In preparing for the Blesséd Lenten journey, I realised that I need some bulk mechanism for sending out SMS messages to those who have subscribed to it, rather than adding them to my Blackberry address book (which is why we can offer this service this Lent – I get unlimited free texts – God is good!).
I found a product which is still clearly in development and refinement, but even now does what I need to do – create an SMS message, add a list of text numbers and push them down the wire to my blackberry to be SMS’d off.
It is called Quicker SMS and can be found at http://blackberrysms.yo2.cn/
So far I have tested it with multiple recipients (tick!) and long messages (tick!), UK phone number format such as 07976… and International codes like 44796… (tick!) although it doesn’t like +447976… (cross!). You can time delay SMS messages or send immediately. Most importantly, it works! At least three stars out of five in my view, and I can see the development roadmap rounding off the rough edges to deliver more in the future.
It was only $9.95 as well, which last week would have cost me £6, but this week I note costs £7.50 🙁 It says something about exchange rates in the UK doesn’t it? Still, at this price, it is looking like an excellent solution, and we will see how well it performs in action over lent.
Already the response to the Lenten journey has been great, and so hopefully word of mouth (and blog) will spread this far and wide. It is quite a task to not only write a daily reflection, but to condense it into 140 characters. There will also be links to sites, youtube uploads and other resources in the daily text, so I hope and pray it will come together. It looks good so far!
Prior to this, I tried (and sadly paid for, which is why I know what last week’s exchange rate for $9.95 was) a piece of Java Code called SMSLink.
The perceived advantage of Java is that it is platform independent, but I simply could not get it to work. I have fully operational Java Runtime Environments (JRE) on my PCs, and I tried it with both a desktop with a bluetooth stick using Widcomm (the bog-standard) Bluetooth drivers and then with a Dell laptop with Bluetooth built in. Firstly there was a real struggle to get the desktop application to work at all, requiring all kinds of shortcuts on the desktop (and I am a technical user, this would be impossible for a novice) and even now, I cannot get the program to talk to the Blackberry over bluetooth. Poorly thought through, really.
Java and Bluetooth. Both dodgy and unreliable solutions at the best of times. When I want it to work, I want a wire, please. I suppose I should have looked more closely at the screenshots before purchase (and no registration solution – buy before you try only 🙁 ) because when I did get the Desktop Client finally loaded, it was rubbish: no multiple number entry, single line message, no link to address book, just bare bones. A waste of money. Less than one star rating from me.