New Verizon app untethers text messages from your cell phone
New app and Web client allows customers to send and receive texts from several devices, including PCs and tablets.
If you're tired of having to tap out texts on your tiny cell phone screen or keyboard when your nearby laptop offers the ease of a full-size QWERTY keyboard, Verizon Wireless has a new app that may be just your type.
Version 4.0 of the carrier's in-house SMS app essentially divorces its text messaging service from cell phones, letting customers send and receive text and multimedia messages from Web-connected PCs and tablets running iOS or Android.
The update includes a number of new features, but perhaps the one customers will find most appealing is integrated messaging, which syncs message activity related to a single phone number across different devices. Verizon promotes this feature as an easy way to "keep your conversation going when you switch between devices and the Web."
Once the service is activated via the My Messaging tab on Verizon's Web site, customers will have the ability to sync 90 days of text messages among devices and Web browsers, allowing users to browse messages by sender, recipient, and attachments, regardless of which Web browser they're using.
The new functionality could go a long way toward preventing defections to standalone SMS services like iMessage or Google Talk, perhaps preserving texting fees for Verizon.
The app update, which is available in the App Store and on Google Play, also features a number of other features, such as customizable auto-replies and text signatures. The Web client is accessible through Verizon's Web site.
Flashy Verizon video promoting the new functionality: