How to text without a cell phone

Teens in particular are turning to an app that assigns a real phone number and turns their iPod into a free texting device. Should carriers be worried?

Kids, of course, come in all varieties and their interests run the gamut. But when it comes to 10-year-old girls, I dare say, there are two ubiquitous desires: getting one's ears pierced and getting a cell phone.

And you may as well let go of that ol' school stereotype of a preteen--phone glued to ear--gabbing on and on with friends about inanities. The phone is not really for talking. It's for texting.

Which is why my own 10-year-old daughter--too young in her stodgy mom's eyes for piercings or a cell phone--was ecstatic to have found a workaround for the latter. Earlier this summer, a friend told her about an app for her iPod Touch called Textfree, which assigns her a real phone number and lets her send and receive texts for free.

For more on this story, read How to text without a cell phone on CNET News.