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God's own group SMS txt messenger wanted...

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by DAE51D, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. DAE51D

    DAE51D Member
    Thread Starter

    I don't have an Android yet, still lugging around my trusty Treo 650, mostly because I can't live without a few key apps. One of them being the "Group Text Messaging v1.0.040930.01 demonstration app by Pa1mOne". I'm not sure why this thing was never developed further, but it is by far the single best and most used application on my PalmOS.

    GroupTextMessaging 1.0 (for Palm OS) - mytreo.net/downloads

    I did have a G1 for a few weeks recently and searched high and low for some replacement apps as I'd love to switch to Android, but I'm terribly disappointed to see that the Android doesn't do nearly as much as my PalmOS phone does in this day and age. I looked at Handcent, but it still didn't do nearly as much as this little app did/does.

    I am a promoter for various clubs in Seattle, and I send out nearly 300+ text messages on any given club night (thurs,fri,sat) letting people know where the best party in town is going to be.

    I would literally kill or die for this app but with several enhancements:

    * the users should be linked to the contact book. currently they're independent so if someone changes phone numbers, I have to update both places.
    * replies from people do not include the initial txt *I* sent them. Not usually a big deal, but sometimes the person is replying saturday to a txt I sent friday and therefore I put them on the wrong guest list or something.
    * would love to be able to put something like "hey %f, come to club foo tonight" and have it expand the %f to their first name before sending them the txt.
    * yes, groups of people are key. I have many many groups.
    * a way to put a person in multiple groups
    * 'virtual groups' would be great -- for example, I travel a lot, so if I go to NY or to CA or something, I want to quickly txt all the people I know in that city and let them know I've arrived and ask what's going on that night? So this would be a group created on the fly from my contacts based upon some search criteria, such as STATE="CA" or "NY" or whatever, not an actual group I create. Ideally, it would be something I could save though, so as I meet people in NY, I just pull up my "NY" group and these people are already in it, as per having their contact info filled out properly when I met them. Does that make sense?
    * the checkbox for on-the-fly selection of individuals in a group is also a key feature I use all the time, as I know certain people are not in town or not into the music on a particular night, so I don't want to spam them.
    * a default "ALL" group that just has everyone in my phone (and I could use the aforementioned checkbox to unselect certain people, and perhaps filters to aid in this too)
    * use of the little pre-defined groups that all contacts already have (upper right corner). So I could then SMS all my "family" for example, without having to have a redundant Group Text SMS group created.
    * sorting by first, last, city, phone
    * view by "first last" or "last, first"
    * ability to (mix) add names/numbers that are NOT in my contact list... I don't necessarily want 1000 club kids in my phone to sift through either.
    * I have zero interest in "group chat" features here
    * Oh yeah, it's also frustrating that the Treo 650 basically is locked up until all of the SMS are sent. This should send them in the background.

    I have a ton more ideas and would pay $$$ money for something like this.

    There is a thread here with more comments and information:
    Group text messaging? - PreCentral Forums

  2. mhoepfin

    mhoepfin Newbie

    I may take this on... but I see a couple apps like this already on the market.

    What about those don't work?
  3. DAE51D

    DAE51D Member
    Thread Starter

    That would be outstanding. Feel free to PM/email/post with any questions or to brainstorm ideas.

    Please show me which apps you are referring to, as I have not found anything other than Handcent and the version I tried was lacking most of those bullet points. But I would also say, even if there are other apps "like" this, competition can only help to make the ultimate killer SMS group messenger.
  4. markww

    markww Newbie

    The sms API isn't yet public. Apps like handcent are using them anyway. I would do this too because it sounds fun, but the app may break in the future as they tweak the API. I think this is why you don't see more sms apps out there though.
  5. DAE51D

    DAE51D Member
    Thread Starter

    Wow, that has to be one of the lamest things I've ever heard. :thinking: SMS messaging is one of, if not THE biggest thing that a phone is used for these days. I'd say even more so than actually speaking.

    Any idea when the omnipotent Google will be opening up the API? It's not like Android is v2.1 or anything... ;)
  6. markww

    markww Newbie

    Yeah I was surprised by this too. I don't know of any official word as to when they'll make it 'public'. Developers can still use the API, it's just that they're likely to change it in the future and don't care if it breaks all the apps that were built on top of it since they didn't officially mark it as public.

    I don't know what they're waiting for, because there could be a lot of useful 3rd party sms apps otherwise, like the one you are proposing.
  7. DAE51D

    DAE51D Member
    Thread Starter

  8. MJI

    MJI Lurker

    I too am an ex-Treo 680 user and still limping along with my Samsung Captivate. Everyday I get a little closer to what life was like before ;)

    I have over 2300 contacts, and it took DH a full day and a bunch of excel macros to get it moved over to google contacts. Each palm category became a google group.

    I just started using Contacts GroupU and it not only recognizes and uses all the google groups I've set up, but I can send texts/emails to those groups. I can also create new groups. So far, so good. I really missed my groups on my phone, now they are back.
  9. geckoint

    geckoint Lurker

    Hey guys, I've just released an SMS app called InviteWiz you might be interested in. It specialises in sending invitations via SMS and automatically tracking replies from received texts. It has many of the features you're looking for Daevid, including token expansion (%f -> firstname, %n -> nickname/firstname), custom groups, the ability to deselect specific individuals from the chosen group, sending texts in the background, etc. It can handle any number of texts, although by default it will not send more than 100 per hour. (You can change this via a setting.) Note: many Android phones have a built in limit of 100 texts per hour -- trying to send more will trigger send errors.

    The app is free, see here for details: SMS invitations done right – InviteWiz for Android

    DAE51D likes this.
  10. DAE51D

    DAE51D Member
    Thread Starter

    Awesome to hear! I'm downloading now and will give you feedback after I use it a few times. That 100 txt limit is lame of the carriers. My PalmOS didn't have any such limit. Speaking of which, anyone know how to turn off the 40 TXT limit of the Sense UI SMS application? I have a rooted phone. Is there a setting somewhere I can tweak in a .sqllite db or something?

    UPDATE: First I have to say it's pretty robust looking! Wow! Lots of settings and stuff. It's also very clean and professional cosmetically -- not your typical ass-looking app. Very well done. I'm excited to see it in action now. Hopefully its functionality will work as well as it looks.

    The one suggestion I have straight away is that ALL your groups should be shown by default. I thought only like 5 were showing until I enabled the setting to show the rest. And also, you should show the # of people in that group in parenthesis next to the group name. Unfortunately, Android's groups are pretty jacked up and there are ones like "Family" that are immutable, so you end up having duplicate group names and it's not always clear where the actual contacts are in.
  11. geckoint

    geckoint Lurker

    Thanks for the feedback. Good suggestions, I'll look at including them in a future release.

    Regarding the number to show in parentheses next to the group name, would you prefer this to be the total number of contacts in the group (including those without a mobile #), or the number of people who will be added to the invite if the group is selected. I ask because when you select a group it only selects those contacts in the group who have a mobile #. Showing the total number of contacts in the group would be easiest and more efficient, but might be confusing to some users when the number shown next to a selected group does not equal the number of added recipients. Alternatively, if we only show the number of contacts with a mobile next to the group name, that might be confusing to other users who wonder why the group is smaller than what they think it is. (This option is also more challenging to implement and possibly has performance repercussions when populating the Groups tab.)

    What do you think?
  12. DAE51D

    DAE51D Member
    Thread Starter

    Well, I guess it would depend right? And you answered your own question in a way.

    You already have a Menu > Settings > Contact Selection > Mobile Numbers Only checkbox, so depending on what is checked there, the number would reflect accordingly. ;-)

    Also, you might want to start a new thread dedicated to this app, rather than hijack (my) existing one. I don't mean that in a bad way, I'm just saying for consistency...
  13. geckoint

    geckoint Lurker

    Thanks. I'll start a new thread if I need to discuss further. :)

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