Alpha Numeric Input
- The first SMS phone still had a regular phone keypad with 10 digits, 0 to 9. On phones with regular dial pads, each number is assigned certain letters. Even with a conventional keyboard, there are entry options. Standard, or alpha numeric, entry can be completed by pushing a number as many times as necessary to type the correct letter. For instance, you would push the number "4" twice to get the letter "H."
- Many SMS phones have an option to enter text in t9, a predictive SMS protocol. To use t9, simply press the number associated with each letter you are trying to type once. T9 will deduce the word you are trying to enter or let you scroll through options to select your word. For letters assigned to the same number, simply pause the same key twice. For example, you would press the number "4" twice to type the word "Hi."
QWERTY SMS Input
- SMS phones with full keyboards are called QWERTY keyboard phones. On QWERTY SMS phones, you may enter text as though you were typing on a computer keyboard, one press of a letter to type it. QWERTY keyboards made SMS communication quicker and easier. Today many phones have touch screens with virtual QWERTY keyboards. You may use the same entry technique, tapping each virtual letter on the keyboard to compose SMS, or you can use a program called Swype, that allows text messagers to run their fingers between letters for faster messaging.
- SMS messages can only send text between phones, or phones and email addresses. Standard SMS can contain only up to 160 characters, through some phones operating systems limit it to 120 characters. You may need to use special input settings or change your keyboard to enter numerals and symbols while you are composing an SMS message.