Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sending E-mail from Cingular SMS Text Messages

When I got my new Nokia E70, one of the things that really disappointed me was the different way that e-mails were sent from the text messaging. No matter what I did, I was unable to figure out how to send an e-mail using the "basic" SMS text message. Instead, I was forced to use the "multimedia message" ... which I quickly found out was being charged to me per message, even though I was just sending simple text. :-(

So why do I really care about this? Well ... I have formed the habit of using SMS text to e-mail as a way to send reminders to myself that I later will find in my e-mail inbox! If I am out and about, and away from my computer, I can quickly jot a message on my phone and e-mail it to myself. When I get back in front of my laptop there are my reminders sitting in my inbox! Also ... I'm working on a cool SMS text messaging site that I have had under construction for years now ... and I am sending messages to it also ... for purposes to be announced soon. :-)

With my older Nokia phone, I could easily send a basic SMS text message, and specify an e-mail address ... the phone handled dispatching a properly formatted message to the SMS e-mail gateway at Cingular and everything worked. With the E70, although I am able to add e-mail addresses to my contacts, when sending a basic SMS text message, I am unable to pick an e-mail address to send to! Instead ... I have had to use the costly "multimedia message" format, and then I get a pick list of numbers and e-mail addresses to send to.

Tonight, while experimenting more with my phone I realized something ... that I could reply to a e-mail that was sent to my phone as a "basic" SMS text. If I could do that, then I figured that there must be a way to properly format a basic SMS text to send as e-mail. By searching Google, and remembering some obscure settings, I finally figured it out. So for anyone interested here it is:

To send a SMS text message to an e-mail address on the Cingular network:

  • Address the message To: "0000000000" (ten zeros)
  • Write the text with the format "{e-mail address}({subject}) {body of e-mail}
Now the exact format has to be followed. An example would be:
joe@somedomain.com(This came from my phone) I figured this out!

The key points in this are that the e-mail address and subject are separated from the body of the message by a space! Do not put a space after the e-mail address ... it must be the e-mail address, then the subject - in parenthesis - with NO space between them. Then a space before the body of the e-mail message. If you want to, you can leave out the subject and the parenthesis, and just get a message with no subject.

Now I do have to admit that I am still very disappointed with Nokia, in that I can not find how to get the e-mail address from a contact to appear in the text message ... so I end up having to type this EVERY time. But the cost of these messages is included in my plan ... so it's worth the extra effort!


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