I was on a plane recently scrolling through Twitter on my phone (in-flight wifi is slow but it’s still amazing) when I received a text message from a friend asking a question. I replied, we texted back and forth for a few minutes, and that was that. Nothing remarkable.
Then it hit me, I had wifi but not cell service. And I was just sending and receiving old fashioned SMS. How is that possible? Turns out Google added this capability to their Messenger app and didn’t tell anyone. Or at least no one told me. From Google’s documentation:
Tip: You can send texts over Wi-Fi even if you don’t have cell service. Just use Messenger as you normally would.
Google Voice and Hangouts have enabled SMS over wifi for a while but Voice definitely seems to be dead or dying, and Hangouts actually encourages you to stop using it for SMS. So while this is nothing new or revolutionary, it’s nice to see it as a foregone conclusion that SMS would work over data, instead of being a “feature”.