Fusion Messenger Brings A Unified Inbox For SMS’s And Google Voice; First Public Beta Released

Google Voice, unlike other Google services, is not as tightly integrated with Android devices as people would hope for.  While Google Voice has replaced messaging (SMS) for many, the lack of a unified messaging inbox has been bugging Android users since quite sometime. ShortFuse of the Super One Click fame has released a new app in the Play Store – Fusion Messenger – that brings a single unified inbox for your normal messages and Google Voice, for now.

This is the first public beta of the application and the developer aims to add support for other messaging services such as Facebook messenger, Google Talk and other such services.

The app uses Holo UI but does not look that good. However, the app is blazing fast and nearly every option of the app can be customized to your liking. While the app may not be that great in its present state, it is backed by a talented developer who has been continuously taking public feedback, and it is just a matter of time before the app evolves into a must have app for every Android device.

The first public beta of Fusion Messenger can be downloaded from the Play Store.

Celebrating 19 Years of Text Messaging

On December 3rd, 1992, exactly 19 years ago, Neil Papworth, a 22-year-old test engineer for Sema Group, made use of a personal computer to send a text message to Richard Jarvis using the Vodafone network. The message “Merry Christmas” was the first text message sent, according to the history reported by Wikipedia.

Although the first text message was sent in 1992, the service became popular in 1998 in the Philippines. In the year 2001, text messages played an important role and gradually the popularity of the service increased. In 2009, U.S. cell phone users sent roughly 4.1 billion texts every day. That’s 17 messages a day for every person with a data-capable phone. Today, text messaging is one of the most widely used mobile services, with over 74 percent of all mobile phone users worldwide.

Text Messaging

Out of 3.3 billion subscribers, 2.4 billion users communicate daily using text messages. According to Wikipedia, the largest average users of text messaging service are in the Philippines, with an average of 27 texts sent per day by a subscriber, while subscribers in America send about 357 text messages per month on average.

SMS service is one of the dominant technologies in today’s world. Text Messaging has generated $585 billion for operators worldwide in 2011, and is expected to generate more than $1 trillion over the next seven years.

Why is text messaging limited to 160 characters?

FriedhelmcHillebrandFriedhelm Hillebrand, a communications researcher, conducted an experiment in 1985. He sat with his typewriter and started typing
random words and questions on a sheet of paper. He counted the number of letters, punctuation marks and spaces for each line and realized that the number of characters were in and around 160.

That became Hillebrand’s magic number, and he somehow convinced the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) coworkers that 160 characters was more than sufficient for short messaging service (SMS).

However, the world today not only relies on text messaging or SMS, but also makes use of micro blogging sites like Twitter to share information and communicate with people.

The Internet is celebrating the birthday of text messaging, and SMS service provider Tatango has put together an impressive timeline infographics showing the growth of text message over the last two decades.

History of Text Messaging

Three Simple and Easy Apps to Backup SMS on Your Android Phone

I love how Android syncs almost everything to your Google Account contacts, application data, WiFi passwords – to mention a few. However, it doesn’t sync your text messages. Given how  important  SMS can be and how frequently they’re used I’m not sure why Android doesn’t do that.

This, however, is remedied by the sheer number of SMS backup applications available in the Android Market. Here’s a look at 3 of them.

SMS Backup+

SMS Backup+ is probably one of the first apps that I had installed after learning the hard way that Titanium Backup doesn’t do SMS Backups. SMS Backup+ is free and syncs your SMS to your Google Account.

SMS Backup+

In addition to SMS, SMS Backup+ can also sync your call logs and MMS to your Google Account. These aren’t enabled by default and you’ll have to enable them by heading into Backup settings. SMS Backup+ also gives you a fair degree of control as to which particular group of contacts that you’ve sent and received messages from, can be backed up.

SMS Backup+ Settings

There’s also a handy scheduling system to allow for periodic backups – just set a period for backups to happen and your SMS will be backed up silently.

SMS Backup+ Auto Backup

The only downside of the app is that it doesn’t backup your SMS to the SDCard. The app, however is free and without any ads or any other limitations.

SMS Backup Android

SMS Backup Android is another simple application to backup your SMS. Unlike SMS Backup+,  SMS Backup Android can also backup to your SD Card.

SMS Backup Tool

Deviating from SMS Backup+, SMS Backup Tool is a paid app.  There is a free version though, but the free version includes ads and seems to expire rather fast.

SMS Backup Tool also features auto-backup feature for scheduled backups, but is available only on the paid version. Considering that the free version has an expiration period, I have no idea why this was disabled. Looking at the settings menu, there are options to backup SMS to Dropbox, Evernote and to developer’s online service, but none of these features were implemented at the time of writing this.

SMS Backup Tool Settings

The author mentions that he will hike the prices once these are implemented, so perhaps it’d be a good idea to purchase the app at a lower price and then get the features as and when they are implemented.

GO SMS

While GO SMS is not strictly a backup tool, it is, however an excellent replacement for Android’s stock Messaging app. Fellow Techie-buzz author Rajesh  had mentioned this app earlier, however I’ll mention about the SMS Backup features.

The option for SMS Backup and restore is hidden deep in the settings ( it’s available under Settings -> GoSMS Services -> SMS Backup and Recovery)

GoSMS

Like most other apps, Go SMS allows for scheduled backup and backup to SD Card. The send backup to mailbox is a  misnomer  though, you will manually have to send your backups via the email client. If you’re already using GO SMS however, all it takes is to go and flick a checkbox and you have your backups ready without using any other app.

So which one is recommended?

If you need an app which will save your SMS in the cloud, SMS Backup+ is recommended.  Besides being free, it’s rather simple to use and the auto-backup feature will ensure that even if you forget to do it yourself, there’s a scheduled process taking care of your backups.

SMS Backup Tool is a good alternative if you want a single app to handle both local and cloud backup. However at about $5, it’s hard to justify spending that amount, especially when excellent free alternatives exist.

If you’re already using GO SMS, then it’s just a matter of enabling the feature from the menu and you’re all set to have your SMS backed up.

Links

 

Free Rakhi Greetings, Raksha Bandhan Quotes, Rakhi SMS, Rakhi Quotes, Rakhi Songs, Rakhi Scraps

Today is celebrated as Raksha Bandhan in India which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. Raksha Bandhan is one of the biggest festivals in India and is celebrated across India by people from all religions.

The festival which is involves a sister tying a Rakhi or holy thread on the wrist of their brothers. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and promises to take care of her. Though traditional Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in person, these days people also use the online medium to send greetings, quotes or SMS messages.

Here are some online resources to send Rakhi Greetings or Raksha Bandhan greetings, Rakhi Quotes or Rakhi SMS, Raksha Bandhan Quotes, Raksha Bandhan Messages, Raksha Bandhan SMS, Rakhi Scraps, Raksha Bandhan Scraps, Rakhi Songs, Rakshan Bandhan Songs and more.

Rakhi Greetings

rakhi_greetings

This free site allows users to send free Rakhi Greetings online. Users can choose from various available greetings and send them to their brothers or sisters.

It also allows users to send virtual Rakhi to their brothers. Overall it has a lot of options for users. You can send online Rakhi Greetings by visiting http://www.rakhi-greetings.com/. You will also find Rakhi cards by visiting this link. You will also find Rakhi greetings at 123 Greetings here.

Raksha Bandhan Quotes, Rakhi SMS, Rakhi Messages and Rakhi Scraps

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.

The site Raksha Bandhan has a lot of quotes which you can send to your brothers or sister or siblings. You can find all the quotes by visiting the site here.

You will also find several Rakhi SMS or Raksha Bandhan SMS by visiting this link. If you are looking for Rakhi Messages you can visit this link.

Raksha Bandhan Songs

There have been several Bollywood movies which have celebrated Raksha Bandhan through some soulful songs. Songs like Bhaiya Mere Raakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana, Yeh Rakhi Bandhan Hai Aisa and Mere Bhaiyya Mere Chanda are still very popular, you can find the lyrics to several Raksha Bandhan songs by visiting this link.

Airtel launches Unlimited SMS Pack

In an attempt to cope up with the competition, Airtel has launched unlimited SMS pack its prepaid and postpaid subscribers. Although, Airtel promotes it as unlimited SMS package, it truly isn’t unlimited and entrusts FUP of 500-700 SMS/day. I doubt if anyone sane enough would send that many SMS though.

Plan Details:

Voucher: Monthly rental of 95-99 INR per month. Check here for your circle. To activate the pack, SMS UNLIMITED to 121.
Validy: 30 days
Benefits: 500-700 SMS free everyday (almost unlimited)
Circle: India

You can earn free talk time by sending us tips which we will publish here, read more about how you can earn free talktime at Techie Buzz. The free talktime would be credited within a time period of 10 days after your tip has been published.

Vodafone Launches Movie Booking Scheme

vodafone-logo

Vodafone Essar has tied up with BookMyShow.com to to enables its mobile subscribers book movie tickets over the mobile medium through IVR or SMS channel. As an introductory offer, there will be no convenience fee till February 28, 2010. With this, M-shop service you can also make various bill payments, recharge any Vodafone prepaid connection, pay any Vodafone postpaid bill, recharge Dish TV or TATA Sky connection, shop for popular books, buy flowers, gifts and tickets using their Visa or MasterCard credit card.

Rajesh Dongre, Head Mobile Commerce, Vodafone Essar said, This initiative offers our customers the ease and convenience of booking their favourite movie tickets even as they are on the move. It is an innovative application of technology and the beauty of this service lies in its utility.

To avail this service, Vodafone subscribers need to call 53333 (toll free) or send SMS MSHOP to 53333 (no charge).

Shorten Tweets By Converting To SMS Lingo

Think 140 characters are not enough? If you feel this way, you can shorten your tweets by converting them into SMS shorthand language. If you don’t know what I mean by SMS shorthand language, here are some examples:

– How Are you? changes to How r u?

– I will talk to you later, Gotta go now changes to I will ttyl, gtg now.

If you don’t feel like spending the time to write in SMS lingo, you can simply use Twonvert. Twonvert is a great web app that lets you convert your raw text into SMS shorthand to save you space. Just copy-paste the text you want to convert and Twonvert will convert it for you. It will also tell you how much characters you are saving by converting to the SMS lingo.

Once done, you can either copy the converted text or submit it to Twitter directly by providing your Twitter credentials.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Twonvert is a great Twitter tool to help you cram more words in the limited 140 characters. It is easy to use and very productive.

Rating: 3/5

Send Email, Text and Phone Messages To Groups Using SendGM

You can always use an email client like Gmail or Yahoo! to send messages to a group of people, however, if you have many groups and do it quite often, it becomes hard to manage. For example, what if you want to send a message to a group in your Gmail Contacts list but Gmail is down?

All these issues have been addressed by a new web service SendGM. SendGM focuses on a simple goal of helping you manage your groups and send email, text and phone messages to your groups for free. Once you create a group using SendGM, the group will receive its own email address such as [email protected]. As a result, you can send an email to the whole group by sending an email to [email protected] using any email client. No need to be dependent on any particular email service to manage your groups and group messages.

You can create groups by adding the details of each member or send them an invite so they can fill their own details. Each group also gets a separate web page that can be used to manage the group. A couple of other value-adding features are acknowledgment   of messages from the recipients and ability to conduct polls and surveys for groups.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

SendGM seems like a very promising and useful service, however, they do need a bit more focus on their interface and navigation. Right now, its hard for a new user to fully grasp the features since they are scattered on different pages. Overall, if the service does not come up with any restrictions in terms of its usage, it would be a very useful service for people to use.

Send Free SMS using Windows Live Messenger

Windows Live Messenger is a very popular instant messaging software that is used by millions of users. If you are a Windows Live Messenger user you can easily send a SMS to a friend for free.

Here is a video tutorial that shows you how to send a free SMS using Windows Live Messenger.

Send Free SMS using Windows Live Messenger

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