You’re sitting at your PC and you receive a text message, so you pick up your phone, unlock it, read the message, and type one back using the tiny touch screen keyboard. Why not use your PC instead? If you’re already sitting at your computer, you can easily take advantage of your computer’s keyboard to send and receive text messages.
While this certainly isn’t a new idea, it has come a long way over the last few years. Today we’re going to take a look at a handful of the best apps available for Android for SMS-to-PC syncing.
MightyText is probably the longest-running SMS-from-PC app available for Android, and with good reason: it’s also one of the best. It’s incredibly reliable, efficient, and easy to use. You log into both the smartphone app and webapp with your Google account, so you can reliably send SMS and MMS messages from your PC, even if it’s not on the same Wi-Fi network as your phone.
It works pretty simply: the MightyText services hangs out in the background of your Android phone, watching for new SMS or MMS messages to show up. When one does, it grabs the content and forwards it to the desktop client, so you get your messages in basically real-time. The message is also left untouched in the messaging app on your Android phone—MightyText doesn’t modify any message in any way.
There is one main downside to using MightyText: free message sending is limited to 250 messages per month. This wasn’t always the case, so if you’ve tried MightyText in the past, you probably didn’t have to deal with this. You can remove this limit with MightyText Pro, which is $4.99 a month (or $39.99 a year), and also brings themes, scheduled messaging, templates, signatures, removed storage limits, no ads, and more. You can find out more about MightyText’s paid service here.
If you’re looking for a lot of bang for your buck, MySMS might just be perfect for you. The premise is the same as MightyText, but you won’t find any sending limits in the free version—in fact, unless you need advanced messaging options, you can probably get away with just using the free version.
The primary difference with MySMS is that you have to use the MySMS app as your primary messaging app. That means giving up your preferred SMS/MMS app in lieu of the one offered by MySMS. It’s not a terrible app, but it’s also not as full-featured as some of the others out there.
If you decide that the basic option just isn’t enough for you, the Premium upgrade adds a lot of bang for not a lot of money. You’ll get call management on the PC, scheduled messaging, SMS sync to another phone, text archiving to Dropbox, Evernote, and Drive; export options, and full message backups. All for $9.99 a month. That’s solid.
Pushbullet is easily one of the most popular Android apps in recent years, because if offers a lot of advanced functionality that you’d normally need multiple apps to accomplish. The company did cause quite a stir when it decided to offer a premium model, however, as some of that functionality is now behind a paywall. Still, at $4.99 a month or $39.99 for a year, you’re still getting a lot of functionality.
While the SMS-from-PC feature is just one of the tricks up Pushbullet’s sleeve, it’s probably the most reliable service I’ve used (and I’ve used them all). The problem is that it’s limited to 100 free messages per month before requiring a Pro account, but ponying up that five bucks a month will also get you Universal Copy/Paste, Mirror Notification Actions, and priority support from the Pushbullet team.
Honestly, even if you’re not interested in using Pushbullet as an SMS client on your PC, the app is a must-have app for every Android user. To get a closer look at everything Pushbullet can do, head here.
Airdroid is probably the most interesting app of the bunch, because it handles everything very differently from the others. Like Pushbullet, it’s far more than just a basic SMS from PC app—it’s essentially a remote access app that can almost remotely control your phone from your PC. It has advanced notification mirroring, so you can not only send and receive SMS and MMS messages on your PC, but also interact with most other apps, like the dialer, WhatsApp, Facebook, and more.
What makes Airdroid so unique is how it handles connecting to your phone. Unlike the others on this list, which all work with your Google account, Airdroid connects to your phone over Wi-Fi. It then gives you a desktop-like interface that allows you to control your phone remotely. It’s really cool.
Airdroid offers a webapp, as well as Windows and Mac desktop apps. To find out more about Airdroid, head here.
There are more options for remotely accessing your SMS messages than ever before, with some of the available apps offering even more advanced functionality. It really comes down to what features you’re looking for and how much you want to pay—if SMS and MMS messaging is all you’re after, MySMS is probably the way to go; if you’d like to get more bang for your buck, it’s definitely worth exploring Pushbullet and Airdroid.