Sending a Text Message
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How to Set Up Automatic Text Messages for Android

Come to think of this:

Who leaves voicemail messages anymore? Nowadays, text messages are the primary mode of communication.

Now, here’s the thing.

We all know that sometimes, you just know you’re going to forget to send a text message when you need to.

“Text me when you get home safe!”

“I might want some pizza. Text me before you order?”

Yeah right.

Most of the time, due to stress from work or other things people think about, we don’t usually remember to do these things.

But here’s a piece of good news for my forgetful buddies out there.

The advancement of technology has stepped in to save us! We can now set up automatic SMS messages that will automatically be sent whenever we want to.

Say no more to excuses we have to tell our loved ones whenever we forget to update them of what’s happening with us. Here are 2 methods to will surely send that message in time!

Method 1: Schedule Messages with Textra

In my opinion, Textra is the ultimate SMS app for Android. In addition to a slew of gorgeous interfaces, Textra offers per-contact customizations and seamless integration with Google Wear. It also pulls from a database of animated gifs, so the appropriate reaction face is right at your fingertips when you need it. Most importantly, Textra lets you schedule text messages ahead of time, a feature that doesn’t exist on most standard Android SMS apps.

Step 1: Install Textra

Textra can be found in the Google Play store. The free version recently began displaying ads, which appear at the top of your messages list. If these irritate you, the ad-free version of Textra is only $1.99.

Download Textra here:

Download-on-Google-Play

Once Textra is installed, you’ll need to silence your old SMS client. Otherwise, you’ll get two notification for every text message you receive, and that can get old very quickly.

Tap Sound & Notifications
Tap Sound & Notifications

To do this, go to Settings and then Sound & Notification. From there, tap “App notifications.”

App notifications.
App notifications.

Find your stock messaging app, and select it. (The app may also have a name that begins “SMS-” or “Text-”)

Stock messaging apps may have different names.
Stock messaging apps may have different names.

Turn Block on to prevent notifications from showing up.

Messages will still be logged and stored in your stock app.
Messages will still be logged and stored in your stock app.

Step 2: Schedule Message

To schedule a text message, access Textra and tap the relevant conversation.

Open a conversation with the person you want to schedule a text message for.
Open a conversation with the person you want to schedule a text message for.

Compose your message as you would normally. However, do not tap send. Instead, tap the “+” icon to the left. This will bring up a list of options including emoji, pictures, and other attachments.

Scheduling texts works great for birthdays.
Scheduling texts works great for birthdays.

Select the clock icon.

Tap the clock icon.
Tap the clock icon.

Choose the date and time you want the message to send, then click the send arrow icon.

A small orange clock will signify that the message is being scheduled rather than sent right away.
A small orange clock will signify that the message is being scheduled rather than sent right away.

You’re set! The message will send at the time you specify without any further attention from you.

Step 3: Precautions

Be aware that scheduled messages are unusual creatures. If you want to delete a scheduled message, you will need to hunt back through your conversation and find it at the time you drafted it. Once it sends, that draft message will vanish and reappear as a new message.

This can lead to some counterintuitive considerations. If you regularly delete old text messages, for example, and you delete the draft before its scheduled send date, then the text message will not send. Furthermore, if you uninstall Textra and begin using a new SMS app, any scheduled messages will disappear.

Finally, Textra does not notify you when it sends scheduled messages. If you scheduled a text for something you knew you were going to forget, you’re probably also going to forget that you scheduled a text message for it. Don’t be an idiot like me.

Avoid.
Avoid.

Method 2: Setup Context-Sensitive Messages with IFTTT

Say you need to send a text message that isn’t dependent on time but rather some other variable. What’s your best recourse then?

“IF This Then That” or IFTTT is a free and extremely useful service for automating many of your Android device’s functions. It’s very simple and intuitive: when something specific happens (and you choose what), then IFTTT makes something else happen (which you choose as well). The possibilities with this are endless.

For example, you may set up:

IF I leave work THEN send a text message, “I’m on my way home.”

Step 1: Setup IFTTT

Download the IF app in the Google Play store and create an account.

Download-on-Google-Play

IFTTT uses “Channels” to automate services. This means that you will need to give IFTTT permission to use each of these channels before setting up a new triggered event. The app will prompt you whenever it needs new permissions.

Step 2: Choose a Triggering Event

There are many ways you could set up automated text messages with IFTTT, and I encourage you to experiment with it. For the purposes of this How-to, let’s set up a simple trigger based on location.

Open the recipe menu.
Open the recipe menu.

Touch the mortar and pestle icon to access recipes, then tap the “+” icon to add a new one.

Add a new recipe.
Add a new recipe.

Touch the “+” again to craft one from scratch. Then there’s yet another “+” to touch. Hang in there.

Another plus.
Another plus.
And another.
And another.

Pick a trigger. Let’s go with Android Location and select when you exit an area.

There are many Android services to choose from.
There are many Android services to choose from.

If the app asks for permissions, allow it, then zoom in on an area. Tap “Next” when you’ve got it.

Select a location.
Select a location.

Tap the “+” button again, and pick an effect.

So many pluses.
So many pluses.

Let’s choose Android SMS.

Send an SMS.
Send an SMS.

Now enter the phone number and message you want to send and hit continue.

Scheduling complete!
Scheduling complete!

Bingo! Now whenever you leave that location, IFTTT will send a text automatically. IFTTT doesn’t stop with locations, however. There are many other potential circumstances you could set up to automate your text messages.

Step 3: Precautions

IFTTT runs whether you’re thinking about it or not, so it’s always good to keep an eye on all the things it’s doing in your name. If you’re using this tutorial recipe, for instance, it will trigger whenever you leave the set location, even if you’re just stepping out for lunch.

Frequently Asked

Conclusion

Setting up automatic text messages can really add an element of efficiency to managing your interpersonal relationships. Just be careful when you’re using these methods, texting automatically is a lot like talking automatically, and both have the potential to get you into trouble!

These are our recommendations. What is your favorite way to automate SMS messages on your Android?

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3 Comments

  1. I downloaded textra, turned off messages. I see the clock but it doesn’t work. It is not in the same location as in your picture. Somehow I was successful as in the picture but then it changed.

    There is always a screen that appears to change back to messages that is very annoying. Is there a way to disable that? Should I delete that app?

  2. Hi there, After you type your msg, hit the plus sign, tap the clock, then when it returns to the texting screen you will see the schedule/unschedule/time/date options. Set those. The next screen you’ll see a send arrow. Tap that & it’ll sent at the set time/date.

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