TextFree Unlimited App Review

TextFree Unlimited is no longer available. This review refers to an early version of the app, made available in late 2010.

The Good

The Bad

  • No group texting

While every iPhone and iPod touch comes pre-loaded with the Messages app for texting, it's certainly not the only option you have for SMS communication on iOS. While Messages is full featured, other texting apps offer features it doesn't have. An app like TextFree Unlimited (Free) lets you send unlimited text messages without a phone (this is crucial if you're an iPod touch owner). Depending on your monthly phone and data plan, even iPhone users can benefit from this texting app.

Pick Your Own Area Code

TextFree Unlimited works much like another texting app I tested recently, TextPlus, but there are a few important differences. With both apps, you need to have a phone number assigned to your account. This is required for devices like the touch that don't have phones built in. Getting a phone number is part of the set up of each app. Importantly, if you want to choose your own area code and phone number, TextPlus charges US$1.99. With TextFree Unlimited, you don’t have to pay extra to get the area code you want. This is nice since it lets you both customize your number and get one that's easy to remember (and might even be local to your area).

Once you enter your area code where you want your number to be based, the app gives you a choice between several phone numbers. That’s a big benefit to TextFree Unlimited. While I was testing TextPlus, several friends asked why my texts were coming from a different area code than normal. TextFree Unlimited can help eliminate that confusion. 

Like with TextPlus, you’ll need to set up a free account, which takes about two seconds. Sending and receiving texts is simple, and the TextFree Unlimited app is very easy to navigate. TextFree also supports push notifications, so you’ll receive an onscreen notification when you get a new text—even if the app isn’t open. That way you'll never miss an important message.

There are only two notable downsides to TextFree Unlimited. First, it doesn’t have a group texting option like TextPlus (and Messages, and many other texting apps). If that feature is important to you—and it probably is to a lot of people, especially teens—TextPlus or the other apps that support group messages are probably a better bet. 

Secondly, when you compose a text, the words “Sent from TextFree” are added automatically at the end of your message. If you don't every text you send to also be an advertisement, you can manually delete those words or change the signature in the settings menu. The settings menu offers some other useful options, such as the ability to change your texting tones or even turn off the in-app advertisements (for a cool US$5.99 per year in-app purchase). 

The Bottom Line

I love this app! TextFree Unlimited is incredibly easy to use, and it provides unlimited free texting. Most of all, I love that you don’t have to pay extra to pick your own area code. That's a lot of big benefits for an app like this. On the flip side, TextFree Unlimited doesn’t support group texting, which is definitely a drawback if you need that feature, but I still think this is a great download. Overall rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. 

What You’ll Need

The TextFree Unlimited app is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later. 

TextFree Unlimited is no longer available. This review refers to an early version of the app, made available in late 2010.