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Old 06-06-2008, 08:41 PM
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Relatively cheap ($7.50), highly functional Threaded SMS

To download, click here

Pocket SMS Threader is a new application from Empirical Solutions. It is an extremely plain looking yet highly functional, fast and stable application for managing device SMS’s in a threaded format.

The main screen has a simple layout: a drop down box at the top provides a tool for selecting message threads for display & communication. In the middle is a large text box which displays the selected message thread. This is a very basic display, but the developers have taken care to provide color support so as to distinguish Senders/Receivers, Read/Unread messages as well as indicate messages that did not send. At the base of the screen is another text box where outgoing messages can be written.

Sending messages is done from the main screen. Similar to native SMS application, the Pocket SMS Threader display the message length / number of messages for those users with relatively expensive SMS fees. The user can either click the Send button or press the Enter key (for those users who have a keyboard) to send the message. The message is added to the end of the existing message thread with the recipient in plain black text.

A new user can be assigned by either selecting from the device’s Contacts list or by typing a new number directly.

The application also provides nice support for sending the same message to multiple users. When this option is selected a new form is displayed with a list of all current conversations; the user can select one or more of these users to receive the message. The same control is used for outgoing messages on this form as is for the main application which provides nice continuity.

One of the good features with a lot of SMS applications is the ability to have a function for the sending of pre-defined messages. Pocket SMS Threader provides this function for up to seven predefined messages. This can be accessed from the Main Menu or by tapping-and-holding in the outgoing messages box.

Pocket SMS Threader provides a popup warning when your phone service cannot send a message. In addition to this, the failed message is displayed in italicized red text within the message thread.

An incoming message is appending to the message thread with the Sender. If the message is from a new Sender, a new message thread is created. All incoming messages are displayed in grey italicized text until they are marked as read. When an incoming message is received, a popup notification using the same functionality as the device’s popup notification is displayed. The popup notification includes reminders for all unread messages. A message is only marked as read when the popup notification for that message is handled by the user.

One thing a lot of SMS Threaders lack is repeating audible alarms. Pocket SMS Threader not only has this function but it provides options for the user to configure the frequency and duration of repeating alarms. Support for selecting the alarm “ringtone” is also provided.

Some of the one-off highlights are discussed below. The main screen of the application provides outstanding single handed support. The user can easily switch between controls by using the Left and Right arrow keys. In addition to this, the user can scroll through the message thread by pressing the Up/Down arrow keys, or use the Up/Down keys to select a message thread for display.

The application runs well on a variety of different devices with demonstrated capability to format and display correctly on Square & Rectangle displays, Portrait & Landscape modes as well as on VGA & non VGA devices.
It’s quite clear that the application designers have had the user in mind. Two additional nice features with this application are the support of context sensitive tap-and-hold menus as well as providing the ability for the user to instantly call the number of the person with whom the message thread is being shared. There is also a neat function whereby the application will automatically send a pre-defined SMS message to a caller in the event of a Missed or Ignored call.

Very detailed Help files ship with the application. Most of the Help pages provide a screen shot to support text descriptions. Whilst this makes for easy reading of the Help desk it does use up some device memory in doing so.
The main bad points with this application are in the very plain, functional graphical layout. An application such as this would normally have a lot nicer presentation and graphics support. Also users running on Windows Mobile 5.0 will need to install the .NET Compact Framework runtime in order to use this application.

However at $7.50, the application provides good value with a relatively cheap, fast, functional and configurable application for those of us who prefer Threaded SMS support on our Windows Mobile devices.

To download, click here
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