Smart SMS tricks for a dumb phone?
October 16, 2011 9:13 PM   Subscribe

Smart SMS tricks for a dumb phone?

I have a dumb phone and I have no desire to jump on the smartphone bandwagon. I want to get as much utility and functionality out of my phone as possible. I can already send and receive tweets via SMS and I also text Google for phone numbers, definitions and directions.

Are there any other tips/tricks/services that I can employ to do more smartphone type stuff with my dumb phone?
posted by BlackBox to Technology (17 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
You can use an SMS Q&A service like ChaCha to find quick, human-powered answers for questions that would be too tedious to look up on a dumbphone browser.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:32 PM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Google calendar can be set up to SMS you reminders.

Also, I once used a service that forwarded emails with certain keywords (e.g. "Important") or from certain people (e.g. your boss) direct to your phone via SMS. But I can't remember what it is called, sorry. I'm sure there are other similar services around.
posted by lollusc at 9:37 PM on October 16, 2011

Best answer: Lots of ideas in the Textually archives.

And where were you and a few hundred thousand like you when we dumped $2 million of investor money into Foneshow?
posted by nicwolff at 9:58 PM on October 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

My bank (Frost, Texas) txts acct balance, will transfer from one acct to another, a few other services -- bill pay I think? I've not (yet) set it up, just noticed it on Thursday, looks like a winner to me though.

And yes, Google calendar shoots me txts as reminders, real nice..

I also text Google for phone numbers, definitions and directions.
First I've seen of these Google services, thx for heads-up on this; I also have dumbest of dumb phones and not interested in spending big bucks for more phone than I'd currently use.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:02 PM on October 16, 2011

You can also add items to your Google calendar by sms. (among others) will text you weather alerts from a daily forecast to "warning! Tornado now!" for your location. I use this even though I have a smart phone because I het the severe weather alerts faster and louder by text.

My library has an SMS alert system ... books due in 2 days, your reserved book has come in, etc. You cam even renew by text. Makes it a lot easier to go due-book hunting when I have the list in my hand on my phone!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:22 PM on October 16, 2011

There's this service, DotGo, that online content producers can use to add sms-based browsing to their websites. I haven't used it, just heard the interview in the NY Times tech podcast.
posted by clerestory at 10:33 PM on October 16, 2011

Some bus/transit tracking systems (e.g. NextBus in the SF bay area and OneBusAway in Seattle) have text systems where you can request directions, arrival times at stops, etc via SMS. I used the one in SF regularly until I got a smartphone.
posted by R343L at 11:05 PM on October 16, 2011

I used to save texts as drafts when I needed a notepad
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:47 PM on October 16, 2011

Best answer: You can use the site if this then that to set up plenty of things to do with text messages. Such as sending you texts when the weather changes, stocks change, somebody uploads a picture of you to facebook, or anything else from the services they provide. You can also text things to the service and it will post it on sites you want. I would check out the recipes to get a better idea of what people are doing with the service.
posted by lilkeith07 at 4:15 AM on October 17, 2011

I set up reminders for Remember the Milk on my phone.
posted by dragonplayer at 4:26 AM on October 17, 2011

Best answer: Here's google's page about all their services offered by sms.
posted by msbrauer at 6:33 AM on October 17, 2011

Response by poster: Cool! SMS tip overload. Thanks again, HiveMind.
posted by BlackBox at 9:05 AM on October 17, 2011

SMS Google search
posted by nicholai88 at 11:05 AM on October 17, 2011

Twitter started off as an SMS service. There's info on the phone commands on Twitter's site. You won't be able to follow links but can post and receive tweets.
posted by davextreme at 2:08 PM on October 17, 2011

This isn't an SMS trick per se, more of a dumbphone trick, but I feel obligated to mention it anyway: the University of Pittsburgh's fact line, 412-624-3228, is basically Dial-a-Wikipedia. Super useful.
posted by andrewcilento at 5:23 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm exactly like you. Here's what I've found so far:

1. I use the DotGo family of shortcodes to access websites.
2. I use SMS to update Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
3. I use Chext to keep track of my checking account balance.
4. 4Info can send you alerts about a variety of different topics.
5. Amazon allows you to buy things via SMS.
6. Fuelly allows you to enter in fuel ups via SMS.
7. I post on Blogger via SMS sometimes.

Finally, here's a directory of SMS shortcodes.

posted by reenum at 8:18 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

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