There’s no denying that mobile texting is ideal for on-the-go messaging. But sometimes your phone is out of reach and your computer is simply the most convenient option. The larger screen also makes it easier for you to multitask and attach multimedia material to your messages. In short, texting from your computer gives your business the versatility it needs to thrive.
When choosing a desktop texting app, you’ll need to consider device compatibility requirements, among other factors like what business features are on offer. For example, some desktop texting apps send SMS messages through Android-linked numbers only, meaning they’re not viable options for iPhone users. Others work using Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) softphone technology, making them great options for both Android and iPhone users.
There are a ton of texting apps out there to choose from, but which are the best apps to text from computers? Here, we’ll take a look at the 10 best options, so you can decide which fits your business needs.
First up is OpenPhone, a VoIP provider built for professionals and entrepreneurs. VoIP is fast becoming the business standard, with over 30% of businesses using the technology and more joining every day. With OpenPhone, all of your customer interactions are accessible in a single thread, making staying on top of your communication and collaborating on external conversations easy.
Sending text messages from your computer (SMS and MMS) from OpenPhone’s browser or desktop app is also a simple process. Your OpenPhone number is also available as a second number on your smartphone, giving you two numbers on one phone (one personal number and one for work). And with text message templates, auto-replies for after hours, and automated texts via OpenPhone’s Zapier integration, you’re not limited to simple SMS texting. Sending repeat text messages is also simple. You can even schedule text messages based on your contact’s time zone.
In addition to the texting features listed above, you can call from your computer or smart device, record calls, create a mini customer relationship-management index in your address book, and set custom business hours. Plus, the mobile and web apps are seamlessly designed for ease of use.
See how easy OpenPhone is to use — sign up for a free seven-day trial.
2. Google Voice
There are several ways to send a text from your computer, and one of them is through Google Voice. Since it’s owned by Google, you’d expect Google Voice to tout lots of sophisticated features and integrations, but that’s just not the case. The Gmail parent company may have other priorities and hasn’t invested the time and resources into creating a fully functional desktop texting app.
Sure, you can send SMS messages with Google Voice. However, the free version of Google Voice has texting limits that vary from account to account, making it impossible to know how many texts you can send before Google locks your account. If you’re using Google Voice as your business texting app, there’s also nothing to help streamline the process and no stand-out features to speak of. Any text messages you send through Google Voice end up in a separate inbox from your calls and voice messages. You’d be better off opting for a VoIP solution or texting-only app.
Another popular option is MightyText. The paid version isn’t the cheapest texting app on the market, but it’s a reliable choice. Setup can be a pain, though — you’ll need to adjust your browser settings in order to receive notifications. The process involves altering security settings or installing third-party browser add-ons for each device. The MightyText desktop app also must use your existing Android phone number. So if your office is Team Apple, it’s a poor choice for workplace communication.
AirDroid is a tool originally designed for Android phones and now available on Windows PC, Mac, and Linux. Their platform can help you manage your business communications remotely. AirDroid stores all of your messages and contacts for you and can even back up your phone files. It’s a good option to share files, including music and GIFs. Like some of the other options discussed in this guide, you can also accept calls directly to your PC, without having to pick up your cell phone.
But no tool is perfect, and AirDroid’s main flaw is perhaps obvious: It’s optimized for Android devices. Although the app is technically compatible with Apple devices, Apple restrictions mean AirDroid for iOS is missing several essential features, including remote controls and SMS.
Join allows you to send texts, share your location, and take screenshots directly from your browser. It quickly became an industry leader when its competitor Pushbullet introduced a new and unsustainable pricing model. Since then, it’s constantly improved its feature offerings, including one that lets you pull saved files from your Android device. If you’re looking for a texting solution that works on your iPhone and offers time-saving features on routine tasks though, there are better options listed above.
Sideline is a step up from some of the texting apps on this list because of its team phone number options, voicemail transcription services, and automatic replies (although OpenPhone offers broader features in all of these departments). If you’re looking for a business phone number that’s separate from your personal mobile phone, Sideline could be a good option. However, its business features are on the basic side. For growing businesses with changing needs, it could be worth investing in a more scalable business phone and texting solution.
Grasshopper allows you to place VoIP phone calls and send texts directly from your phone app or desktop. The software also allows you to send pictures and participate in group chats, among other offerings. The main con is that Grasshopper SMS is an add-on feature for VoIP customers. Depending on your plan, SMS texting might come with an additional fee. You also have to enable the service separately for each Grasshopper phone number. That’s a tedious time-suck for larger teams.
Vonage‘s desktop app offers mobile device messaging, calling, and video conferencing options. You can chat internally within the mobile and desktop apps, along with sending and receiving SMS and MMS messages from any US phone number. However, users report glitchy call histories, issues sending images, and unreliable customer service — not the best option for making a good first impression with clients. Vonage also isn’t the most cost-effective solution available. Their plans start at $19.99 per user per month.
Nextiva is another big name in VoIP, using WiFi to power business communications. The platform happens to offer SMS through the Nextiva Desktop App as well. In order to make use of the feature, you’ll need to first activate SMS for your Nextiva business number and create a new contact for each intended recipient.
The big catch? If you’re operating under their newer NextOS platform, SMS and MMS aren’t supported on the Nextiva Desktop App. It’s a glaring oversight on the part of Nextiva that significantly reduces the provider’s VoIP functionality. Nextiva probably isn’t your best bet for firing off texts from a desktop, especially if security is a concern. While the provider offers encryption at rest and in transit, there’s no end-to-end encryption available.
Through Dialpad, you can gain access to simple business messaging options like internal group messaging and SMS messaging. It works across Apple and Android devices. You can also expect free outbound texts to anywhere in the US and Canada. And a resource library of how-to videos and tutorials helps users get up to speed with Dialpad.
But there’s no SMS data available under analytics. And when you’re sending out mass messages, there are better software options out there. Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t even offer a free trial where you can test out Dialpad’s features for yourself.
OpenPhone: Best app to text from computers
Once you try out OpenPhone, it’ll be difficult to imagine working with any other calling or VoIP texting app. The desktop version of our VoIP phone service hosts one of the best messaging apps out there, making OpenPhone a leader among the best apps to text from a computer. Additionally, our helpful customer service team and constant new feature releases give us the ability to scale alongside your business.
Sign up for your free trial today to learn more about our sophisticated business features.