A phone is all most people need to send and receive text messages, but sync your inbox to your Android tablet and you can more easily manage your SMS- and multimedia messages. You get a bigger screen and larger keypad for texting, too. Here's how to get text messages on a tablet. See all Android tutorials.
The service we demonstrate in this article is completely free. It syncs text messages between your phone and tablet over the internet (Wi-Fi or mobile), but the messages themselves are still carried through your mobile network. This might be useful if you are going somewhere you know you will have Wi-Fi but no mobile reception, allowing you to leave the phone at home and take the tablet instead. All you pay is whatever your mobile operator charges you to send a text message. Most mobile contracts include free texts, but rarely picture messages. Also see: Android Advisor.
If the reason you need to be able to text from your tablet is that your phone never gets a signal, or you're looking for a completely free messaging service that syncs between phone and tablet, sidestepping mobile operator charges, try WhatsApp. Read our advice on How to use WhatsApp on the Web to sync conversations between your phone, tablet, laptop and PC.
How to get texts on a tablet: Sync your phone and tablet SMS
Step 1. On your Android phone launch the Google Play Store app and search for MightyText. Select it in the list of results, then tap Install on the next screen. MightyText will request access to various permissions; tap Accept.
Step 2. If your Android phone is logged into a Google account MightyText should automatically pick this up. In the screenshot above you'll see the app is prompting us to select which Google account to use: this is because we have both work- and personal Google accounts synched to this phone. Now tap 'Complete Setup', and on the next screen tap Ok.
Step 3. Pick up your Android tablet and either browse to mightytext.net/app and select 'Install tablet app', which will take you directly to the app-download page on the Play Store, or launch the Google Play Store app and search for 'SMS Text Mesaging -- Tablet SMS'. As before, tap Install and accept the requested permissions.
Step 4. Open MightyText on your tablet and, once again, select your Google account and tap 'Complete Setup'. Tap Ok on the next screen to allow MightyText to use the Google App Engine. You'll get a message confirming your tablet has been linked with MightyText; now tap 'Launch MightyText Tablet App'.
Step 5. On your tablet you'll now see what looks like an email inbox, except these are text messages synched from your phone rather than emails. In the left panel you get a list of conversations, and tapping on any of these brings up the conversation thread in the main preview panel. At the bottom of this preview panel is a text-entry field, using which you can send a new text message to that contact.
Step 6. Should you receive a new text message, it will still go to your phone's usual Messaging inbox (you can ignore the MightyText app installed on your phone - just let it do its thing in the background). However, you will also receive a notification on your tablet that you have received a new text message, and it will appear in the MightyText app on your tablet. Any messages you send on your tablet will also appear on your phone within the Messaging app.
Step 7. If you have both phone and tablet in front of you then the duplicate notifications could get annoying - MightyText is most useful when you have only your tablet to hand. It's possible to turn off new message notifications - or at least mute them - on the tablet from within the Settings menu. Tap the three horizontal lines at the top left of the app, choose Settings, then disable 'SMS, MMS and Phone Call Notifications'. (MightyText on your tablet can also inform you of missed calls on your phone, and let you know how much battery power remains.)
Step 8. Also in this options menu is a Photos/Video entry. Tap on this option to manage any media sent to your phone within multimedia messages.
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