October 4, 2017

Desktop Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Tour Of TextNow’s Desktop App

Written by kevin-c


So a little while ago, we talked about how TextNow wants to erase the difference between your phone, your computer and your phone service. Tying the customer down to one platform seems quaintly out of place in the interconnected all-the-internet-to-all-the-things world of 2017.

Of course, that model only works if every platform is supported with robust, feature-filled software. And while our app and website is obviously great, we also have a desktop app that has gone through a major overhaul. Let’s take a quick peek at what it is, and how to use it.

Getting Started

First, grab the download from your Windows Store or Apple’s App Store. You can also get it from our TextNow downloads page, your one-stop shop for all versions of TextNow. And don’t worry — it’s free!

Once you’ve downloaded the app, sign into your account or create a new one. If you’ve created a new one, with a new username, we’ll ask you for an area code and assign you a number:

Once you’re in the app, TextNow will take you directly to your Conversations screen. Let’s take a look:

Like the happy little cartoon on that page says, you can immediately start texting by clicking on the icon with the pencil-and-paper. You can’t miss it, because that arrow is pointing right to it.

Somewhat more awesometastically, you can also use the desktop app to call a number! Click on the icon of the phone and dial pad, directly to the left of the New Text icon, and it will bring up a dialpad:

TextNow Desktop App Dialer

Behold! The dialpad!

And here’s another little feature you may not know about: Want to call outside the US or Canada? Click on the little arrow to the right of the US flag on the dialpad to bring down a list of commonly-called countries, along with the current price-per-minute, or click on View All Countries on that menu for international long distance prices on hundreds of countries and territories!

The blue bubble window on the top right-hand of the dialpad shows how much credit you have to make international long distance calls. Click on the bubble and you can see various offers to earn credits for international long distance!

What’s On The Menu?

You also might notice on the desktop a handsome purple menu running down the left-hand side. Hover your mouse over it to pop out that menu:

Let’s go through these settings one-by-one:

Settings: Here’s where you can get under the hood and tweak stuff. The Settings section is broken into five sections:

Settings: Account: View and edit your account information (first/last name on your profile, email address). Also lists your phone number, as well a handy Resend Email link to, errrrr, resend a validation email to your email address.

Settings: Password: You’ll never guess what you can do in this section. Unless you guessed “change your password”, because in that case you got it totally right.

Settings: Notifications: Here’s where the desktop app really gets a chance to shine: desktop notifications! Check Sound to have the desktop app play a sound when you get an incoming text, and check Desktop to have a pop-up notification show up on your computer when you get an incoming text. You can also check Email to have the app send you an email (surprise!) whenever you get a text, which gets sent to the email you have with us on file.Settings: Messaging: You can add a signature to your messages here, or remove an existing signature.

Settings: Calling: Here, you can check Use Voicemail to send messaging to your TextNow voicemail if you miss the call when your desktop app is open, as well as view your blocked numbers (if any).

Settings: Security & Login: One of our most requested features, here you can see your most recent sessions (fancy word for account activity). You can keep track of all the times you've logged in, and on which devices!

Help: A collection of useful links to various resources. Here’s the breakdown:

Help: Support: Link to our Support site, with support articles, a community forum, and a link to our helpful chat agents who can help you sort out a problem in real-time!

Help: About: A link to our corporate site at about.textnow.com, where you can find out more about our company and the people who work here.

Help: International Rates: Link to our international long distance rates page, to find out how much it is to call outside of the US and Canada.

Help: Activate Your Device: Link to our Activate Your Device page. If you decide to take the plunge and try out one of our wireless phone plans, you can check to see if your device is eligible on this page, and also activate one of our TextNow SIMs from here as well.

Help: Engineering Blog: Link to our engineering blog. If you’re interested in the technology behind how TextNow does it’s thing — or if you just want to read about how our Chief Operations Officer saved my life — it’s here.

Help: Terms Of Use: Link to our Terms Of Use page, with information on what we do and do not consider a violation of our user agreement. The TL;DR read version: Don’t be a jerk, and don’t spam people.

Help: Privacy Policy: Link to our Privacy Policy, for details on what protections are put in place to safeguard your privacy.

Help: 2G Fair Use Policy: For the people on our TextNow Wireless plans, once you go over your data plan you have access to unlimited 2G data. This link will explain the use and limitations of 2G data.

Help: Download Debug Logs: Found a bug? Want to tell us more about it? Simply download your debug logs, and attach it to an email to our support team, so we can get started on fixing it for you right away.

Log Out: And finally, right at the bottom, you can log out of your current TextNow session by clicking log out.

Whew! That’s a lot of stuff, and we’ll be adding to it in the months and years to come.Now it’s time to give it a try yourself! Head on over to our Downloads page and click on the desktop app for your platform, and happy texting!