Monday, August 1, 2011


I'm always looking for cheap (or free) ways to communicate with China. Since I don't have a text plan, I was using Skype to send SMS text to Sindy and it would cost me 5.5 cents for each 160 characters. On the other side, she would also pay to receive texts but her work pays for her phone charges. Anyway, a few months ago Yu-kuan told me about WhatsApp, a free (almost... you have to pay $1.99 for the app on Android after a one-year trial) but Sindy didn't have a smartphone at the time. Now that she has a Galaxy 9003 (Android), I installed it for her while I was in Beijing and it works really well. It did get stuck for a few hours over the weekend but it sends/receives almost immediately. We connected via FaceTime and validated that messages in WhatsApp takes only a few seconds.

13 years ago, I spent ~$800 on phone bills for 2 weeks while I was in Beijing, calling back to the US on my AT&T calling card.


I've decided to send all my texts to Sindy using Simplified Chinese so send/receive speed is not all that important when it takes me minutes to type a short SMS text. I'm using Google Pinyin on my Android phone but she uses another input method where you type in the first letter (Pinyin) of each character you want to type; the phone would show you all phrases that matches your input. It's much faster but I not sure if I can pick out the right phrases.


Anonymous said...

still complaining about 5.5 cents/text. remember, Obama is calling you the hedge-fund set and you need to pay your "fair" share.

Anonymous said...

stop complaining about $$

totochi said...

Not complaining at all. Would have spent a lot of money on SMS if it wasn't for Skype... but free is always better.