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SMS notifier for Simon 2.5?

Hi all,

We're thinking of adding a dedicated SMS notifier plug-in for Simon version 2.5. It is possible to send SMS messages with Simon now, using the Email notifier and sending to your phone number at your wireless carrier, but that isn't obvious, or necessarily easy to set up. A dedicated SMS notifier plug-in would hopefully make this easier and more intuitive.

Finding a suitable SMS gateway service is tricky, but we like the look of Clickatell. However, it is a paid service. In order to use it with Simon, you'd need to sign up for an account on their site, then enter your Clickatell account details in Simon, and you'd be charged by Clickatell for each text message Simon sent.

Does this sound like an acceptable solution? I know people are used to paying for text messages on their cellphones (either for each message or a monthly allowance), so paying when using Simon doesn't seem too unreasonable to me. What do you all think?

I'd like to get feedback on this, either positive or negative, to gauge the level of interest in this solution.

Also, if you know a free SMS gateway service that can be (legally) used from third-party software, please let us know!

Please reply here, or send private feedback if you prefer.

David, I rolled my own

David,

I rolled my own solution using qPage. It's FOSS software that dials using a modem into the specific carrier's free or paid TAP line. It has the advantage of working while the internet is out*, which was a requirement for us.

I would guess it's overkill compared to what you propose here, but may be helpful for those who use it to monitor mission critical stuff. I would think you could create a plug-in for it easily. I just use a Shell script plug-in to use the CLI interface for pages.

qPage can also be set up as a email-to-sms gateway, but I haven't bothered with that.

Back to your question:
What about just sending the email to the phone number @vtext.com or the equivalent for each carrier?

Justin

*Only if the phone line is separate from your internet pipe.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: I rolled my own

I'd certainly be interested in seeing that script, and perhaps publishing it on the Extras page, if potentially useful for others.

Yes, you can use the Email notifier to email to the phone provider's email gateway, but that is a little non-obvious, and possibly a pain to set up. A dedicated SMS notifier would be more useful.

Work on the SMS plugin is underway. It uses the Clickatell service.

David, Take the pain out of

David,

Take the pain out of setting it up.

Duplicate the email notifier, and change it so you put in the phone number and choose your cell provider from a pop-up. Behind the scenes, the code creates an email to @provider.sms.gateway.com, matching the provider from the pop-up to the domain for the email. Verizon to @vtext.com, ATT to @txt.att.net. Sprint to @messaging.sprintpcs.com etc

I think you are reinventing the wheel with a sms plug-in with Clickatell. Something already exists that doesn't rely on a third party, and doesn't have an additional cost.

I'll provide you with some instructions on the qPage stuff as soon as I turn that machine back on. Had to relocate it.

Justin

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Take the pain out of setting it up.

I'd thought of using the email notifier, but the problem with that is that it still would need the From address and perhaps transport setup; it probably couldn't rely on the Automatic transport, for people who don't have Mail set up, or have special mail server needs.

Also, it'd probably need some sort of preferences or setup window for the gateway email addresses, to allow adding new ones for any providers not initially listed.

However, I'm not saying that isn't something I'd seriously consider. There could be merit in both approaches: a Clickatell SMS plugin and an email-based SMS plugin (perhaps simplified to rely on the Automatic transport), or perhaps both combined into one plugin, so you can choose whichever solution is best for you. I'll give some more thought to that.

The email method is poor

The email method is poor because it creates a new "conversation", at least on my iPhone, for each notification. I used iChat to send SMS to my mobile number via AOL, and that creates one conversation for all the messages.

It takes an AppleScript to do that, though. Would be nice to have a built-in notifier that could send an IM via iChat.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: The email method is poor

That would certainly be a big downside to using an email-to-SMS gateway.

Simon can use AppleScripts for notifiers, so you could set it up with your script; if you provide it, I could share it with others as another solution.

JohnDCCIU's picture

Use MMS instead of SMS for better notifications

Since AT&T finally debuted MMS on the iPhone, you can use a quirk of the way that AT&T does MMS vs SMS for better notifications.

The biggest benefit is that instead of the useless serial-numbered SMS messages, you get the actual "From" email address displayed.

Another huge benefit on the iPhone is that instead of separate iChat-style "conversations" for each message, they are all grouped into one Conversation for each "From" email address.

To send texts via MMS instead of SMS, just use "mms" instead of "txt" to send to the phone, i.e. <yourcellnumber>@mms.att.net

John

I like the idea

I have been using Clickatell for years now and this feature is something that would make me very happy :) Many Email-to-SMS gateways in Europe are much more expensive than using Clickatell.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: I like the idea

Glad to hear it! The SMS plug-in is well underway, with Clickatell support already, and email support to be implemented soon. It will be included in Simon 2.5, due out next month.

Sometime i feel clickatell

Sometime i feel clickatell is costly and monopoly policy so better we can try it cannyinfotech bulk sms gatway

David Sinclair's picture

An obviously spammy comment,

An obviously spammy comment, but it's on-topic, so I'll allow it.