Okay. If you have a cell phone, you’ve probably sent an SMS or two. I hate writing them, but sometimes they’re useful. When you’re on the subway and the connection goes in and out constantly, when you’re in a meeting, sending something which needs to be remembered or simply when you need to say something to someone you can’t stand talking to.What few people seem to know, and even fewer people actually use, is that most phone network providers (including all norwegian ones, as far as I know) provide a service which will notify you when your message is delivered to the recipient’s phone. If you’ve ever been to the military, someone has probably stressed the important difference between trying to deliver a message and delivering a message. Sending an SMS is the former. When you’ve sent someone an SMS to inform that someone of something important, you’ve made an attempt to let them know. But their phone may be off, broken, shot by the enemy or eaten by the guard dog and you would never know about it. Now if you’d actually called the recipient and told him or her instead, you would have have delivered the message.
An SMS confirmation message remedies at least some of this trouble. It doesn’t tell you someone has actually read your message, but at least it tells you the message got through to a phone which is switched on, bringing the whole situation slighly closer to actually having delivered a message.
Now, what is my problem with all of this? Well, it’s how the companies who make the cell phones implement the feature. My phone, a relatively simple Nokia 6230i, can play music, take pictures, record video, play java games and surf the Internet, but it can not, in any practical way, tell me that the message I sent was recieved.
The current situation is this: I have to go to “Menu -> Messages -> Message Settings -> Text messages -> Sending profile -> Default profile -> Delivery reports” to enable the damn things, which is not very user friendly, and when they’re enabled what I get is what looks like an ordinary SMS saying “Your message was delivered to <contact list name>”. The only thing which separates this message from a regular SMS is that it immediately goes into the background, so I can’t click the menu button to quick view and delete the message. I have to go into the SMS menu and open it manually, or the blinking “New Message”-icon in the upper left corner will never go away.
My earlier Sony Ericsson phone had an interesting take on this problem. Whenever a message was delivered, it would display a note on the screen for about 3 seconds, and if you happened to be looking at your phone exactly when this happened, you would know your message was delivered.
Now here’s what I want, Nokia, Sony, and everyone else: Normally I don’t want to know if a message was delivered or not. If it’s important, I call people. What I want is to be able to go to my outbox, my sent messages, and see a small green checkmark next to messages which have been confirmed as delivered, and a small red “x” next to those which have not. Then, if I don’t have my expected reply within the hour, I can go in and see if the message got there in the first place. IS THAT SO BLOODY HARD?!
Today’s aggression. Had to direct it somewhere. Waiting for someone to release an open source cell phone.