How to Send a Text Message on Your Samsung Galaxy S8

By Bill Hughes

Text messages (which are short messages, usually 160 characters or less, sent by cellphone) are particularly convenient when you can’t talk at the moment (maybe you’re in a meeting or class) or when you just have a small bit of information to share (“Running late — see you soon!”).

When you first get your phone and are ready to brag about your new Galaxy S8 and want to send a text to your best friend, here’s how easy it is:

  1. On the Home screen, tap the Messages icon.

    galaxys8-messages

    The Messages icon looks like an envelope. When you tap it, you will get a mostly blank Home screen for texting.

    galaxys8-messaging
    The initial Messaging Home screen.

    When you have some conversations going, it begins to fill up.

  2. Tap the New Message icon (the pencil hovering over a blank page).

    galaxys8-new-message

    Tapping the New Message icon brings up the screen shown.

    galaxys8-texting-screen
    A blank texting screen.
  3. Tap to enter the recipient’s ten-digit mobile telephone number.

    A text box appears at the top of the screen with the familiar To field at the top. The keyboard appears at the bottom of the screen.

    As shown, the top field is where you type the telephone number. The numerals are along the top of the keyboard.

    galaxys8-recipient
    Type the recipient’s number in the upper text box.

    Be sure to include the area code, even if the person you’re texting is local. There’s no need to include a 1 before the number.

    If this is your first text, you haven’t had a chance to build up a history of texts. After you’ve been using your messaging application for a while, you will have entered contact information, and your phone will start trying to anticipate your intended recipient. You can take one of its suggestions or you can just keep on typing.

  4. To type your text message, tap the text box that says Enter message. The figure shows you where to enter your text.

    galaxys8-type-text
    Type your text.

    Your message will appear in the text box to the right of the paper clip icon.

    In the Android Messaging app, your text message can be up to 160 characters, including spaces and punctuation. The application counts down the number of characters you have left.

  5. Send the text by tapping the Send button to the right of your message.

    The Send button is grayed out before you start typing. After you type something, it turns full-on orange. Once you tap the button, the phone takes it from here. Within a few seconds, the message is sent to your friend’s cellphone.

After you build your contact list, you can tap a name from the contact list or start typing a name in the recipient text box. If there’s only one number for that contact, your phone assumes that’s the receiving phone you want to send a text to. If that contact has multiple numbers, it asks you which phone number you want to send your text to.

In most cases, the default for your texting app is for your phone to automatically correct what it thinks is a misspelled word. You can see it guess on the darker gray area under the text message. This capability is called autocorrect. You may find it very handy, or you may find it annoying. If you like it, you should still verify that it corrected the word in the right way. If you want evidence as to why this is a good idea, search “funny autocorrect examples” in your favorite search engine (although some can be very racy).

You’ve probably heard a thousand times about how it’s a very bad idea to text while you’re driving. Here comes one-thousand-and-one. It’s a very bad idea to text while you’re driving — and illegal in some places.