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March 24, 2008

SMS-Chat Revisited

When I first tried SMS-Chat I was enthusiastic about it because it was fun, flashy, and new. I also liked the finger scrollable screens. But, after having used it now for a while, I am beginning to develop a wish list for the next version.

While there is much to like about this creative chat program that automatically threads your messages by recipients for convenience, there is room for improvement to make it even better.

First of all, I would like to see this application have a robust settings menu that would include such choices as font type, font size, font color, background color, and themes.

Leaving color and style behind, there are much more important functional considerations. Perhaps my biggest wish would be for the ability to highlight/cut/copy/paste. It’s nothing less than maddening not to have these normal, expectable functions available. It should also have automatic first word of a sentence capitalization as an option. “I” and contraction words should automatically be capitalized as well. Why is there no predictive text engine for faster inputting? Why not just use the one that comes built-in?

Another serious shortcoming is the lack of hyperlinks. I often send a hyperlinked URL to associates, and that is not possible with the current version of SMS-Chat. It is perhaps because of this single factor, more than any other, that I have returned to my tried and true faithful Treo with it superb built-in SMS and MMS applications.

I’d like to be able to sort messages in certain ways and to tag and group them in other ways. I’d like for there to be an auto text module for pat phrases such as out of office, call you later, on the phone, etc. There should also be a nice gallery of emoticons available for quick input to spice up messages. It would also be worthwhile to have a larger input panel. The send button could be a softkey at the bottom of the screen.

While it is sometimes convenient and desirable that a new message automatically pops up on your screen, there may be other times when it is totally inappropriate. Accordingly, this feature should be an option. Similarly, there are times when it may be desirable to encrypt messages. This should also be an option for security purposes.

It would be convenient to have a call button should you wish to place a quick call to someone who just texted you without having to get out of the program to do it. It would also be desirable to be able to zap in a signature when you wish.

As long as we’re thinking expansively here, why not include an MMS module as well for sending graphics and audio along with text?

While I like the way SMS-Chat becomes part of the messaging tree menu, I think it would be better if this program automatically integrated all pre-exising messages into it and simply merged with the existing message tree as the one and only Test Messaging choice. At least this could be an option in case you wished to keep your previous messages separate or use it as a separate service.

Another feature I would like to see is the ability to sync messages with a companion desktop program. Perhaps this could be sold as a separate module. The desktop version should also have the ability to send text messages singly and by broadcasting to an entire list. I believe this operation alone could have tremendous commercial application and could sell for a significant sum.

I have great respect and admiration for the developers at Vito Technology. I consider them to be major contributors to innovative, functional, and fun software for the Windows Mobile market. I hope some of these suggestions will serve to make the next release of SMS-Chat even more useful.

Check out SNS-Chat at Vito Technology.

Posted by conradb212 at March 24, 2008 08:15 PM