iPod & iPad
Setup & User Guide for BulkSMS
Set up a new account on the bulksms.com website - NOT bulksmsportal, which is a separate company.
Note: BulkSMS cannot send your passcode to an iPad. You must use a mobile phone to receive it via SMS.
Change to your country or regional site, and then follow the links to open a new account. You can use Safari's history or thumbnail pages to easily switch between this page and BulkSMS.
Choose your desired username and password, and enter a mobile telephone number (International format) to receive your passcode. If you don't have a phone, just use a friend's or relative's.
You can use this (or another) phone number with the 'Reply-to-Phone' feature but you first have to authorise it via the 'Change Sender ID' field. Always use International number formats on the BulkSMS website.
Log into your new account and under 'My Account -> Advanced features -> Email Settings', enter the email address where you would like to receive your SMS messages. This can be your regular email account, or a special one just for texting.
For example, you might want to use a separate account if you normally read your email with Safari using a webmail service. For the fastest responses, use a push-email app and an account whuch supports push, such as MobileMe, Gmail or Yahoo. You can then receive a visible, audible or vibrate alert when a reply arrives, just like a phone.
Your email address for messages should appear under 'MO Relay URL' as smtp://firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no need to change anything else in your account profile unless you want to be able to send SMS from the website in addition to using Real SMS. Low-credit alerts are optional as Real SMS shows your credit balance on the screen.
Using Real SMS
The first time you use Real SMS you must select the BulkSMS server where you have your account from the picker, and enter your username and password. You can also enter your authorised phone number(Sender ID) here to receive replies. This is your usual phone number. Do not add a country code.
Tap 'Done' and then pick your home country from the popup list. Real SMS uses this information to automatically add the correct country code for you before sending, so you don't have to.
Make your choice and the app is ready for you to use the first of your 5 free credits (Reply-to-Email only with free credits).
Enter local telephone numbers normally just as you would with a mobile phone. Do not add a country code.
International telephone numbers must be entered into the To: field in the standard +country code - area code - number format. You must also use this format for International telephone numbers stored in your Contacts. (Real SMS only uses the '+' sign to detect when you are texting a number outside your own country. It is not transmitted to BulkSMS.)
Splitting Long Messages
Real SMS can automatically split messages longer than a standard SMS (160 characters) into multiple separate SMS messages. You pay for each SMS. If you exceed the maximum message length you will receive an audible alert to give you the choice of continuing or editing the text. You cannot enter more than 612 characters. This feature is network-dependent, cannot be used together with Unicode messaging, and may not be available in your recipient's country.
BulkSMS supports Unicode messaging. You must slide the 'Send Unicode' switch to 'ON' in order to encode the message correctly. If you do not, your Unicode characters will be substituted with blanks or question marks. If you mainly send Unicode, you can reset the default position of the switch using your iPad Settings app.
The maximum length of a Unicode message is 70 characters. Unicode support is network-dependent and may not be available in your recipient's country.
Misconfiguration or wrong numbers are the most usual causes of error messages. If you get network errors for local texting, open the iPad Settings app and scroll to Real SMS. DialCode should be your own country's International dial code e.g. +61 for Australians. You can edit it if necessary. Also make sure that your Reply-to-Phone number has been authorised by BulkSMS and that you did not add a country code.
Here's a tip: if you get an error code back when trying to send one of those expensive texts to TV game shows, competitions and the like, try putting + in front of the number (i.e. treat it as an international number) - you might slip under the radar and only get charged one credit.
Note that 'Message Sent OK' on your iPad only means 'the message has been successfully delivered to the gateway server', not that it has necessarily been received by the addressee. You can get Status updates delivered to your email address but this can generate a very large amount of email.
Note: The supported carriers operate public SMS gateway services, and know nothing about your Real SMS app. Contact them only for account-related issues such as passwords etc. If you encounter difficulties using Real SMS, please follow the troubleshooter link below.
For further information, there is also a FAQ.