Understanding Text Messaging with InphoniteVoice
InphoniteVoice processes text message much like any other message. When the InphoniteVoice services encounter a text message, the service will queue the message to be delivered via one of the mechanisms below. Much like emails, the text message can include a URL or two that will allow the recipient of the message to interact with the message, such as confirming or canceling an appointment. These URLs are automatically shortened via tinyurl.com to allow you provide as much information as possible in your text message.
InphoniteVoice 2010 R2 delivery mechanisms:
- Text-to-email- This method converts the text messages to one or more email messages that get delivered to the phone provider's email-to-text gateway. A template for each provider's gateway must be provided for this to work correctly. Once the templates have been created, an email is sent to each of the provider's email-to-text gateways (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org for Sprint customers.) The advantage of this method is that it's free. The disadvantage is that many mobile providers will 'black-list' you and the message will not be delivered. Use this method if you want to deliver text messages in addition to voice messages and you don't care if some of them are not delivered.
- Windows Mobile- This method uses a Windows Mobile 6.x device to deliver the text messages. This solution requires that an application to be running in the background and that the InphoniteVoice server is accessible by the phone. The Window Mobile device will periodically poll the InphoniteVoice server for new messages. When a message is found it will use the phone's text messaging capability to deliver the text message. This method can be very economical if you already have a Windows Mobile device with unlimited data and text messaging.
- Twilio - This method uses the Twilio cloud based services to deliver text messages. When you create a Twilio account, you can get a custom number (10 digit phone or short code) that will show up as the from address when the message is delivered. Messages are pretty much guaranteed to be delivered, however there is a cost associated to this service. At the time of the writing it is still very economical at 1/cent per message. If you want to get a short code (5 or 6 digit number) you can with Twilio. There are fees in addition to the 1/cent per message fee for having a short code.
So which method should you use? At this time, I recommend using Twilio. Twilio is very economical, fast, and reliable. If you want to deliver text messages for free, then you can use the text-to-email feature. You just need to be aware that the telephone companies will likely blacklist you, so if you want reliability don't use this option.