VIP Emails vs. SMS:
I replaced my SMS communication with the VIP feature for emails on my iPhone. I use this with the family members. I set it up so that I get a notification on my lock screen with a sound. My family members did the same. This works well because when I am at work, I can use my desktop to respond to these messages because they are just emails at the end of the day. With emails you get more options and capabilities to use on mobile and desktop.
You can also use Google Voice phone number as alternative. Google Voice has desktop interface as well.
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