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Using AIM Mobile

General AOL® Canada Mobile FAQ's

What is instant messaging?
What is AIM?
What is the AIM service for mobile phones?
How much does the AIM service for mobile phones cost?
What do I need to get started?
How do I get a screen name?
How can I set up my phone for instant messaging without a computer?
Will the recipient be able to see me on a Buddy List®?
Sending an IM to a phone vs sending an IM via AIM
When I send an IM to a cell phone is my Screen Name visible?
Will the phone be able to reply to my IMs?
Can I send an IM to a cell phone?
How do I have IMs forwarded to my cell phone?
How do I add a mobile phone number to my Buddy List®?
Can I see my Buddy List® when I receive an IM on my cell phone?
How do I initiate an IM from my mobile phone?

Q: What is instant messaging?
A: Instant messaging is an easy, convenient way to communicate with friends and family online. Messages are sent and received instantly, giving you the convenience of e-mail and the immediacy of a telephone call.

Q: What is AIM?
A: The AOL® Instant Messenger™ service (AIM) is a free service used by millions of people worldwide to stay in contact and to communicate instantly. Private and secure, the AIM service enables you to exchange instant messages with other registered AIM users, as well as with all AOL® and Compuserve® 2000 subscribers.

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Q: What is the AIM service for mobile phones?
A: The AIM service for mobile phones is a free service that lets you:
  • Send and receive instant messages wherever you are
  • Know when friends and family are online
  • Communicate with buddies whether they're on their phones, computers or PDAs
  • Enjoy several conversations at once
  • The service is designed specifically for mobile phone users who want to remain in touch while on the go.


Q: How much does the AIM service for mobile phones cost?
A: Whether you're on your computer or your mobile phone, the AIM service is absolutely free. Of course, when using the AIM service for mobile phones, you're still responsible for usage charges from your wireless carrier.

Q: What do I need to get started?
A: All you need to enjoy the ease and convenience of Instant Messaging on your mobile phone is:
  • An AIM screen name
  • A Web-enabled or short messaging service (SMS)-enabled phone
  • An authorized mobile service provider that offers the AIM service for mobile phones
  • The AIM service for mobile phones works with your existing wireless Web connection or short messaging service.

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Q: How do I get a screen name?
A: If you have a screen name that you use with AOL® or Compuserve® 2000, you can also use it as your AIM screen name.

If you're not registered with these services, or if you prefer to use a new screen name, you can easily register a screen name.

Q: How can I set up my phone for instant messaging without a computer?
A: To use instant messaging on your mobile phone, a computer is necessary to register for the AIM service and obtain a screen name and password. However, you don't need a computer to set up your phone for instant messaging. To do this, perform the following steps:
  1. Create a new message. Depending on your phone, leave the message blank or type a space or character, if necessary.
  2. Send the message to the number 4653, which is the "AIM-Settings" command.
  3. You will receive a series of messages from the AIM service.
  4. Write down the commands and buddy names and their associated numbers. Type an entry for each command and buddy in your phone book.


Q: Will the recipient be able to see me on a Buddy List®?
A: The recipient will only be able to see you online if they have the AIM service on their phone. If your recipient is signed on to the AIM service they can access their Buddy List®.

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Q: Sending an IM to a phone vs sending an IM via AIM
A: Sending IMs to a mobile phone number is different than sending an IM to the Screen Name of someone using the AIM Wireless service in a few ways:
  • You can send an IM to any mobile phone number. Your recipient doesn't need to have an AOL® or AIM Screen Name, a special phone, or a specific wireless service provider. However, unless the recipient's phone and service provider support two-way IM service, then your friend will not be able to respond to your message.
  • If you send an IM to an AIM Wireless user, you can first check to see if that person is online (if he or she is on your Buddy List®). If the person is not available, you can set an alert to be notified when he or she signs on. Your IM recipient will also be able to reply to your message if he or she has a mobile phone capable of two-way text messaging from a carrier that allows two-way IM service.


Q: When I send an IM to a cell phone is my Screen Name visible?
A: The mobile phone user who receives your IM will see your Screen Name in the body of the text message. When they receive your message, the phone will typically only alert them of the new message's arrival.

Q: Will the phone be able to reply to my IMs?
A: Whether or not your recipient can reply to your IMs depends on his or her mobile phone and service carrier. To reply to IMs, the recipient needs a mobile phone capable of two-way text messaging from a carrier that allows two-way IM service. If their phone does not meet this requirement, then the recipient can only read your message.
Notes
  • A phone user whose phone is capable of using the AIM Wireless service will be able to send you an IM after signing on to the AIM service from their phone.

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Q: Can I send an IM to a cell phone?
A: You can send Instant Messages to anyone who has a cell phone that supports text messaging (also known as SMS messaging). Text messaging lets you get in touch with friends, family members or co-workers even when they are away from a computer.

To send an IM to a cell phone
  1. On the AOL® search bar, click IM.
  2. In To, type a Plus sign (+), the country code, and the full ten-digit cell phone number.
    -For example: +14445551212
  3. If you are sending a message to a cell phone outside the U.S., include the country code.
  4. Type your message in the large text entry box, and then click Send.
Notes
Since messages are delivered by the recipient's wireless service provider's network, AOL® cannot guarantee that messages sent to a cell phone will be received. Only recipients using cell phones capable of two-way text messaging will be able to respond to your message.

See Also:

To learn how to forward your instant messages to a cell phone when you are away from the computer, see How do I have my IMs forwarded to a cell phone (below)?

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Q: How do I have IMs forwarded to my cell phone?
A: You can have your IMs automatically forwarded to your mobile phone as a text messages when you're not signed on to the AOL® service. Now you won't have to miss important instant messages when you're on the go.

Q: How do I add a mobile phone number to my Buddy List®?
A: You add a mobile number to your Buddy List® in the same way that you would add a Screen Name to your Buddy List®.

To add a mobile phone number to your Buddy List®
  1. If your Buddy List® window is not open, go to the AOL® Toolbar, click the People menu and then click Buddy List®.
  2. In the Buddy List® window, click Setup.
  3. In the Buddy List® Setup window, select the group you want to add the phone number to and click Add Buddy.
  4. In the Add New Buddy window, type a Plus sign (+), the country code, and the full-ten digit mobile phone number in the Enter New Buddy's Screen Name box and click Save.
    - For example: +17035551212.
Notes
  • Since messages are delivered via your recipient's wireless network, AOL® cannot guarantee that messages you send to a mobile phone will be received.
  • Unless your IM recipient is using a mobile phone capable of two-way text messaging from a carrier that allows two-way IM service, he or she will be unable to respond to your message

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Q: Can I see my Buddy List® when I receive an IM on my cell phone?
A: You can see your Buddy List® on your mobile phone only if your phone and wireless carrier support the AOL® Instant Messenger™ (AIM) Wireless service.
  • If you can access the AIM service from your phone, then you can see your Buddy after you sign on to the AIM service as documented for your phone.
  • If you are unable to access the AIM service from your phone, then you will only be able to receive and read forwarded IMs.


Q: How do I initiate an IM from my mobile phone?
A: If your phone and wireless carrier support the two-way IM Forwarding service, you can reply to any IMs forwarded to your phone. Just use your phone's Reply function to respond to the IM. However, you cannot initiate any new instant messages unless you have the AOL® Instant Messenger™ service on your phone.

Notes
  • Your wireless service provider may charge you for this and other text messages you send or receive. Please consult your wireless service provider regarding their pricing plans.

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