In just the last few months we've seen an explosion of messaging-based apps, which let you do with a simple text far more than could have been imagined by whichever money-grubbing carrier vice president dreamed up texting in the first place.
Apps like Lark chat with us about how we slept and whether we're getting enough exercise, and services like Magic find us anything we can dream of—even a tiger.
It takes a phone full of apps to replicate its entire functionality.
It's simple enough that anyone can use it, versatile enough that everyone has some use for it.
And way too many of them rely on old-school SMS text messaging. That's probably not going to change, and it doesn't really need to. It was made two decades ago as a bandwidth rounding error, a way to charge people to send data that the carriers could sneak through for free. It's also never really changed: You can still only send 160 characters, group texting is a mess, and sending pictures is awkward and unpredictable.