FrontlineSMS

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

There were many comments on the Android screenshots I posted, so I would like to move the discussion into the forum.

I am currently working on an Android port of \o/, which at the moment is in an early stage, the open source project is on github at https://github.com/mathiaslin/frontlinesms-for-android/wiki. Developers, testers, translators are welcome to join :)

 

I welcome any feedback and ideas while the development is progressing, especially:

  • who could/would be interested in using an Android based version (which has the basic functionality, but would not have any plugin support in the beginning).
  • info on concrete use cases (field of usage, location, availability of Android devices)
  • which features are mostly demanded
    • how important is scheduled execution of actions (reply, forward, etc.)
    • how important is it to be able to execute multiple actions for one keyword - or do you mainly just execute one action per keyword

I myself am based in China, getting Android devices is not much of a problem here. I have no experience on Africa myself (yet, unfortunately).

 

As mentioned, the project is still under development, and open issues / ToDo's are listed here.

 

Any comments can be posted into this thread.

 

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Hi Jorge,

for the forwarding, create a new Keyword in the keyword section of the app:

- leave the 'keyword' field empty

- select 'send e-mail' as the delivery option

- as the recipient, use your twittermail.com address

- in both the subject line and text field, just put: ${message_content}

- press the device 'menu' button and then 'save'

- in the settings section of the app, select 'allow keyword anywhere in the message' and also make sure that your smtp settings for the mail account is correct, that you want to use for delivering the mail (that's your email account from which you want the forwarded messages to be sent, not the twittermail.com one).

- that's it. then all incoming messages should be forwarded to your twitter account automatically

Hi Mathias,

I thought I knew how see the duplicate messages in the sent folder of the native 'messages' app.... but I it was not thus. Could you please explain me the how to see this?

I followed your instructions but no message is posted on the Twitter account. Of course, all emails I sent to twittermail.com address are published correctly. What am I doing wrong?

A stupid question: I need connect to Internet when I want to post the SMS in the Twitter account? I did that today, anyway....

Regards

Jorge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Jorge, since I don't have the duplicate delivery issue, I don't see any duplicates in the sent folder. When I go to the native messages app, I also don't have a specific 'sent' folder. All messages (regardless of inbound or outbound) are kept in one history protocol, usually per contact.

 

When I sent a message from my phone to my own phone, this is usually what I see:

two entries, one for the outbound message, one for the inbound message (as I used the same phone).

This is the message history log for myself.

If you send to another recipient (not your own phone), they should usually only see one message.

 

Yes, if you want to do forwarding by email, then you need to be connected to the internet and the email account settings in the app settings section need to be correct.

If the delivery doesn't work, I think the configuration might not be correct.

 

Can you go online via the Android device, i.e. via browser? That's working ok? If so, it's probably something wrong with the email account settings. What kind of email account are you using? Gmail? Or maybe the port is not right. Eventually try another email account if you have.

Thanks for your time, Mathias.

I sent a message from my phone to my own phone, this is what I see: three entries. One in blue and two in yellow. And the letters "SMS sent" twinkle several times, every time I send an sms!

Yes, the email account settings.... had no information :-( Sorry.... I have a Gmail account. The information for Gmail accounts is always the same? Could you tell me that, please?

Jorge

 

 

 

This time, did you sent the message not with the FrontlineSMS app but with the regular/native message app? If so, then there seems to be something 'wrong' - or at least strange - with the phone, or at least it does not seem to be an app specific issue?

I guess the blue one is the outbound message and the yellow ones the inbound ones (the colors are Samsung specific, I don't have such colors). But strange that if you only have one outbound message, that you see two incoming ones.

 

Email/Gmail: I haven't tested it with a gmail account myself yet, but it should be as described on https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=78799 :

for the outgoing mail:

Account Server: smtp.gmail.com

Port: 465 or 587

Sender name/Account username: both your gmail address

Use SSL: Yes

Hi Mathias,

I had troubles with my Internet connection :-(

Yes, this time I sent the message with the FrontlineSMS app. not with the regular/native message app. It is possible that the app is working bad specifically with my Samsung Galaxy S? I have had problems with more apps....

By the other hand, I can not send sms to a Twitter account. My doubt is related to the port. I supose I have to write:

Account Server: smtp.gmail.com
Port: 465
Sender name/Account username: both your gmail address
Use SSL: Yes

Or this one:

Account Server: smtp.gmail.com
Port: 587
Sender name/Account username: both your gmail address
Use SSL: Yes

Any of the above two should work. Am I right?

Regards

Jorge

Hi Jorge, I just tested it myself with my gmail account. Use port 587, that works fine.

 

Account Server: smtp.gmail.com
Port: 587
Sender name/Account username: both your gmail address
Use SSL: Yes

 

I suggest to try to send forward the message (via FSMS keyword configuration) first to one of your own email accounts instead of twittermail. Just to see if emailing in general works. If that works, change the recipient email address to twittermail.

I installed v0.4a to a google Ideos phone running Andriod (on Safaricom) in Kenya. Now, is there any means to bulk load numbers and corresponding messages to send out?

 

I saw the note about max 100 msgs per hour, but even that cap is not a problem. I'd like to send 500 over the course of a day, all pre-written by a python script and stored in a mysql database / CSV file / whatever works for the app.

Hi Marc, the app uses Google contacts entirely as the contacts source (or in Android - it's called 'content provider'). You don't directly administrate contacts or group in the app itself. In Google contacts (web interface) you can import csv files, there's a link 'Import' in the upper right corner for that. The contacts should then be synced by the default Android sync routine.

I haven't tested mass delivery myself yet very much, one thing I will need to add is a delay between each message so that it doesn't send more than 100 per minute. I will add this field today in the settings. I've added you on Skype as well for easier communication regarding details or clarification.

Mathias

Mathias, the application is not in the Android Market.  I also need to inform you that in Africa, and particularly Kenya, Android phones are quite expensive and internet connections ( in case one wants to link it to internet platform) are still very high. 

I would like to use the FrontlineSMS in my Android and specifically for the Early Warning and Early Response during the Kenya's 2012 General Election. 

I hope i will manage to get the final application.

Mathias, just a though, can we make Frontline be able to send and receive free texts. The citizens especially in Africa, still find it costly to send texts to the installed frotlineSMS application ?

The application is not on the Android market yte, but can be downloaded and installed from the github website, see info here: https://github.com/mathiaslin/frontlinesms-for-android/wiki

 

> Mathias, just a though, can we make Frontline be able to send and receive free texts.

That would require an SMS gateway that's free of charge. I am not sure if there is any of those around (anymore).

Hi Mathias, are you still undertaking this project?

I have been using FrontlineSMS in various applications in marginalized communities in Colombia and locally in Canada. The android application would be a very useful tool for our current projects, allowing us to have a mobile SMS hub when there is no place to house a computer.  I've been testing with the alpha release apk for a couple days and having good results on my Nexus 4 (Android 4.2). 

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