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SMS is the ugly stepchild of mobile applications, but if you’re looking for a simple way to reach a huge swath of people, SMS is the way to go.

After all, smartphone penetration is still relatively low within the U.S. and global markets. And for some tasks, you might not need something as complicated as a native or mobile web application.

Perhaps you want to launch an autoresponder or send interactive outbound messages. Maybe you want to run an SMS-based marketing promotion or build a self-service app for customers. You could even set up a voting app à la American Idol.

SMS is a great way to reach a much larger consumer base with these kinds of simple messages. And due to the simple fact of technological evolution, building an SMS app has never been easier.

SMSified is a new and relatively easy way to build SMS apps with a REST API. The service provides an SMS gateway that works with the Big Four carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile) as well as Virgin Mobile and MetroPCS. Currently, SMSified apps work within the U.S. only.

The API allows for sending and receiving text messages via either short codes or ten-digit phone numbers. SMSified can also help devs with setting up short codes, a 90-day, $3,000 fee process.

The service uses a REST interface based on the GSMA OneAPI standard. It uses the HTTP POST method on the web server side to send and receive messages and notifications. You can get more info on the specifics in the documentation.

The service is currently in a beta period — during this time, all messages sent through SMSified are free. The company is also offering users a $20 credit to send and receive messages and test SMSified apps. When the beta and the credit run out, SMS messages cost $.01 each.

SMSified is made by Voxeo, a VoIP and IVR (that’s “interactive voice response”) company.

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Speech is such a hassle, what with the mouth movements, facial expressions and eye contact.

History is just littered with opportunities where texting would have come in handy.

This comic was illustrated by Kiersten Essenpreis, a New York-based artist who draws and blogs at For more laughs, check out our previous Mashable Comics.

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