Must-Have Monday: Marking 20 years of text messaging with must-have texting gear

The Right Click

By the time you read this story, many of you have probably sent a text message or two today. Consider it your contribution to the anniversary of the very first text message, which was sent 20 years ago today.

On December 3, British-born engineer Neil Papworth sent a simple "Merry Christmas" to Vodaphone director Richard Jarvis via SMS (Short Messaging Service) at a Christmas party. That message became the first of billions that would be sent over the next 20 years, with 268 million texts being sent in Canada every day.

"Back then, it was just intended to be used like an executive pager, to get a hold of people on the road," Papworth, who now lives in Montreal, told The Globe and Mail. "No one knew it would evolve into such a monster."

In honour of Papworth's momentous message, we've found some handy texting accessories that will help you carry on his legacy of sending short messages to friends and family the world over:

Agloves Original touchscreen gloves

Any good Canadian texter knows the woes of trying to tap out a message when it's freezing outside. While there are many texting gloves now available on the market, Agloves makes some of the only touchscreen gloves that have sensor material throughout the entire glove, meaning you can use all ten digits to navigate your device without having to be too careful that you're angling your fingers the right way. The gloves have a silver-nylon filament woven through them, which conducts the bioelectricity from your hand to the capacitive touch screen.

Keyboard Buddy Case by Boxwave

Even when you're sporting gloves to battle the cold while texting, typing on a touchscreen can sometimes be a difficult experience. If you've gotten fed up with trying to hit the right button on a screen, consider this case with a built-in keyboard. When you slide out the backlit keyboard, the on-screen keyboard automatically disappears, giving you more space to see your message that you're typing. Cases are available for all models of iPhone from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 5.

Stylus + Pen by Griffin Technology

Sometimes, you just can't beat the feeling of holding a pen in your hand to tap out a message. While for some, the stylus has gone the way of the dodo and Palm OS devices (did anyone else try and fail to learn Graffiti?), others just need the feel of something solid when they're sending out a text. Griffin has a stylus that will let you not just navigate your capacitive touchscreen device, but also doubles as a pen for when you need to turn to a pen and paper. (Stylus + Pen + Laser model shown in picture.)

Who would love these: Text-message fiends who are looking for an easier way to get their messages out, whether the problem is cold hands while typing, a wistfulness for a real keyboard, or a need for something more substantial than a finger to type out a message.

How much they cost: Touchscreen Gloves — start at $19.99, Keyboard Case - $99.95 (for iPhone 5), Stylus - $29.99

Where to get it: All of the products are available on the linked company websites.

Must-Have Monday is a new feature on the Yahoo! Canada News' Right Click blog, where we share a cool gadget each week. We're not paid to endorse any of these — it's just stuff we'd probably buy if someone handed us a pile of money.

Have a suggestion for next week? Contact us on Twitter at @yrightclick.

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