iPod touch & iPhone

SMS Magic Setup & User Guide

Set up your textmagic.com account before using SMS Magic.

It is more economical to buy credits and get the bonus than to take the Free Trial option - TM will always give you a refund if you don't like the service for some reason.

Choose your desired username and password (you don't need a separate API password), and enter a mobile telephone number (International format) if you need to receive your validation code and/or messages. If you don't have a phone, just use a friend's or relative's.

If you wish to use the SMS-to-Email function, 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, and can be used in conjunction with direct message downloads or replies to a separate phone.

For example, you might want to use a free email account to store backup copies of your messages and also to provide new message notifications. 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, and the new message will be automatically downloaded when you open SMS Magic.

Your Profile

Set up the rest of your account profile as in the screenshot above. Do NOT select 'Send replies to my mobile phone', even if you don't want in-app replies. This option is controlled by the app settings. Low-balance alerts are optional as SMS Magic shows your credit balance on the screen.

You can set up a custom alphanumeric sender ID on the website if you wish, but of course it will not be able to receive any replies. You cannot just send SMS messages using any name you like - you need to authorise it first with Text Magic.

Setting Up SMS Magic

The first time you use SMS Magic you will be prompted for your Text Magic username and password on the setup screen. You can also optionally enter a reply number here.

Assuming that the Text Magic Reply Service is suitable for your needs - check their FAQ - it is recommended that you leave this field empty, in which case SMS Magic will use a shared reply number. If there is a free reply number available for your country, your profile will usually default to this automatically.

However you may enter any number Text Magic has authorised to receive replies in this field. Examples are:

  • Your own validated phone number (if you don't want in-app replies)
  • A custom alphanumeric Sender ID (if you don't want any replies)
  • Another Text Magic reply number (for example to provide a recipient in another country with free replies)

Phone numbers entered into this reply field should be in International format, without a plus sign or punctuation, e.g. 61401234567

Any number you enter here will override the reply number set in your Account Profile.

Tap 'Done' and pick your home country from the popup list. SMS Magic requires this information in order to automatically add your country code to outgoing local messages, so you don't have to.

Make your choice and the app is ready to use.

Using SMS Magic

Number Formats

Enter local telephone numbers 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. SMS Magic uses this information to detect when you are texting a number outside your country.

Splitting Long Messages

SMS magic will automatically split messages longer than a standard SMS (160 characters/70 Unicode) into multiple separate SMS messages (maximum 3). If you exceed 160/70 characters a warning alert gives you the choice of editing the text or continuing. You can enter up to a total of 459/201 characters. You pay for each SMS. Note that this feature is network-dependent and may not be supported in your country, or that of your recipient.


You may send messages in any language and using any characters that your device supports. You must set the Unicode switch to ON before sending non-latin characters* or you will receive an error message from the gateway.

If you mostly send Unicode, you can change the switch default position by using the Settings app on your device. The maximum length of a 3-part Unicode message is 201 characters. Note that this feature is network-dependent and may not be supported in your country, or on your recipient's phone.

Receiving Messages

The app checks for new messages when started, and at 15 minute intervals thereafter (unless it is configured to reply to a phone number.) You can check for new messages at any time by tapping the button with the Down arrow. Only copies of new messages which have arrived since the last check are downloaded. An alert notifies you if there are any unread messages.

Downloaded messages are displayed in the Messages window, from where you can respond to or delete individual messages as desired. The default behaviour is to NOT delete downloaded messages from your Text Magic Inbox - you can change this in Settings.

Reading Messages

Tap the button with the message balloon to display all messages stored on your device in the Messages window. You can delete or respond to individual messages, or delete messages older than one month by using the Delete button.

Status Reports

Tap the button with the Up arrow to see a summary of messages that you have sent. Tap a message to obtain a delivery status report, together with other pertinent information if available. Note that some networks may not return a delivery timestamp.

You can delete individual message summaries, or press the global Delete button which deletes all stored messages and summaries older than one month.

The 'Resend Message' option just repopulates the message fields, it does not actually resend the message until you press 'Send'. You can insert a different recipient from your contact list, or edit the message.

Message Templates

Templates can be used to quickly send precomposed messages - see Using Message Templates

Deleting Messages

It is recommended that you delete read messages and unwanted sent message summaries reasonably frequently to reduce storage and memory requirements. If you wish to store old messages, the best way is to configure Text Magic to send copies to a separate email account.

The global Delete button is provided as a convenience to help you periodically purge your device. It retains the last 30 days Sent and Received messages - plus your message templates.

The 'Delete Messages' switch in Settings controls whether SMS Magic will behave like a standard email client and delete messages from the Text Magic server after download.

The default setting is OFF, which means you need to manually maintain your Text Magic Inbox, as required. It is recommended that you set this switch to ON.

Note: Only messages received after turning the switch to ON, will be deleted from your Inbox by SMS Magic.

Message Display

In version 1.2 changes were made to the internal database to convert timestamps to local time and to display Contacts as names, where available. Owners of prior versions can enable this behaviour in v1.2 and later by deleting the app and reinstalling from iTunes, however all messages stored on the device will also be deleted. Information about recovering some of these messages can be found in the FAQ

Error Messages

The Text Magic server returns useful error messages from which you will be able to work out most problems. Note that wrong numbers may not become apparent until reported as such by the upstream server. In this case the error will be visible only on a status report or in your account. ('Message Sent OK' on your iPod only means that the message has been successfully delivered to the gateway server, not that it has necessarily been received by the addressee.)

If you get persistent wrong number errors for local texting, use the iPod Settings app and scroll down to SMS Magic. DialCode should be your country's International dial code e.g. +61 for Australia. You can edit it if necessary. Also check that your Reply number, if set, is in International format without additional punctuation.

* For the purposes of SMS messages on GSM networks, the definition of 'latin' characters can be found here.

Note: Text Magic operate a public SMS gateway service, and have nothing to do with your SMS Magic app. If you encounter any difficulties using SMS Magic, please follow the Quick Troubleshooter or FAQ links above.