friend sent me a text from his ipod to my cell phone and it said this :

    Fr: 60611
    My friends name:
    Are you sleep?
    (Reply T2 , or reply MENU2 for options)

    So I replied 50 different ways and everytime I did, I got the following message back”

    Fr: 60611
    Reply with the textPlus address of a person or community, or reply !CHAT to make a group

    I did all of the above and nothing is working, it wont let me text him back for nothing and Im getting so frustrated!! Plz help before I send my phone or his ipod flyin against the wall lol…

    • MrGroove

      March 28, 2010 at 9:03 pm


      It really does depend on your cell phone carrier as to what options you have on you cell phone. Some Cell phones can TXT an email address and some cell phones can txt a phone number (obviously). Sometimes you can also txt a 5 digit code which also get’s directed to a specific address.

      My thoughts are when you want to reply to the txt messages, you should just use their mobile #. The txt plus # does not appear to be working to reply…

  5. holly

    April 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    i sent the username and this is what i got:

    Fr: 60611
    Reply with the textPlus address of a person or community, or reply !CHAT to make a group

    i dont know the address im trying to find out who this person is and i cant find out unless i reply plz help me!

  6. Chantel

    April 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    you send !CHAT to it and then you should be able to text back that person

  7. Samantha

    May 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Let’s say I send a text from my itouch to a friend with a cell phone, they reply and they have unlimited texting . It will cost them nothing to relpy from their phone?

    • Chantel

      May 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm

      Nope it wont, they just need to do whatever it says like reply with whatever and they will get your message, but some cell phone carriers dont let them go through it sucks

  8. Hannah

    June 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    I’m so confused! One of my friend’s has a textPlus app, and he text me, but I can’t reply to it! Help!!!

  9. Theresa

    July 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I have textplus, and I tried to text my mom (who has verison) and she doesn’t get the messages. I have to use a different app.

    • Philip

      July 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm

      @Theresa: I have a friend who uses Verizon, and for a while she wasn’t able to get my texts from textplus until we went to Verizon to figure it out. Turns out the “60611” number was blocked. All they had to do was remove that and it works flawlessly now!

    • MrGroove

      August 3, 2010 at 12:21 am

      That’s a bummer. Did you try Google Voice? You can send txt messages for free and their mobile site is nice.

  10. Philip

    July 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    This app has been tricky at times, but awesome as well and well worth trying to figure out any problems you may encounter. That said, is there any way for my non-textplus friends to disable the seemingly mandatory “Options…” at the end of each message I send. They’re complaining that all the tips shown, while helpful for the first message or so, are just annoying now. Is there a way that they, or I, can make it so they don’t have to see all the extra stuff that’s not the body of the text I send? BTW, I am using the ad-free version of textplus, which is just THAT MUCH better now that I have a couple extra lines to view a conversation with on my screen! Thanks guys at textplus for this app!

  11. John

    July 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Hi I was wondering on textPlus can you make more then one user account on one iPOd touch because my sis is giving me her old itouch 1g and she got a new one and she isnt updated to 3.1.3 and if i restore my itouch it will delete textPlus and i want it. So what im wondering is ,can multiple textPlus users be signed on the app on one itouch? or will i have to update and download the app again and make a completely new textPlus user

  12. mary

    August 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    so what if you got an unlimited plan right and yu can text free from 6pm-8am .does it still apply if yur friend texts you with textplus?

  13. StereoImagery

    August 10, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Supported networks are alright. Barely any Canadian networks.
    Any plans to make bell or rogers compatiable with textplus?
    I understand it would be costly to get the agreements, but would be amazing if more larger networks in Canada were avaliable.

  14. Alexis

    August 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Why can’t some people get my text

  15. Shemra

    August 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    how do i find out who is sending me a textplus?

  16. Maria

    August 25, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    A friend texts me using this application, and I have Virgin Mobile. I don’t have an unlimited texting plan, but Virgin says that I have unlimited incoming texts. Does the $0.05-$0.25 to receive texts still apply?

    • Rebecca-Jo

      December 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      If you have unlimited incoming texts you will get the texts sent to you for free, as for sending texts teh same charges etc apply as to any other phone.. its honestly just like some one is texting you from a regular cell phone

  17. ellem

    October 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    My textplus sends a “?” at the end of my every text, even though I never write them. Its quite annoying as when I say something such as “Haha, Cool” can turn out to be “Haha, Cool?”.. and tends to make mixed messages! If you can help me, or know anything about this would be very helpful!

  18. Anna

    October 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    How do I find out who’s sending me messages from Text Plus?

    • anonymous

      February 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      im trying to figure out the same thing

      • unanimous

        February 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

        Unfortunately, that is the nature of textplus. You don’t have to attach your identity to the program to use it.

        The best way to figure out who is texting you is to ask them, but short of that it would be to install the app yourself and gather what profile information you can.

  19. Rebecca-Jo

    December 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Hi i was just wondering is there a way i can see my past conversations, further back than the load previous messages opion ? Im desperate, please :)

  20. G

    January 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Hi If I am using text plus on my phone to text another phone and i have SMS notifications on, can i reply to the SMS notification?

  21. Kristene

    February 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    If u forget ur password on your textplus account on your ipod what do you do? Cuz it wont let me sign back in its saying that i dont have the right password..? Please help! :(

    • MrGroove

      February 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      From your iPad? Have you tried to login to the site and get things reset using the reset password process? That should work I would think IE: Send me my password to my email address etc….

  22. basil

    May 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    can a ntelos phone send my textplus a pic or can they get the app on their phone

  23. jimmy choo shoe

    June 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    can a ntelos phone send my textplus a pic or can they get the app on their phone


  24. sana

    June 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

    is this app only for US users??…can people in India use it?…n does the person receiving the text need wifi???

  25. anonymous

    June 4, 2011 at 11:07 am

    yes the person reveiving messages from textplus need wifi and im not sure if it works for india

  26. Jan

    June 10, 2011 at 6:01 am

    If I use the app to text someone in the US using his mobile number and I am outside the US will he be charged international charges for replying to me or will it be just like texting someone in the US?

  27. Hong

    August 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Hellow, I was able to send messages to my friend’s phone but and some how I can not received anything back from her. It’s weird because other people works just fine including her husband who has same carrier. She’s able to text me on my regular phone though.

    Please help if you have an answer.


  28. xemmaxpayne

    September 20, 2011 at 4:27 am

    please send my apple password by text

  29. Jor Natapon

    September 25, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I m try to sign up for text plus but it’s Error “Sorry, You must be at least 13 years old to use textPlus” But I am 29 years old . So how to sign up then?

  30. Rosa

    October 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

    You can Gmail me any time

  31. Lisa

    December 27, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    This is probably an amazingly stupid question, but can I find out who’s texting me? For a while now, my boyfriend and I have been receiving menacing and threatening text messages. I have the number, and I’ve called it and it says this is the app the person is using. I want to know who it is just for the sake of knowing. Help… please?

  32. Donna

    December 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I went to the app store and clicked on “install” but then something popped up saying use existing account or to create a new one. I clicked on “create a new account” and it said I needed to choose my country for the store that will match my billing address .

    I’m only 15 , and don’t know what they mean by that. Then they ask for a card number and a security code .
    I thought you could just install it , without it asking for payments .

    Can someone please give me some advice on how to get it set up ?

  33. Kathryn B

    January 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

    How can I register my cell phone number to textplus after the fact? I wish I’d known to do it when signing up, but I didn’t.

  34. Bee

    January 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Wait, so if we are using this application in chile to text someone in the US who has verizon, they should be a supported carrier correct and not be charged?

  35. john

    February 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    im trying to send a picture from my ipod to someone on an iphone they are able to send me pictures but when i try to send one back it will not work does anyone know why this is happening?

  36. Roshana

    February 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I would like to put peoples names in instead of their numbers so I know who it is. How do I do this? I have a number of conversations going but don’t want to remember their numbers, their names is easier.

  37. Ashley Helmer

    April 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    does it need internet to send a message?

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