Harshdeep 2.0

March 2, 2007

J2ME won’t let me have a prettier SMS inbox

Filed under: Uncategorized — harshdeep @ 6:32 am

SMS is the second biggest revenue generator for telecom operators, but SMS applications on almost all mobile phones are rudimentary at best. Now that phones are available with decent sized internal memory, and extensible memory is going into GBs, the SMS inbox is getting larger and larger. So if you want to find the SMS in which your friend sent you the venue of the party, good luck scrolling – calling him again will probably take less time. Why don’t SMS applications have search, conversation views, labels etc., like email applications? That would make SMSs much more usable.

As this is a long weekend (Happy Holi!), I armed myself with NetBeans 5.5 along with the mobility pack, and the noble intentions to change the world with a J2ME SMS application that will allow you to do all the things I just mentioned. But here comes the bummer. J2ME doesn’t let you access SMS inbox! You can send messages, and receive messages (sent to a particular port that your app is listening on, not general “how you doin?” messages – they go to the phone’s default application only), but you can’t read the inbox. Even after so many years of development, I would expect J2ME to support something as basic as this. And I’m not the only one complaining about this.

Maybe I should write a native Symbian application. Or maybe I should go out for a movie.

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9 Comments »

  1. First when I read this, I just could not believe it. So went on to do some googling on my own to figure this out, but looks like you are right.

    Hmm.. even for such a simple application writing one thing to run on all is such a challenge.

    Comment by Mayank Kumar — March 2, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

  2. Good point about SMS. No search capabilities, and conversational structure.
    I asked for the same few weeks ago. I would definatly want to find that funny joke i got from my friend in the past.

    Comment by d@mobile — March 5, 2007 @ 7:47 pm

  3. Hi, just a quick note on this — I believe that the phone won’t let Java applications access the SMS inbox (nor the contact list) because of privacy issues. If one could access these two it would be only a matter of time before spammers would hit the mobile phone market with carefully crafted apps which give away lots of info on you and the persons you care communicating with.

    Comment by Clau — April 16, 2007 @ 8:38 am

  4. Clau, with that logic Outlook shouldn’t allow any add-ons.

    Besides, the OS can always alert the user that so-and-so app is going to access the inbox, and ask whether the user trusts the application.

    Comment by Harshdeep — April 22, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

  5. Indeed, but unfortunately this is a decision the phone manufacturers need to take. Plastering together a JSR which would allow you to access the SMS inbox would be piece of cake, it’s up to them to adopt and support that JSR.

    Regarding Outlook, yeah, I think it would be better if it wouldn’t allow addons, maybe my inbox would be a bit tidier of spam and malware 🙂 Thunderbird FTW!

    Comment by Clau — April 25, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

  6. Hi,

    I developed a J2Me application for my website with Netbeans for sending SMS, check out the developer section of http://www.freebiesms.co.uk

    Comment by Dan — April 25, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

  7. Hi every body!
    I’ve an app that it run in J2ME by BT & this app get all information about the cell…. this app run in 2 cel’s with java and BT….

    the troble that i have is…
    can i read sms without bluetooth?
    only with the midlet?
    if you’re the answer please sendme an email: adrian_166(at)hotmail.com
    and we could share information.
    i give you the app (bluetooth hack) and you give me the midlet app. tnk’s

    Comment by Mex — June 11, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

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