Verizon Messages app brings text messages to all your tablets (hands on)

Verizon Messages app brings text messages to all your tablets (hands on)

Summary: Apple is not the only one able to bring your phone's text messages to your tablets. Verizon has launched its own integrated messaging platform for Android and iOS devices that lets you read and answer phone texts using a free app.

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When Verizon notified me last week about its new integrated messaging service, I had to try it right away. In a nutshell, the service lets phone text messages be received and answered from any device running its Verizon Messages app. These include Android and iOS devices, making it useful for those using either/both platform(s).

Verizon Messaging
(Image: Screenshot by James Kendrick/ZDNet)

I was excited to try this service, as it seemed from Verizon's description that it would solve a big problem for me. I have an iPhone 4S on Verizon but the phone I use daily is the Galaxy Note 2 on Sprint. Forwarding my calls from the iPhone number to the Note 2 works fine, so I don't miss any calls to that number, but text messages don't make it. I have been missing lots of texts to the iPhone while out with just the Note 2.

The Verizon Messages app is available for the iPad and Android phones and tablets, so the first thing I did was install it on the iPad. This has 4G long-term evolution (LTE) on Verizon so I figured it should work. Running the app for the first time on the iPad triggered a text message to be sent to my iPhone for security. This is a great way to make sure I have possession of the phone for which I want to access text messages with other devices.

That's all it took; from that moment, any text message sent to my iPhone can be read and answered on the iPad within the Verizon Messages app. After verifying this was working, I installed the app on my iPad mini, also a 4G LTE tablet on the Verizon network. Same security verification and it was then working on both tablets.

When I receive a text message on the iPhone, the message is also sent to both the iPad and iPad mini. Now I can respond to those messages as if the iPhone was with me, no matter which iPad I'm carrying. It has worked flawlessly so far.

Since both of the iPads are on the Verizon network with integrated 4G it's not surprising the app and service work. I did wonder if the Nexus 7 tablet could also receive texts even though it is a wi-fi tablet without cellular connectivity.

Installing the Verizon Messages app on the Nexus 7 let me test it and I'm happy to report the text messages come in just fine. This is pretty powerful stuff as it turns the Android tablet without cellular capability into a text messaging machine. This should work for anyone with a phone on Verizon who also have an Android tablet with wi-fi.

The Verizon Messages app uses the device's contacts for texts with permission at installation. This includes iOS and Android so sending a text message is as easy as typing the contact name and selecting it from a drop-down box.

Ongoing conversations using text messages can be held across all devices where the integrated messaging is activated. Users can switch among the devices without missing a beat. This works just as it does on iOS using the Messages app on that platform. While the Apple version is carrier independent, the Verizon service works on both Android and iOS as detailed.

The app and service from Verizon is free and is available now. Verizon states that text messages are archived in the system for 90 days, but they can be saved locally to SD card on Android devices.

Topics: Mobility, Reviews, Smartphones, Tablets, Verizon

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14 comments
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  • Excellent!

    Fantastic to see someone finally bringing this functionality to tablets.

    I have a mini, and whilst iMessage is great, most of the texts I receive are not from iOS users, or They may not have one of my associated emails, so it never comes through to the pad. Probably around 5% of my text message conversations ever reach the pad. On my old nexus it was 0%. This really is about time. Hoping UK carriers jump on this idea soon!
    MarknWill
    • O2

      O2 have recently released a similar app for iOS and Android call TU Go for pay monthly customers, not sure if the other UK networks are planning anything similar.
      AdamDempsey
  • Dang Jim!

    This is awesome, thanks man!
    slickjim
  • Houston, we have a problem...

    So here's my set up: Verizon iPhone, wifi iPad mini, wifi Nexus 7. I downloaded the app on the iPad and Nexus, spent an hour trying to figure out how to enable Verizon Messages on the iPhone since it wasn't the primary line on the account, and finally got everything set up. Great! Until I tried sending my wife a message from the Nexus. It actually sent just fine and showed that it came from the iPhone's number. I waited for her reply. And I waited. Still waiting. It turned out if you've already texted someone from your iPhone and they have an iPhone that has marked this as an iMessage conversation then you only receive their replies in iMessage on the iOS devices. The only work around I can come up with is to turn iMessage off on the iPhone but I don't want to do that. I can't help but wonder if that's some how part of Big Red's master plan.....
    66sweep
    • Yep

      Another reason why their closed system stinks badly! Actually, it is the same old thing, you cannot have anything but the stock Apple applications handling things for you.
      slickjim
      • Not at all...

        You just can't have two message forwarding services running at the same time.

        Up until now you only had imessage. Either that or another service seperated from the carrier such as bbm or whatsapp.

        This service connects your carrier messages. iMessage connects your carrier messages... See the conflict. This works better but of course you can't use both?!
        MarknWill
        • Sorta...

          Actually the problem lies in the fact that Verizon messages is tied into their SMS service (sic: carrier messages) while iMessage is not. iMessages is treated as data and pushed through Apple's servers. iMessage is more akin to BBM than SMS. When people on iOS devices reply to a message to me while I'm using Verizon Messaging app, the replies only show up on other iOS devices as an iMessage.
          66sweep
        • Not so...

          Maybe you can't on Apple, but on my Android tab (Galaxy 7.7), I'm running Verizon app and Mighty Text simultaneously with no problem. I receive text messages on both. If I send a text using one app, it shows up on the other. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying can't be one.
          polonium101
          • I mean...

            what you're saying can't be Done.
            polonium101
        • yes you can

          I have done this on android as well. What I was saying and you are confirming, you cannot do this on apple. Store and forward setups like this can send the message to multiple clients if the message is left on the server.
          slickjim
  • Been there

    I have been doing this with the Verizon app on my Boost Samsung Prevail phone and Samsung Galaxy 7" original tab for at least 6 months now. This is not new to me. It works well.
    scottseattle
  • yes

    You just can't have two message forwarding services running at the same time.

    site:http://www.sadasoft.net/
    salah42
  • iPhone 5/Note 2

    Here is my dilemma! Galaxy Note 2 with one MTN, iphone 5 and ipad mini using different MTN, unable to add iPhone 5/ipad mini MTN to sync with Note 2. Basically in the article, the writer states he has a note 2 and a sprint iphone, but then never again addresses not receiving his messages from his iphone on his note 2. I am in the exact situation. Any insight!?
    catanma
  • Am I missing something?

    The author states that he's having trouble getting text messages forwarded to his Note 2, and offers the Verizon Messages app as a solution. Then he at no point in the story says anything about this being the solution. I'm sure the app is awesome and solves some other problem, but if you're going to reference a problem and give a solution, the solution should at least apply to the stated problem. I'm not a writer or anything, so maybe I'm missing something?
    kmur35t