How to Use the Latest Mobile Phones and PDAs

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(ARA) - Just a few years ago, only executives were walking around with the latest technology. Now the newest flip phones, text messaging and mobile instant messaging devices have become mainstream. Texting has experienced an explosion in popularity all across the nation.

Everyone from trend-setting teens to busy professionals and on-the-go moms are texting colleagues, friends and family, in large part because texting lets you communicate anytime, anywhere. The following tips can help you to take hold of the texting trend:

How-To: Send Text Messages from Phone to Phone. It's easy to exchange text messages with anyone who has a text-enabled mobile phone (nearly all phones are these days) or PDA. Even if you and your friends have different wireless providers, you can just enter the 10-digit wireless phone number into the "to" field and text away.

How-To: Send Instant Messages from Phone to Phone. If you and your friends or co-workers use instant messaging (IM) on the desktop, it's easy to continue the conversation on-the-go. Many mobile phones and PDAs have built-in "Mobile IM" features, and most phones can download mobile versions of popular IM services like the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service (found at www.aolmobile.com). Be sure to set up IM forwarding when you leave your computer to re-direct IMs to your phone and stay in touch wherever you go.

How-To: Send Mobile Messages from Your Computer. It's a snap to send messages from your computer to friends on mobile phones or PDAs via your instant messaging service. If your buddies have activated IM forwarding, you can simply carry on your IM chat as usual. If not, you can send a text message to anyone by entering +1 and the ten-digit wireless phone number into the "to" field of the IM window where you normally enter their IM screen name.

How-To: Save Money on Mobile Messaging. Check with your mobile service provider to make sure you have the right service plan. Whether you send a few or a lot of text messages each month, you should have the text message plan that meets your needs.

How-To: Send All Mobile Messages Faster. If you want to speed up your texting experience, activate the predictive text input feature on your mobile phone or PDA. This helpful tool, most often provided by T9 Text Input software, enables you to enter words with just one key press per letter -- including slang phrases like GR8 ("great") and LOL ("laughing out loud"). Twice as fast as multi-tap, T9 is also smart. It learns new words and adapts to the way you text. Available on 800 popular models, T9 is probably already on your phone or PDA.

To help texters stay on top of the latest slang terms, Tegic Communications, makers of T9 Text Input, put together the "Lingo Dictionary," a resource for today's texters. Available as a free download at www.t9.com/t9dictionary, expert texters as well as those new to sending messages from their mobile phones and PDAs can get up to speed and take advantage of this great time-saving tool.


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