I often get asked the advantages of FrontlineSMS over the standard ‘Group’ messaging functionality of some (notably Nokia) mobile phones, or the supplied Handset Manager software. It’s an obvious question if you just see FrontlineSMS as a simple Group messaging hub. Not until you use it, or dig a little deeper, do you realise it’s a lot more than that.
(Larger version available here)
One of the great strengths of the software are “keyword actions” – the things that can be done with an incoming text message. For example, automatic replies can be triggered (with any message of your choosing), the incoming text can be forwarded as a new SMS to a predefined Group of people (which is what Twitter used to do for the masses before they pulled the plug), the message can be forwarded to any email address or email distribution list/group, the message can be sent to an online Twitter account or update your Facebook status, or posted to a web service/site such as Ushahidi, or passed on to another application running on the local computer (or written to an external database). Any combination of these actions can be triggered, making FrontlineSMS extremely flexible.
Once the new year (and the new Hewlett Foundation funding) kicks in, we’ll be working on a range of user-requested enhancements. FrontlineSMS remains very much work in progress. Watch this space – in 2009 there’s much more to come… \o/