How some Android applications saved the day….

Today, I did a very stupid thing. A very stupid thing indeed. I left the house without my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S2). I contemplated going home to get it, but decided that maybe I could live one day without it.

I began going over in my head, all the possible reasons I would need my phone. I then started to think about the people who might try and contact me and how I could let them know that I haven’t got my phone with me.


Thinking about a few people reminded me that I have the excellent application DeskSMS.

How some Android applications saved the day....

DeskSMS lets you send text messages from your phone number by using your browser. Your text messages appear in the browser extension of your choice (Google Chrome or Firefox), and if you reply back, the recipient gets a text from your number, as if you sent it from your phone. You can use the DeskSMS website, or have your messages forwarded to Gmail or Gtalk too.

This allowed me to send and receive text messages, even though my phone was at home!

When I got to work, I received an email which reminded me of another application. When I first moved over to Android from iPhone, I missed Visual Voicemail. I don’t receive a hug number of calls, but the ability to see who had left the message before listening to it was truly awesome. Not having this felt like I was taking a step backwards, but then I learned about Hullomail.

How some Android applications saved the day....

HulloMail replaces your provider’s default voicemail service (check that it works with yours before installing!) and takes over handling voicemail. The app isn’t the best looking, but it is very usable. How does this help me when I’ve left my phone at home? Well, with HulloMail, you get voicemail’s emailed to you with an MP3 attachment of the voicemail. So I can listen to the voicemail’s, and call anyone back that I need to.

This obviously only works if they leave a voicemail, but to cover that, I use CallTrack.

How some Android applications saved the day....

CallTrack logs your phone activity to your Google Calendar. It places an entry with the number (if available) in to the calendar. You can select the type of calls to log (incoming, outgoing, and missed) and which calendar to log them to. I created one specifically for this purpose, and use CallTrack to track my calls.

I can now check my calendar every so often to see if there are any calls that I have missed; I get a notification if I receive a text, and an email if someone left voicemail.

So really, leaving my phone behind hasn’t been the pain I thought it would be!

I’d be interested in other apps that do similar things, or solve another problem when leaving the phone behind. Comments below please…

Neil

Moto Intel Atom Android 4.0 phone rendered
Samsung Galaxy Nexus available in white
  • Adamtreier

    Are you really an android user that does not utilize Google Voice??!!? That is an amazing service, even if you don’t use it to unify your contact information (1 number that rings all your phones) using it as a voicemail replacement that does voice transcription is worth the setup cost alone (free).

    • It also replaces DeskSMS, since you can not only send & receives text messages from your GVoice number using the browser, but you can send and receive calls from that number, managed through the browser, on your desk phone. I don’t give out my office number; I pull up GVoice on the browser, then click Call, enter the contact number, and choose”Office Phone” by default. My desk phone rings, I pick up, and it places the call from my GVoice number! I could leave my phone at home every day and no one would know, as long as I have a browser and desk phone available.

    • It also replaces DeskSMS, since you can not only send & receives text messages from your GVoice number using the browser, but you can send and receive calls from that number, managed through the browser, on your desk phone. I don’t give out my office number; I pull up GVoice on the browser, then click Call, enter the contact number, and choose”Office Phone” by default. My desk phone rings, I pick up, and it places the call from my GVoice number! I could leave my phone at home every day and no one would know, as long as I have a browser and desk phone available.

    • CheeseySnuggs

      Isn’t Google Voice only available in the US?

    • CheeseySnuggs

      Isn’t Google Voice only available in the US?

    • Mark Turner

      Unfortunately, GVoice isn’t available in the country that Neil and I are stuck in. If it were I’d be all over that. 

      • Adamtreier

        I am sorry to hear that… Google Voice is the greatest thing to happen to phones since the touch screen

    • Mark Turner

      Unfortunately, GVoice isn’t available in the country that Neil and I are stuck in. If it were I’d be all over that. 

  • Adamtreier

    Are you really an android user that does not utilize Google Voice??!!? That is an amazing service, even if you don’t use it to unify your contact information (1 number that rings all your phones) using it as a voicemail replacement that does voice transcription is worth the setup cost alone (free).

  • Mark Adams

    Nice find, i am trying these apps out from today

  • Mark Adams

    Nice find, i am trying these apps out from today