“ FishText sends real text messages to over 200 countries from your mobile phone and the web. Use your existing mobile number, or one provided by FishText for extra safety when making new friends. Get immense reliability and low, low prices in a secure service that stays with you regardless of handset, network and country! „
I feel sorry for the previous reviewer, who got told off for reviewing the Fish Text service rather than the website. Fish Text is a service; the website only exists to facilitate sending texts. Anyway, here goes.
I'm on pay as you go, and get stung for 25p per text. I'd been searching for "cheap sms" for ages before I found Fish Text - I kept getting results that promised cheap (or free) texts, but turned out - once I'd clicked through ten or more confusing portals - to be premium lines of one sort or another.
My only criticism of fishtext.com would be that I approached it via an equally confusing series of pages: I was allowed to send ten free texts, but it was unclear to me what deal was on offer. I've just checked their homepage now, though, and it couldn't be clearer. Presented in their rather jarring colours of white, orange and blue, it proclaims "Fish Text sends real text messages to over 200 countries from your mobile phone and the web."
And that's what it does. Here's how it works.
You give Fish Text your real mobile number. Fish sends you a text with an access code, which you then type into their website - to confirm the phone number. Any texts you send with Fish Text will be sent as if from your own phone, meaning the recipient can just hit Reply to text you back.
Not all Web-based sms services do this; it's an important advantage. If, however, you want a 'virtual number' to be used only with your Fish texts, you can rent one for £10 a year.
After you have used your ten free texts, you'll be asked to subscribe. The minimum payment is only £5. They accept Paypal, credit/debit cards and sms credits (the £5 comes out of your mobile credit). There is no recurring charge, you simply top up as required.
The login page couldn't be simpler. Once logged in, you're presented with the Send Message page. There's a very clear single-level menu on the left, offering "Home; Send message; Inbox; Sent messages; Web contacts; Purchase; Settings; Support; Send to a friend; Logout".
In the middle, there's the Send Message panel. You have a drop-down box containing all the mobile numbers you've registered with Fish (in case you send from various phones), a box for Recipients, the message box, and an information panel underneath it. This panel counts the characters you've typed, how many pages it is, how many recipients, and your current balance.
The message box itself is quite big, and does allow normal text functions such as copy, paste and re-do. Underneath the panel are buttons for Clear, Cost and Send. After you've pressed Send, a line appears beneath the buttons to show the cost of the message you sent and your remaining balance. Should you accidentally hit Send twice, a big warning flashes up to ask if you really want to re-send the same text.
To the right of the message box is a list of your contacts. You can choose not to use this facility - but I use it. It auto-suggests contacts as soon as you start typing your recipient's name; saves keypresses.
On the Sent Messages page, you have all the Fish texts you've sent in the past 60 days - recipient, date & time, and the message text. This list appears in reverse date order (newest first) and is searchable.
I can't tell you about the Inbox page, because it only applies to messages from other Fish Text users and those with a virtual number. I am thinking of getting a virtual number for business, though; it'd be useful to have all my work-related texts stored on the website.
The Web Contacts page is where you add the names and numbers of people you want in your Fish address book. Purchase is easy; Settings very straightforward. The Settings page does contain one thoughtful little touch, which is typical of Fish's attention to detail: you can opt for "always try to send for free first".
Texts cost 2p each with Fish Text, and they are full size - about 280 characters per page. The website allows you to send messages of up to 3 pages (6p). Of course, you can simply clear the text you just sent and continue with a new one.
If, like me, you're more comfortable typing on a proper keyboard than your phone buttons, there's an obvious advantage to sending your texts from the Web, on top of the extremely good price. At only 2p a text, there's no need to try & save characters by writing in txt spk - you can just type in English :) I'm happy about that!
Fish also has a downloadable application, which allows you to use the service from your own phone. I can't use it as my mobile doesn't have full Web access - the previous review covers it. As Fish are doing everything so well, I'm pretty sure the application will work as promised.
Fabulous service: thoughtful, well designed & structured, and puts its customers first. Ten stars!
Fishtext is a nifty application for your phone which allows you to send REALLY CHEAP text messages ie. 2p to the UK. It's a great application for those of us that:
Still use pay as you go phones but want to send texts for the same price as those guys with contract deals.
It may even be worth a look if you have a contract phone but find you are:
A) Paying more than you want to a month for your so called "free texts".
B) Sending more texts than your free monthly quota.
- FishText charges 2p per text + tiny data charge for texts to the UK - Compare that to 10p per text for Vodafone simple pay as you go!
- FishText will give you ten free introductory texts then min spend £5 (ie 250 texts to the UK - not time restricted). - Compare this to £5 for 70 texts if you buy a Vodafone text bundle (which has to be used within 30 days). Or £10 for 200 texts again must be used within 30 days.
- Pay by text - I'm on Vodafone pay as you go and when I pay my FishText account by text the money spent goes towards my free weekends bundle. So the week I top up I get even more, free Vodafone texts and talktime that weekend.
- Text from Fishtext.com if you are online, which is useful for those long texts and it is also free to text other FishTexters. This is also useful also if you are abroad with access to internet no need waste money on expensive texts.
- Can check to see if you have any free texts on your phone from you mobile provider before sending texts via FishText.
Fishtext is a java application that you load onto your phone (in a similar way you can load java games). It then sends texts from your phone via the internet so you will need a wap or other internet enabled phone. But before you start panicking about adding the cost of the internet connection to the 2p text, let me tell you that a text message is so small that you normally can send 10+ of them and only be charged a penny for the data you have sent via the internet from your mobile.
You can also use the FishText website to send texts from completely eliminating the phone data charge. This option was particularly useful when I was working abroad for a week, I used the website to text home for 2p rather than send a 49p text via my mobile provider (I was online for my work anyway).
This is a great application, which I am constantly using and saving money with. If I was pressed for what is not so good about this app, it would be the fact that it is a separate application so now I now send texts from a different part of the phone than I read them from, so I can't just hit reply to a text I have received if I want to send the text via FishText. However the interface is pretty easy and if you set up all your contacts in FishText it doesn't take much to switch to FishText and it is not such a sacrifice for paying a fifth of the price on each text. You soon do it automatically.
I have just found out from Tesco mobile technical support that it is not possible currently to use FishText from the Tesco Mobile network as Fishtext needs full internet access, while the Tesco service only provides mobile browsing via WAP.