13 Tips to Supercharge Your 'Dumb' Phone

Don't own a smartphone? Here are 13 tips that will boost the IQ of any phone.


You can also use Windows Live alerts to receive Hotmail and Windows Live network updates, as well as news updates from Fox Sports, MSNBC, Nasdaq, Newsweek, and other sources. To get started, go to calendar.live.com on your computer, select More options in the upper-right corner, and then click Change how you get reminders. Just as with Google Calendar, not all U.S. carriers support the Windows Live service, and regular messaging rates apply.

Yahoo: To set up calendar reminders from Yahoo Calendar, go to calendar.yahoo.com, select Options in the upper-right corner, and click Reminders.

Get Social With SMS

You can use text messages to send and receive status updates on social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. If you're a die-hard Twitter user, you can also use SMS to perform any number of functions. Here are just a few commands you can enter (see Twitter's FAQ on SMS access for more information).

  • "FOLLOW" plus a username to start following someone
  • "UNFOLLOW" plus a username to unfollow someone
  • "ON"/"OFF" to start or stop getting your entire Twitter stream delivered via SMS
  • "ON"/"OFF" plus a username to start or stop receiving all tweets from a specific user

Before using SMS with Twitter, it's a good idea to sign up for an SMS plan that allows for an unlimited number of messages per month. You'll also have to go through a relatively lengthy verification process with Twitter to start using its SMS service (usually involving about four to six SMS messages from each side). To get started with Twitter via SMS, visit twitter.com/devices or text "START" to 40404 (United States only; Twitter users outside the U.S. can check Twitter's help page to see if the SMS service is offered in a particular country).

Set Up Facebook Text Messages

Facebook has some limited services that you can use with almost any phone. Visit your Facebook Account Settings page and select Register for Facebook Text Messages under the Mobile tab. Once you've gone through the registration process, you can receive texts for friend requests, messages, wall posts, and your friends' status updates. You can also update your own status via text message, and search for phone numbers for friends who have added their number to their profile. If your phone supports multimedia messaging (MMS), you can also upload photos and videos.

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