Vext iPhone app provides an imperfect solution for texting limits

Jun 4, 2010
Tech

For someone with an unlimited texting package, the Vext iPhone app ($1.99) offers very little of value unless you want another way to send out an email to your contacts. But for those that are stifled by texting limits, Vext provides somewhat of a solution to your woes by creating a system where you can “text” photos, […]

For someone with an unlimited texting package, the Vext iPhone app ($1.99) offers very little of value unless you want another way to send out an email to your contacts.

But for those that are stifled by texting limits, Vext provides somewhat of a solution to your woes by creating a system where you can “text” photos, audio, or actual text to someone’s email address.

Basically, Vext is like sending emails with voice capabilities as a bonus. I don’t say that as a bad thing, but certainly your mileage may vary as to how useful that premise is for you as a user. Part of the joy of texting is knowing that even if your contact is out and about, they’ll receive the message on their phone whenever they check it.

Because Vext connects not to phone numbers but to email addresses, unless your contact has their email address synced to their phone, you’re basically just sending an email from your phone to a friend that may or may not see the email in time. It feels very mid-90s for such a technologically advanced app.

The voice-texting is the coolest feature of the app by far, however, allowing you to send quick voice messages to your contact’s email addresses. This seems like a more practical use of Vext; when you want to send your friend a voice message he can savor at his email address later.

Unfortunately, you cannot send both a voice and text Vext simultaneously to your contact, so you always have to choose whether you want a voice, text, or photo message.

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Additionally, Vext doesn’t seem to sync to your email contacts; people I have emailed on my phone are not listed in the Vext directory, and they’re not added in until after you’ve Vexted them manually, either. Vext does keep logs of your conversation, so if you did have to send a message to an address manually, you’ll at least have it up for quick reference, but it still feels like a step back technologically.

Again, I don’t mean to sound like I think this is a lousy app. For the right user base, such as someone who wants to send voice messages or text without going over their limit, this is a great app. But for someone who spends half of their day texting away, this just feels like sending mobile emails and I don’t need an app for that.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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