You get what you pay for with Textfree | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

You get what you pay for with Textfree

Don't expect to actually talk or text to your recipients with this failed app.

Sure, they may only cost 10 cents a pop, but any parent of a teenager knows that text messages add up fast, creating a very large bill at the end of the cycle. Text Free with Textfree aims to lessen your phone bill with free texting and free calls, but its main selling points failed to actually work.

To begin, Textfree asks if it can have access to your contacts. From there, you'll have to create an account, which will require you to create a username and password, and enter your age, gender, and e-mail. After that, it'll ask if it can access your current location, then you'll have to choose a number. (Don't worry; this won't change your actual phone number.) Unintuitive buttons reside across the top of the screen, and we had to tap each one to figure out its purpose. There's a Favorites option for your favorite contacts, a Recents feature for your most recent calls, a Contacts feature, and a Keypad for making calls. The banner ad was really annoying at the bottom of the screen. The app does give you the option of hiding all ads, but it'll cost you -- $5.99, to be exact. And while the app is indeed free, you are limited in how long you can talk. Textfree gives you nine minutes to chat away, but you can buy minutes if you need more time. The app claims to turn your iPod Touch into a phone, but we tested it on our iPhone 4, with dismal results. We were able to place a call using our new number, and while our recipient received the call, he heard only silence on his end. On our end, the phone just kept ringing. And here's the kicker: While the program's main focus is on free texts, we couldn't, for the life of us, figure out how to send a text. A large, blank, white screen appeared and tapping on it didn't get us anywhere. A pencil and paper icon, which seemed to be the most obvious location for writing a text, only took us to our contacts where selecting one attempted to place another failed call.

If you're looking for a cheaper way, other than iMessage, to send SMS text messages, we recommend you skip Text Free with Textfree and look for an app that lives up to its promise.

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