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Old 10-11-2009, 02:07 AM
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Google Chat Client/SMS Alternative - no battery drain

I really love google, but the more I use their services, the more deficits I find. Both YahooIM and AIM provide seamless IM to SMS (and vice versa) services that are completely command line based, while google gives us this half baked SMS feature. Upsetting to say the least.

The big problem I see with their SMS to Chat service is that 1, your buddies have to add the google labs SMS option, 2, it doesn't automatically switch to SMS, they have to press it, and 3, it takes a little bit of computer knowledge to decide when to switch to SMS chat mode or when to use regular chat mode. We're all pretty savvy here, but I'm betting a lot of your gchat contacts aren't and you'd prefer not having to train each one on how to use google's SMS chat feature. Most of my contacts don't even know what an SMS is. They need the transition between phone and computer to be transparent so that they don't have to think about it.

The simple alternative would be to use an IM client, but they drain battery like crazy and with unlimited SMS... whats the point?

What I've done here is come up with a way to put a little bit of control back into your hands and make it so that it shouldn't require as much brain power for your contacts to send messages to your phone. It also does not require a chat client to be installed on your phone, and therefore, does not use any battery.

I've tried all kinds of different configurations with jabber and I don't think there's any way to get the same seamless functionality that AIM and YahooIM provide. I can probably write something specifically for it, but it would still need a dedicated server to run the transport.

The easiest option I've found is just to use jabtxt.com. We lucked out here because jabtxt.com was created for jabber, and since gchat is based on the jabber protocol... it works. The good thing about it is that it provides two way SMS messaging and will work on any phone regardless of OS. You don't have to run any extra software on your phone and there is no battery drain.

The downside is that you wont be using the same chat ID. Your friends will have two listings of you on their contact list. One would be the usual gChat ID, which they'd use when you're at your computer, the other would be your mobile ID which would look something like this (with sprint):


Which they can rename to anything they want. When you receive a gChat message from them on your phone, the from number will look like this:


And you can save that to your phone as a contact. That's basically what you'll put in the phone number area when you send them a text message.

Other than your friends having to deal with two contacts on their chat list, it works perfectly... this is what google should have done in the first place.

So the easiest way to get started is to send a text message to each of your friends using the phone number format listed above. It's just their gmail address and then add the .jabtxt.com suffix to it. Example:


They'll get an authorization request and then it's on. Mobile gChat whenever you want it.

Let me know how it works out for you guys.

Last edited by fuuup; 10-11-2009 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:40 PM
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Re: Google Chat Client/SMS Alternative - no battery drain

I totally agree with you. I couldn't get to that site unfortunately. I built an application very similar but it will run from a java applet and not on a webserver. Same concept going on here as you described it, just a little bit different...
I encourage people to try my application at Text PC ... Thanks!

p.s. if you subscribe you will get updates when I deploy changes. I plan to add as many different chat services as possible
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