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"texting" vs. "instant messaging" - same thing ?

Discussion in 'AT&T' started by Timberline, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Timberline

    Timberline Well-Known Member
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    Nov 23, 2010
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    I just bought my first smartphone and dataplan after being just a basic cell phone user for ~20 yrs. When I activated the plan I did not include the texting options as part of the plan. But I see an app in the market for MSN Messenger (among others). Presumably using this would be part of the data plan. So what's the difference between "texting" and IM ? The only thing I can think of is that IM won't work unless the particular IM app is actively running whereas texting may be always on like a voice channel.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    Texting you'd be able to use with any phone, vs Instant Messenger the person your talking would also have to be on that messenger.

    But other than that, it is exactly the same.
     
  3. Timberline

    Timberline Well-Known Member
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    well yeah that makes sense - Thanks!
     
  4. Snow_Fox

    Snow_Fox Well-Known Member
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    Using "IM" you usually have to have a texting plan.

    I can use MSN which comes pre loaded on my dumbphone and have no data plan just because, its covered under my texting plan..
     
  5. sremick

    sremick Well-Known Member
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    While in essence, "instant messaging" goes over the data network and "text messaging" aka "SMS" is a separately-billed item, be careful: some preloaded AT&T "IM" apps actually use SMS under the hood to accomplish this and will count against your text messaging plan.

    Not sure if other carriers also pull the same BS.
     
  6. nb_mitch

    nb_mitch Well-Known Member
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    IM is a computer feature and uses a data plan and Text Messaging is a phone feature and is billed separately. If you have a Smartphone you have a data plan but may or may not have a text plan.

    IM also would include features embedded in applications like Facebook.
     
  7. quantumrand

    quantumrand Well-Known Member
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    Instant Messaging apps (such as MSN, Trillian, Meebo, etc) *should* use data. A lot of the popular instant messengers also support non-app forms of messaging. MSN for example allows you to have instant messages forwarded to your phone via SMS. The message forwarding method requires a texting plan to avoid charges.

    There are also apps in the Android Marketplace that allow you to send/receive SMS messages via data, btw. You could look into those if you're interested in free texting.
     
  8. Snow_Fox

    Snow_Fox Well-Known Member
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    Get Started - Wireless from AT&T

    guys

    it says right there IM is covered under that particular plan.

    *IF* you download something from the market.. then it can go under data or text depending on how its programmed..

    However so long as the program is stock on the device your not going to use data :/
     

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