Send SMS messages from the command line

gp258-642b685e-49a8-474c-81ff-e899f9427b8b-v2This is, pretty much, my favorite discovery of 2016 so far: a freely-available API to send SMS text messages. Called TextBelt (, it uses the *nix curl command to send a line of text and a specified phone number.

I’ve started to use this with some of my server scripts set up to notify me of critical issues (like running out of space on the /boot partition) and it works like a champ – great for immediate, in-your-face notification of “showstopper” situations.

The quagmire of messaging

I read an article from Wired this morning, Screw Texting. It’s Time to Pick a Universal Messaging App, that really struck a chord with me. The state of texting/messaging is one of those quagmires I think we’ve all simply gotten used to the low-level buzz of aggravation.

sms_largeAs an iPhone user, I mostly use the built-in messaging app, but I don’t really love it. I love the the fact that it’s free to send messages to other iOS users (when their servers work and when the other party has thought to sign their device in with their Apple ID). Then there’s plain texting to non-iOS users. Then there’s the occasional person who reaches out to me via Facebook Messenger (which I hate). THEN there are the voicemail messages I receive transcribed to text by Google Voice (see my post True Visual Voicemail from just a few days ago) which are, essentially, text messages to me.It’s maddening.

And the crazy part is that it’s not brain surgery – all of these apps basically perform the same function. Why can’t someone build ONE that performs the core features extremely well (by the way: a massive emoji collection is not key to my productivity) that is so compelling that we all want to get on-board?!