Since my very first days with a GSM handset I’ve been heavily using this little yet essential service – Email-to-SMS gateway. In fact, this part of the mobile package was determinative in deciding to enter then-undue mobile realm.
Fast forward few years to now, and what I see is “Push e-mail” as the hottest topic in today’s wireless business world. The whole enterprises like BlackBerry sprung out of this sole concept – “always-on” email.
It’s funny to read how addictive BlackBerry and similar devices are. BlackBerry even got its nickname “CrackBerry” named the “New Word of the Year” by Webster’s dictionary in 2006. All that is perfectly understandable by a person like me having two mobile phones (on different cellular networks, mind you) with Email-to-SMS feature activated for the same email account – for redundancy.
Naturally, Email-to-SMS isn’t a full replacement for “real” Push e-mail where appropriate infrastructure facilitates
- smooth (reliable and affordable) roaming between countries, connectivity technologies (say, GPRS/Wi-Fi/W-CDMA) or carriers within one country,
- fully updated (instantly available) content on the mobile device,
- capability for a user to efficiently engage in communications by quickly and easily replying to emails, etc,
however, a well-tuned server-side preprocessor for the email forwarded to email-sms gateway can actually boost email productivity for a user.
For example I’ve been successfully using mail2sms filter coupled with server-side Bayesian filter (a part of anti-spam Spamassassin package which looks for language a particular user of the system considers bad and diverts messages of such wording into quarantine folder and away from instant mobile notification). This helps keep distractions to unimportant (not necessarily outright spam) incoming events to a minimum. Still it provides dependable alerting for those messages really worthwhile firing up a Java IMAP/SMTP mail client.
Another cool filter you might want to try is email2sms (notice the “e” in the name, distinguishing it from the tool mentioned above). Basically it squeezes an average e-mail message into one (rarely two or more are required) standard SMS of only 160 characters long. Take a look at the examples.