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October 26, 2008

The Messaging Tips & Tricks Edition

by Matthew

Messaging, SMS and MMS, is hands down the most used feature on my phone, so I thought I’d write up a few of the tips and trick I use the most. Of course there are others but these are a few I thought people might not know about and would find helpful. Please let me know how they work out for you.


Those 4, 5, and 6 digits numbers that aren’t phone numbers have become the staple of mobile messaging services around the globe. If you’re like me, you create address book entries for them also. Here’s a trip that will prevent you from sending MMS (a.k.a. picture message) to shortcodes accidently. Add the number in the pager field of a contact. If you create a picture message Nokia (others may also) phones won’t show you contacts you aren’t able to send the message type. For example: contacts with only email addresses won’t appear when adding people to a SMS and those entries with a number in the pager field only won’t appear either.

Personal Contacts

If you save a number for a friend for IM services e.g. Yahoo or AIM add the assigned shortcode to the contact as a pager field. This way you can find the number easily for the person but you can’t accidently send MMS to them using the IM shortcode.
This same idea applies to Twitter. Twitter uses code 40404 in the USA, There are a number of messaging services for sending pictures which in return posts a link to the picture. All of these services accept these pictures via an email address. Put Twitter’s shortcode in the pager field and the email address under Twitter. Wow, one contact doing double duty. Texts go to the shortcode and MMS go to the email address.

Setting defaults

One of the lesser known features of Contacts is setting the default. What the default does is as it describes it allows users to set the default phone number for texting, voice calls, video, internet, email, MMS, PTT (Push to talk).
To use default do the following:
Open Contact > Select Options (left soft key) > scroll to and select Defaults > Select defaults for Phone, Video, Text, MMS, Email, Internet phone, and PTT as desired. Not every default need be selected. Set the ones you want and skip the phone you don’t I typically will set the text field for most everyone, because most everyone has more than one number but lease the MMS unset so I can choose to send to their phone or email.

Archiving SMS

PC Suite now offers the ability to pull text off many devices but this tip will work regardless of phone, carrier and without the need to install any software or even be near a computer.

Treasuremytext is a handy service that allows you to forward any SMS to them for archiving. They have numbers in several countries and the service is free. Forward any text and the message immediately shows up on their site. I’ve been using my TMT account to save memorable tweets, jokes and other messages I want to keep. Archived messages can be public or private. TMT also gives you your own URL and an RSS feed for your archived messages.

Quick MMS

While browsing the gallery within Nokia S60 and S60 devices you find a picture you simply must post or share with a friend: Hit Talk. Pressing the green talk button will bring up the send menu so you can send via MMS, email, Bluetooth or Infrared or Post to Web. This quick sending option also works while previewing a recently captured photograph and other files, as allowed by DRM.

Outlook Contacts

One thing that has always bothered me, and quite a few others when I was Googling for a fix or hack, is Outlooks number formatting. When entering phone numbers as 10 digits or preceded with a + the number is formatted with ( ) and -. One way to avoid this is to enter the number USA numbers as eleven digits. Most wireless plans include nationwide long distance even if they don’t; many wireless carriers will call a 10 digit number with or without the 1 and charge long distance.

Here are the examples:

817-555-1212 becomes (817) 555-1212

+18175551212 becomes +1 (817) 555-1212

18175551212 stays 18175551212

Using this method you only need add the + to the mobile numbers of your contacts to ensure delivery to your foreign contacts, when traveling overseas and especially when using foreign carriers SIM.

Do you have more tips or tricks? Please share with us. Also let us know how these worked out for you.



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Hi, a little typo: the Treasuremytext link points to TreasuremyTEST.com

Basit Ali

A few very basic, but important tips from my side:

Well, I've noticed so many people, while composing a message, press ENTER on the contacts and select the person from the list. They don't know that if you type a first few letters of the name, that will pick the person directly. For example, typing NO and press enter will bring NORMAN from the list. If there are two or more names starting from NO, you will get to select the correct one.

Again, so many people use Options->Send while you can simply press the GREEN key to do that.

Size of the MMS contenet vary from network to network. Some are ok with 300k while others need to have 100k mms. Make sure you keep your MMS size as low as possible to ensure cross network delivery.

Know your target handset. For example, I have a terrible blackberry (8700g) that does receive an MMS but is unable to play 3gp files in it. Dont send such content to those who cant play it.

Instead of sending individual photos, send several photos in one mms. That will save you some money.


is there a quick way to get a semi-colon when entering in multiple recipients?


@JP skip entering the semi-colon. Switch to ABC mode and use 0 three times for a return instead. The OS will enter a semi-colon where needed. IN ABC mode you only need to enter a few letters from any contact and you'll be prompted for the correct person and number as appropriate.

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