OnPage: A Smart Phone Decision to Receive Your Important Messages Through Cellular or WiFi

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I’ve only recently entered into the world of smart phones this year. Prior to getting it in February I had an old phone that I think could send and receive texts…but I didn’t have a clue how to do either with it. We first got that phone when our daughter started Kindergarten so that the school could get a hold of me in case of emergency and I was not at home. I think cell phones in general are feel like some sort of a safety net for Moms as a link to their children when they can’t be with them. And now I’m going to share an app and service that will keep important messages, texts or emergency pages from getting missed, buried or undelivered because of spotty cellular service.


In our pre-homeschooling years, when Amber was in public school, I had a cheap flip phone that I took with me when I went out. But I had missed on more than one occasion hearing the phone ring, and by the time I got the voice mail or figured out how to retrieve the text message to come to the school to pick her up, well they had already called my husband.

If I owned a smart phone back then, I would like to have had OnPage, an app (for iOS, Android and Blackberry), that runs like a pager service on your phone.

What makes OnPage more reliable than a text message for emergencies is that is uses a data channel to deliver your message not the ‘signaling’ channel (which is what texts use). That signaling channel that delivers your text messages has a low bandwidth and can be sluggish. On a regular day when you’re exchanging texts with your spouse or child you may never encounter or notice that, but I’m pretty sure most of you could tell a story of an undelivered text message or one that was delivered hours after it was actually sent. That is probably the most important feature to me of the OnPage app. But let me tell you some more.

There are times I have to keep my phone in silent mode. Meeting, church functions, dinner with friends. I don’t want to be disturbed (or disturb others) with the ‘dinging’ of text message alerts or someone calling me about something that can wait. I initially thought that OnPage would be “overkill”, if you know what I mean, but I found that to be incorrect. OnPage has excellent options on how people can send messages to you. Through the app, through email, through the phone or if it’s a group setting providing the service through their Web Management Console. I especially love the email and phone options, because in the case of the sender of the message it gives them alternate ways to reach you that’s best suited for the environment they’re in. I did not try this feature, but a comment on OnPage’s Facebook wall, has a consumer touting the advantage that kids can send their parents OnPage messages via Facebook.

Comparing text messaging or e-mails to the OnPage system, OnPage has an advantage in that it supersedes all other applications. The OnPage messaging has a better way of alerting you. Prominent at the front of your screen (it can be set to override silent mode if you like) it stays there until you acknowledge the message.

Also it lets the sender know that the message was delivered and read. With OnPage you get a ‘separate in box’ as well, so all the messages you receive through the system are in one place. If there are important email messages you wouldn’t want to miss from selective parties, you could give them your OnPage ID e-mail to send it to, and the messages won’t get buried in your regular e-mail in box.

So with all those features the OnPage app won me over, but there is a subscription fee for it. That is where you have to determine if it’s worth it for you. In my research, I found enough features and options worthwhile to decide that the $13.99 a month for a year (although if you enter the promo code ‘zach2’ it brings the cost of the product to only $8 a month from $13.99!) would be worth it if I had children that were out of my care for most of the day. Since we homeschool and my husband works from home two days out of the week, (also we have an iPod Touch and iPad for testing, but have a Windows Phone which OnPage doesn’t support) it would be an unnecessary fee for me right now. If I had a reason to activate it though, I would feel like it would be like an insurance policy per say. A messaging service that is a more secure and more reliable than text messaging or e-mail, and could be used even in situations where only Wi-Fi is available or phone service is spotty. It’s something that I would say would be worth every penny if your family is thrust into a worst case scenario.

If you’re part of a PTA/PTO at your school, you may also want to look into the system, and if you like the features mention it to your school. It’s an efficient way for schools to notify parents of early closures, late starts, activities being canceled due to weather, emergency news, etc. Although we homeschool we are still registered with the local high school, we get all those messages…on our landline. In this day and age of mobile devices being more prominent, it seems that a good paging/messaging service would serve the student/parent/school population very well.

OnPage offers a 14 day free trial*

So, if you’re interested in trying OnPage out for free, you can download the app to your iOS device, Blackberry or Android. If you’re impressed with the app and would like to continue using it, you can then go to OnPage.com and subscribe to the service. *You will not get charged through the app or app store you choose – it truly is a free trial, if you want to subscribe you will have to go their website to enter payment details.

I wrote this review on behalf of OnPage and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to do so.

Tammy Litke, literally writes here, there and everywhere about this, that and everything, but her passion is and always has been keeping her family happy. She does so by making family friendly recipes, traveling to family destinations, watching 3D movies and playing video games with them and homeschooling her daughter.

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