SMS Applications

Jeffrey Malone ieatlint at
Mon Jul 14 10:14:30 CEST 2008


I'm interested in suggestions/comments/etc with regards to SMS-based
applications.  What I mean by this, is an application which uses SMS instead
of data (GPRS/wifi) to work.

Examples could include:
AOL AIM client using shortcode support
Google SMS query support through a more convenient interface
(In my specific case) San Francisco MUNI support, which allows
you to lookup when a bus is coming via SMS, or schedule an alert for when a
bus is Xmin away.

Odds are, this concept could be heavily expanded upon (twitter?), and it
offers the following advantages over data:
 - More reliable.  Data can run into a lot more problems than SMS.  Plus,
there is no general "loss", even if you lose signal, the SMS comes in once
you get it back
 - Less power.  As the data is truly an "on demand" "connection", you don't
need to maintain an active connection.
 - No data costs for those who live in places with expensive data

Conversely, there are some disadvantages:
 - Higher latency
 - Lack of features active connections offer (eg, AIM's "buddy is typing",

I am aware of a Google Summer of Code project, , but its documentation is
predictably minimal, and it is unclear if the base will be compatible with

Furthermore, it would seem that any code that is written be portable and not
tied to a specific image.  However I keep hearing FSO is the future, but a
quick look at its API seems devoid of any mention of SMS.

Anyway, I am a relatively novice programmer, and I'm soliciting comments,
ideas, criticisms, etc.  If someone has a specific interest in assisting me,
or handling such a project themselves, let me know.

Jeffrey Malone
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