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SMS texting web site links, phone numbers and email addresses
Need insights from someone who knows the hot, new phones

 1:09 am on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a standard ol' cellphone, but my text messages often have web site links in them. It's as if they expect me to click on it and go to their web site.

Well, lo, I've learned that on some phones, this can be done. True?

Hmm. What happens on if there is an email address in the SMS text message? What happens if there is a phone number in the text message on these phones?

And, what kind of phones are we talking about here? iPhone? Blackberry? Or every other phone in the world except what I and all of my friends have? (The free phone you get when you renew your contract.)

I need this information for a project and I'm not even certain I'm asking the right question.



 1:17 am on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Dude! How ancient are you? It sounds like you only use your cellphone for..like...talking!


You are embarking on a long and steep learning curve my friend...prepare yourself for a large wireless phone bill during testing!


 1:18 am on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can tell you that it comes down to the OS that is installed on the phone and not so much the phones themselves.


 2:04 am on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Gimme a break, BV. Sheee.

How about a clue? (I don't have a clue.)

What kind of phone do you have? On your phone I can send you a text with a phone number you need and you can move down to it and highlight it and send a text to that new phone number? Really? What if I send you three phone numbers? And a web site? And an email address?

I ain't trying to invent something new here, I just want to know what is "normal" in SMS text regarding this linking.


 3:02 pm on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

SMS stands for Short Messaging Service, it is not meant to have anything other then text.

There is also something called MMS, which is MultiMedia Messaging Service. These can appear to just be an SMS message but they can have objects embedded in them, things like, address book contacts, pictures, music files, video, ring tones, links, email contacts.

When you send someone an MMS message with one of these objects embedded what happens once it is received by the person you sent it to depends on a combination of....
1)individual phone type
2)phone OS
3)service provider
4)service contract

What you are asking about can be done with MMS but there are some compatibility issues as I mentioned, for example if you send someone a video and their phone can't play video then it won't work. In your example if the phone has no browser then obviosuly embedding a link would be useless to that person.

Verizon and some other carrier disable MMS on BlackBerries and so if you send them an MMS they won't even get it, you have to send the BB an email... other providers don't turn of MMS for BlackBerries... there are a lot of variables on the receiver's end but what you are asking is possible... just a lot of reading is involved. I have been working on an MMS project for almost a year now and I am just getting it all straight.


 4:24 pm on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Demaestro.

I went to my local AT&T retailer and found a cooperative sales person who allowed me to test my questions on real devices. I selected AT&T, of course, to be able to try the gold standard--the iPhone.

The salesperson didn't know the answer to my questions, so we tried several units, sending a secondary phone number in the text area of the SMS message as well as an email address.

First, the email with the iPhone--if you send an email address to an iPhone, you can click on it and send an email to it. But you have to have an email account. You can't send a text message to an email account from a text message--at least not easily (I know it's technically possible).

Phone numbers are different. On the iPhone, the phone number in the text (written as 1234567890) is hotlinked, can be clicked and a text message can easily be sent.

On the iPhone wanna be phones with software such as Microsoft's Mobile, it is often possible and not too complex to extract the phone number from the text and either call it, text it or add it to the address book. (One LG phone, for example, offered an "extract" function in its text message options menu.)

On my Verizon LG phone, for example, a second phone number sent the text of the message is highlighted but cannot be called or text, BUT it is highlighted when I scroll by it and if I go to "option" I can to add it to my contacts with a simple "OK." My free phone is web-enabled.

Right, it depends on the phone, the OS, the service provider and, yes, the service contract. But, it doesn't seem to depend on how the message is sent. That is to say, if you send a phone number or complete web site address, some phones are set up to make it actionable automatically.

But, who has what function now is hugely variable and I have no information on what the standards are or going to be in the near future. I confirmed that with all of the less expensive cellphones this type of function is not offered now, at least with the three major carriers.

I don't know if what I'm talking about here is MMS or not, but it sounds like it is.


 11:12 pm on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

weeks.... with the amount of phone types and phone models it is overwhelming to figure out how they all work.... the thing that makes it easier is the OS installed on the phone... most LGs have the same OS as do Sony Erikson... iPhone uses some type of mini macOS... some phone companies use the same OS.. I think Motorola and Sony Erikson use the same Os... anyway if you concentrate on making it work for the top 3 phone OS it is much easier to keep things all straight. Sounds like most of the modern phones will work without you doing any work.

Are you wanting to send MMS/SMS from your server?

[edited by: Demaestro at 11:14 pm (utc) on June 30, 2008]


 11:34 pm on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

OH and also try it on Black Berry on Verizon. That one gives me trouble... that and Telus/Bell with Black Berry in Canada also disable MMS stuff.


 3:05 am on Jul 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are you wanting to send MMS/SMS from your server?

It was one thought of several considerations, but as you have outlined well, it's not worth the effort.

Thanks for the help.


 5:42 pm on Jul 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whoa.... I never said that...

It is very worth the effort if you have good cause to do it.

I guess I was doom and gloomin' you a bit but I didn't mean to discourage you. The Black Berry issue isn't that big of one, you just have to make sure that anyone you want to communicate with using your idea has their device and their carrier listed.

So in code when you are sending messages you would say something like

if (subscriber['phone_type'] == 'blackberry' and subscriber['phone_carrier'] in ([list_of_carrier_not_doing_sms])

There are some SMS/MMS gateways that are coded.

You can also buy GPRS/EDGE modems that take an activated SIM card from cell-phone providers, you hook the modem up to your computer/server.. install some software....slip in the SIM card...... code some interaction and the modem will send out messages just like it is a cellphone... except the computer is the brain of the phone and the modem just sends out message over the SIM card.. just like any phone that takes a SIM card would.

If you want me to recommend you a modem and software let me know. Modems are about $350 and are about the size of two slide cellphone laying on top of one another they have really generic software with them... there are some high level MMS/SMS gateways that are coded already and just need to be configured but they run in the $1500 range.

More and more peoples phones will replace laptops. With holographic displays and virtual keyboards that draw on table tops with lasers we won't need anything bigger then a cellphone soon.


 6:09 pm on Jul 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

We looked at the SIM card and hardware, actually. But there are easier ways (at least in our case) and the carriers frown on linking a computer to the cellphone in some cases (our case might be ok).


 6:39 pm on Jul 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes if you are just going to use SMS there are serveral email to SMS gateways... so you email to




I think almost all the carriers have an email to SMS gateway.

Just keep in mind that it won't work for some people and that problem is usually only a year away from solving itself as more and more people get new phones when their plans expire and they sign a new contract.

When I said I started this a year ago I didn't mention how few problems there are now compared to back when I started it... and I am doing video and stuff. The cellphone industry is moving so fast now some problems I had 3 months ago are gone cause no-one has that phone anymore.

Anyway if you have more questions let me know.

[edited by: Demaestro at 6:41 pm (utc) on July 1, 2008]


 7:06 pm on Jul 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

some problems I had 3 months ago are gone cause no-one has that phone anymore

Yeah, and problems can be opportunities. Disappearing problems can be disappearing opportunities.

thanks again.

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