DMA Central


Who Sent the First Text Message?

Richard Jarvis was at a Christmas party in Newbury England when he looked down at his phone on December 3, 1992 and got a message of holiday cheer – “Merry Christmas” the text read.

It’s much easier to send texts today…But don’t forget – text and data charges may apply!

It was a simple message, and the world’s first text. Sent from the computer of Neil Papworth, (then a 22-year-old test engineer for Sema Group) the “Merry Christmas” message was almost as simple as “Mr. Watson, come here,” the very first words spoken on the telephone. At that time, cell phones weren’t able to type out text, so the message had to come from Papworth’s computer – not like today’s iPhone.

160 Characters
After the first text message was sent it took another few years to formalize a business model. But the concept of texting happened years before. Friedhelm Hillebrand was a communications researcher from Bonn, Germany, he came up the 160 character length after typing out random sentences and questions on a piece of paper in 1985.

A year later Hillebrand would be the chairman of the non-voice services committee for the Global System for Mobile Communications. GSM would establish standards for most of the global mobile market, Hillebrand and the group set the requirement that all cellular carriers and mobile phones, support short messaging service (SMS).

They arrived at 160 characters based on two “convincing arguments,” Hillebrand would later tell. Postcards contained fewer than 150 characters and after analyzing messages sent through Telex, a then popular business network that used short telegraph-like messages, Hillebrand and his group found those messages were about the same length as postcards. The rest as they say, is history…

This guy is the reason your texts are 160 characters…

Mobile Development
Text messaging has evolved a long way, as a generation of texters, we’ve created our own language, LOL’ing and TMI’ing our thoughts to everyone. The next generation of mobile device programming wizards will be deciding how smartphones will evolve and write their own history.


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posted by DMA Jordan in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

Free Texting: iMessage VS What’s App

It’s something you probably do every day, and while the technology exists to do it for free, many people are still paying for it. We’re talking of course, about texting.

The iPhone 4S and iOS deliver the promise of free texting with iMessage. 

Think about it, in an age when eon -mails and other forms of advanced electronic communication (such as Skype, Twitter, and Facebook) are basically free, wireless carriers are still charging for SMS (short messaging service) or texts.

We get it; cellular networks are costly to maintain and upgrade. But when others are already delivering texts for free, you’d think wireless carriers would follow suit – if for nothing more than to make up for all the dropped calls we’ve already endured as customers. The truth is free text poses threats to carriers.

Apple to the Rescue
Leave it to Steve Jobs to make technology companies (in this case, your cellular provider) work harder to provide you with better service and products. Apple’s latest iOS5 features iMessage, which is a free app that serves up unlimited texting to ANY Apple device running iOS 5. The good? Once you update your iOS, iMessage is ready to go. You can send texts, images or video. And like Facetime, it looks like iMessage is headed for the Mac OS. The bad? iMessage is only for Apple users running iOS 5. That means if your friend is a PC, or using an Android phone, you have to find another way to text him, like…

WhatsApp versus iMessage! Which is best? It depends on what devices your friends use…

In this corner, WhatsApp, the free texting app that works across different OSs and even multiple devices, such as the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. WhatsApp also allows you to send images and video in addition to texts.

While there’s no cost for texting while using WhatsApp, and you can connect with people internationally using it (again also for free), take note: you’ll still be using data from your data plan when you’re using your provider to connect to the Internet to send a text.

Texting, by the numbers (Source: NY Times):

  • 2 trillion: The number of text messages sent each year in the U.S.
  • $20 billion: Revenue generated from texting by wireless carriers.
  • $7 billion: Amount Verizon Wireless generates annually from texting (it’s 12 percent of the company’s total revenue or about a third of its operating income).
  • 1/3 of a penny: What it costs wireless carriers to send a text message.
  • 10-20 cents: What cellular providers charge to send and receive a text message. That’s more than a 4,000% markup.

Companies such as AT&T use services like texting as a profit center, charging users as much as 20 cents per text message for texts either sent or received. It’s a good thing there are free alternatives; texting apps are putting enterprising developers and their app development skills to good use.


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posted by DMA Jordan in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments