Quick tip: you can now send texts from your Mac or iPad

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Quick tip: you can now send texts from your Mac or iPad

SMS Relay allows you to send and receive SMS messages on an iPad or Mac.

One of the handy new features added in the recent iOS 8.1 update for iPhone and iPad users that works with the new Mac operating system, Yosemite, is SMS Relay.

What is SMS Relay?

SMS Relay is a new service that forms part of Apple's package of interoperability tools that are collectively part of a feature called Continuity. The idea is that you can start a task on one device and seamlessly continue it on another. 

SMS Relay allows you to send and receive SMS messages on your non-phone devices. As long as your iPhone is on the same network as your other devices you can send regular text messages, not just Apple's iMessages, from your iPad or Mac if it's running Yosemite.

Is it easy to set up?

Setting up SMS relay is very easy. Assuming all your devices are on the same network and linked through the same iCloud account, you set it up by entering a one-time code on your mobile devices in order to activate the service.

On the iPhone, under Settings|Messages, you need to turn on "Text Message Forwarding". A code was sent to our Mac that we entered on the iPhone to link the two devices. The same process applied on our iPad. 

In short, it took about a minute to set up.

Why bother?

I spend more time working on my computer than my iPhone. Being able to check and send messages without having to fish my phone out of a bag or find in on my desk is a real time saver.

Although it doesn’t save me hours each day, it does make a difference of a couple of minutes here and there. Also, I can see messages as they come in on my phone from my Mac without stopping my main work.

Is there a cost?

Other than a couple of minutes of set up time SMS Relay is a free service. Messages are sent via your phone so there are no extra charges other than what you pay your carrier for text messages.

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