Manage your texts on Gmail
Android App of the Week I don’t usually include apps in active beta in this column but DeskSMS is so darned useful I’ve decided to break my own rule.
Notifications and set-up
Cooked up by the creator of ClockworkMod Recovery DeskSMS pushes your text messages from your phone to your Gmail and Google Talk accounts or to a web portal once you have signed in with your Google account. Chrome and Firefox users also get a handy browser extension.
This means you can send and receive texts using your browser, your favourite IM client or Google Mail on your PC or tablet. Handy for anyone with a 3G-less tablet or who likes to type out their SMS messages on a proper keyboard. Equally handy for anyone with more than one Android handset.
The app can access your Google Mail contacts so you can initiate an SMS conversation from your browser, IM client or Gmail and it also sends missed call notifications to your Gmail account.
Phone numbers can be dialled through your phone with a click of your mouse and there is home page widget to let you choose between web, IM or Gmail interaction. MMS messages are also supported.
Message synchronization is a two-way affair, so when you move back and forth between your computer and your phone the entire conversation is in both places.
The system was a bit wobbly when it first appeared a few weeks ago but has rapidly improved. Initial problems with SMS clients like GoSMS and Handscent were quickly fixed and so were delays in the time taken for the server to push messages about.
If you want to try DeskSMS for free, be quick because the app leaves beta on the 21st of August and from then on it’s gonna cost you. ®
We make our choice of the best Android smartphone and tablet downloads every Tuesday. It you think there's an app we should be considering, please let us know.
More Android App of the Week Winners
From the author...
Studley, sadly a demonstration of my lamentable habit of going over word count!
Once you have synced your contacts with DeskSMS you can trigger your phone to call a number from the browser. I couldn't convince myself this was a key feature so I dropped the paragraph. If you have your phone rigged to some sort of hands free device on your desk it could be of use.
@ AC - it's free at the moment. It moves from a free beta to a paid app at the weekend. There may be a yearly or an all-time fee offered. As I understand it the developer hasn't decided on that yet but as you say $4.99pa seems most likely.
from the author
The fees will be the same as if you had sent an sms from your handset - the app simply pushes information back and forth to your Android phone over its data link, it doesn't sent messages directly from Gmail or your browser.
what about security and sms fees?
There seems to be a lot of spots for potential vulnerabilities...
For one thing, is everything sent encrypted? or is it all open to interception and hacking?
How do I know what international sms fees will be, if I decide to type a load of sms replies on my computer?
As it is, I mostly avoid sms, since its telco controlled, and use other types of messaging clients.
If sms had a reasonable (like 1 cent / message) fee, I'd use it, but international sms often cost upwards of 20 cents.
Once you get it configured to not be too annoying, which involves:
Creating two separate jabber accounts, one for your phone to notify you and the other for your pc to receive the notification (might not need to do the last step and could use your google account)
Getting the notifications right
- tell you in the status the battery level
- IM you if the phone is ringing
- IM you if you receive a text
- you can reply by replying to the message
and you can do a bunch of other things like simulate ringing, take photos etc. etc.
Freebie (but to be fair not top quality yet)
Makes phonecalls too?
What was the bit about it making phonecalls, which disappeared from the screenshot of your draft copy? Enquiring minds, etc ;)