Saturday, September 30, 2006

Google Calendar's SMS Notifications

I'm not sure exactly when this happened, but google calendar now has support for sending SMS reminders to Canadian Cell phone carriers.


Rantinator said...

My cell phone provider (Cantel / Rogers / Shaw / whatever they are called this year) has an email gateway to SMS. It is a nice idea. To top it off incoming SMS messages are free up to 5000 messages per month for all cell phones they provide service for.

Send email to my 10 digit phone number @ some server they host and I get the first few characters of the email (I think it's 64 or 128) in a SMS message.

Well that's not quite how it works. I get a SMS message from a Rogers numberic address that says I have a pending message from whatever the senders email address is. To read the message reply to the Rogers message with the word "read".

First of all this is silly. I have to type "read" and wait for a few minutes just to read an email? It's not like this confirmation step doesn't distract me. It sets off the SMS ringer on my phone when it comes in. After being alerted about the mail I have to wait a few minutes for it to arrive. It's a useless waste of my time.

I couldn't think of any reason to do it this way. At least until I got my bill the following month. That's right. Rogers bills me for sending the SMS messages that only say "read" in order to recieve the email message.

I phoned to find out about the charges. They do not log who sent SMS message to/from who. (Yet they count them for billing purposes.) Can I say for certain I didn't actually send other SMS messages? Of course I can. The only messages I sent were these "read" messages. I wanted to be able to get email alerts sent to my phone when there is a server problem.

Rantinator said...

Oh and yeah Google tying into SMS for calendar alerts is all kinds of cool.

Mike said...

Yeah, i've been waiting for this for a while! Sweeeeeeet!