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August 13, 2008 / douglasac

Text Messages

No doubt many, if not all of you, have mobile phones. No doubt you also send a lot of text messages (who doesn’t?). You may have seen some random goofiness on your screen that you have no idea what the meaning of it is.

Here’s an example that resembles my Nokia:

An example of a text message

An example of a text message


The part that no doubt confuses you the most is the strange thing that says something like 160/1. You think “That’s not a fraction: that’s 160!” And you’d be right. No doubt you’ve also noticed it going down when you type your message (or whatever), and have assumed it was a counter.

This is what it means: The SMS standard states “160 characters per message.” However, some phones fake breaking this rule by letting you type longer messages and sending them as seperate messages, with the phone on the recieveing end shmooshing ’em all together into one message. You are billed per message. So, that 160/1 thing means “You can write 160 more characters in part one of the message”. If it said 74/2, it would mean “You can write 74 more characters in part two of the message”. You’re billed per part of the message, so 1 part = 1 message, 2 parts = 2 messages and so on.

Note that some phones have emoticons that appear as graphics. These are really text replaced with a picture, and will show up as text if the reciever’s phone doesn’t have this Feature. So, a smiley such as :-), which might show up as a 🙂 would count for three characters. Spaces and symbols also count as characters too.

Note: This is how it works on Nokia phones, which are numerous and popular. It may work differently on your phone (especially iPhones, Symbian-based devices and Windows Mobile devices, and you’ll know if you have one of these), so, don’t feel discouraged if it looks different (some have 999/1 or something, which means “999 characters to go, and, oh, by the way, you’re on part one of the message)



Leave a Comment
  1. Agret / Jun 21 2009 4:52 AM

    I’m pretty sure that’s covered in the manual. 😛
    Also your blog replaced both the smiles

  2. douglasac / Jul 28 2009 6:05 AM

    Eh, who reads the manual anyway? 😉

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