I used to fondly remember the times when feature phones were the next big thing, complete with their flash-based menus, the ‘versatile’ J2ME applications, theming abilities, high-megapixel lens and what not. While the advent of smartphones changed the whole mobile device scenario, and for good, one thing that I missed in my otherwise-very-futuristic iPhone was the ability to manipulate the device from a PC – in particular, the ability to send and receive text messages. I’ve owned several years-old Sony Ericsson feature phones that provided the ability to send SMS from a computer, and Nokia’s too, and for someone like me who spends more than half of his waking day in front of a computer, this facility would’ve been a huge time saver. Unfortunately, while the iOS has quite a few third-party file management solutions, none existed for this particular purpose before WiFiSMS.
Continue reading after the break to find out how you can simply use your PC’s browser to access the SMS app of your jailbroken iPhone and send & receive SMS from your PC using WiFi.
SMS From Computer — What Do We Need?
Available through the BigBoss repository in Cydia for jailbroken iPhones for a wonderful price tag of $0, WiFiSMS creates a tunnel connection between an iPhone and a desktop browser on the same WiFi network, after which you can have a literal view of your phone’s SMS application inside your browser window, ready for full texting use.
Send SMS From Computer — Installing WiFiSMS
To begin, locate the package in Cydia and install it. WiFiSMS does not create any icon on Springboard or in the Settings app.
Once installed, you need to find out your iPhone’s IP address (make sure your PC and iPhone are on the same WiFi network). To do this, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and tap the little blue arrow next to your network’s SSID. Note down your IP address, and that’s pretty much it for your phone’s part.
Launch your desired browser (preferably a WebKit-based browser, so my advice is either Chrome or Safari) and enter your iPhone’s IP address followed by port 8080. Confused? If your phone’s IP address is 192.168.1.4, then you need to enter http://192.168.1.4:8080 in your browser’s address bar and hit Enter. If the tweak was installed properly, you’ll see your iPhone’s SMS app inside your browser window, albeit with a much scaled-up interface.
From here, you can not only receive and sen SMS from your computer, but also view whatever Settings WiFiSMS has to offer (the tweak has literally no presence on iPhone at all). You can set the refresh interval to check for new messages, change the web port used for communication and password protect the whole thing, among a few other options.
WiFiSMS will even play iPhone’s traditional SMS notifications over your computer’s speakers for new message alerts and confirmation of sent SMS messages.
Other than supporting text character, a huge list of Emoji is also supported to spice up your messaging experience.
SMS From Computer — Safety tips
The ability of receiving and sending SMS from a computer via WiFiSMS is indeed very useful, but it also poses a security threat at the same time. Since the program does not use any authentication by default, anyone with malicious intent can hijack your iPhone’s SMS app over the same WiFi network (think: public hotspots) and not only read your text messages but also use your messaging plan to send unauthorized texts. This can also expose your contacts to malicious activity, as the attacker will have access to your phone’s SMS database and can easily retrieve contacts’ phone numbers as well. To prevent this, the developer of WiFiSMS has included a toggle for SBSettings or BossPrefs that can be used to turn WiFiSMS off when not needed. Handy, and highly useful.
Before I bid you farewell with this neat little tweak, please note that the SBSettings toggle will be disabled by default when you install WiFiSMS the first time. So make sure you’ve turned this on before trying to establish a connection with your PC, lest you, too, want to get frustrated for a good 15 minutes trying to figure out the reason for no connection.
If you’re wondering how to send SMS from a computer with an Android, Tim’s got you covered: How To Send And Receive SMS From A Computer [Android].
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