Jitterbug text messages are easy to send and receive once you activate the service. That's right, you have to activate it. Because this cell phone is designed to be easy to use, the company set it up so only the basic services are installed. This makes it easy for those who have difficulty using a cell phone to perform its most basic tasks, which is to make and receive calls. However if you're comfortable with the basic functions you can start to add the additional services.
You have to call up Jitterbug customer service to activate the text messaging service. (Note: When you call you always have to verify your Jitterbug phone number and your complete address including zip code.) As long as you have the J model or later, they can go ahead and activate the "Simple Text" text messaging service.
They say you have to make sure to leave the phone on for up to the next four hours so that the update can take place. In practice, however, these updates have taken only about 15 minutes so far.
Once your phone has updated, there will be a "Text Messages" menu item. All you have to do is select it and press "Yes". Then you decide whether to send, receive or delete a text message. Since you've just installed the service, let's send a message.
You will be asked if you want to create your own message. If you choose "Yes", then you can start composing your message in the standard way (there is no predictive text or iTap etc). To choose a letter on the key, you press it once if it the first letter on the key, twice if it is the second letter on the key, and thrice if it is the third letter on the key.
Once you're "Done?" select "Yes" to choose a recipient. You can choose anyone in your Jitterbug's phonebook or type in a new number and select "Yes" when you're done. The Jitterbug text message is immediately sent.
When a messages arrives, you can just click Yes to indicate that you want to read it. If you've signed up for their Health Tips service, these will arrive as text messages once a day.
There are also 20 pre-written messages you can send. These are quite useful, and more important very convenient. Instead of clicking "Yes" to Compose your own message", don't click "No", but rather press the down arrow which take you to the pre-written messages. You just select which one you want by clicking "Yes", then choose the recipient from the phone book or dial the number and click "Yes" to send.
These are the pre-written messages:
About a week after activating the Simple Text service, I receive a Quick Start guide in the mail. This is a fold-out brochure that goes through everything in detail with pictures and text. I even learned a few things:
I'm impressed by the clarity and completeness of the guide.
So, I hope you can see that sending and receiving text messages on your Jitterbug phone is pretty easy.
One aspect of texting with their flip phones that I didn't notice until recently is that there are no left-right arrow keys on this phone, only up-down keys. If you make an error while composing the message, you usually have to delete what you wrote after the error instead of navigating to the typo and correcting it.