July 23, 2008 Looking for a way to offset the ridiculously expensive data plan that your new 3G iPhone is tied to? AOL's free AIM client has a feature you might be interested in - the ability to send free SMS messages.

Make sure your iPhone is running the iPhone 2.0 software, and grab AIM here (iTunes required).

To send an SMS, simply send an IM to the number you wish to SMS in the international dialling format. For example, to send an SMS to a number in the U.S. of (444) 555-6666, send an IM to +14445556666. The recipient can reply to the message and you will receive it as an IM.

iPod Touch can also use this neat trick, provided they're somewhere with WiFi access.

Before you get too excited, the SMS feature doesn't work in all countries. We know it works in the U.S, but our readers from abroad will have to test it out for themselves. Feel free to send your reports to tim at gizmag dot com.