FrontlineSMS let users send, receive and manage SMS over a mobile network.

has anyone tried to port the FrontlineSMS backend software to android - similar to the RapidAndroid port of RapidSMS. It would be interesting to be able to use an Internet Tablet (like the Archos) to write forms and collect form data. It would really facilitate field work where laptops might be clumsy or not have the battery longevity needed.

Tags: Archos, android

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I'm very interested in this. WE have some field tests we'd rather collect in a FrontlineSMS compatible way, than via some other web app. I don't know much about this but keep me posted if it works.
Hi Joel

Thanks for the message. We've been speaking with someone about developing a Symbian version, not an Android one. We prefer to build for devices which are more easily available to users, and with a focus on the developing world Android isn't a widely available platform yet. There's no news yet on how the Symbian work is going, but we'll likely pick up on it again after the new version of FrontlineSMS is out (we're flat out working on that now).

What type of symbian device is big/powerful enough to be worthwhile doing something like that? Maybe the N97 - but that is even a bit of a stretch and probably more expensive than a G1 or an Archos tablet. Add to that the massive influx of android phones beginning around the world (China, Latin America) and the obvious upward trajectory of this platform, and the fact that it can be put on netbooks or other devices - it seems like there is a lot more utility to working on this than symbian. Obvioulsy there are lots more symbian phones out there right now, but they aren't suited to writing frontline forms for the most part, so if it comes to a future perspective, android clearly has more traction for the types of devices on which this sort of software would be useful. Any other developers agree, want to work on this with me?
In 2003 I collected MP3 interviews across West Africa on an Archos device. I was the only person with this tool in the region, and MP3s were just getting heard of. So I think it's safe to say Android and iphones are 2 years away from reaching the regions that Frontline SMS works best (being the only game in town). It's good to keep that in mind - as the real appeal to FrontlineSMS is that anyone can set it up in a village and then find a way (in my opinion) to serve as a digital scribe for the needs of those people to the world in general.

That said, if there is clear evidence that any of these non-basic SMS devices are actually in use in Africa, I'll be the first to support them.
+1... If there's a real use-case for it, I'd be interested to support an Android development. I see that Android tablets are getting cheaper over time, i.e. Android 1.6 MIDs now for ~150USD here in China. I have no experience on Africa though.
Hi Mathias,

thank you very much for willing to be volunteer. I'll get in touch with the whole team, and we'll get back to you with more information.

Hi Mathias,

Huawei are also launching a $99 Android handset in Kenya apparently - I think the time is here! It's even running v 2.2!

I think we discussed this on IRC before; let's catch up there when you're available.

If anyone else is also interested, let us know :¬)

Hello everyone,

I'm very interested in this - I've been having problems with FrontlineSMS because my server computer has to be located in an office which has very little network reception. I'm going to be using Android phones for another part of my project, and it would be great if I could have it be the FrontlineSMS server as well.

By the way, I'm working in Kenya, and I've been trying to find this Huawei $100 Android phone for weeks. I think it's actually retailing at 16,499 shillings which is more like $200.

Hi Josephine,

Interesting info on the "$100" Android phone! I heard from White African blog's comments that it's not out yet, but I think you've already read that article ;¬)

Thanks Alex.

It took me a long time with my internet connection but I finally have my android emulator up and running. My programming skills are pretty basic so we'll see how this goes :)

Hi Alex, thanks for the info. I just started a new job this month, so didn't have much time to reply on here.
Let's catch up on irc or you can also find my on skype (mathias.lin).
Congratulations on the new job! I'll catch you online soon.



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