I have a 1st generation one as well. I have heard that the 2nd Generation ones are much better, but do not have 1st hand knowledge of that.
As far as texting, If you don't already know this, you can not receive text message's just send them. And, you only get 2 pre-determined text messages. Well 3 actually, but if you hit the "911" button, that goes to the SPOT messenger operator, who will dispatch help to you.
My preset messages are...
"still fishing all is well...no worries"
and "Need help, broke down, send Sea Tow"
I always file a "float plan" with my wife and an estimated time we are to be back. I don'town a boat, so I ask whom ever we are fishing with where we are going that day, and phone that into the wife as we depart. Sometimes, if the fishing is too good, we stay longer, so the "still fishing, all is well...no worries" works. I also don't have a sea tow membership, but I figured the money is well spent to have them come get us, than wait for it to be a true emergency and having the coast guard come get us. Most people I fish with also have continecy plans, EPIRBS, SPOT messenger, Sat Phones ETC...but I figured more is better when it comes to trouble at sea !!