When I was asked to review TxtForward, I had to stop and think about why I would want my text messages forwarded to my email inbox. Isn’t text messaging handy enough without cluttering up an already overburdened email inbox?
TxtForward is an application that will automatically forward your text messages to any email address you specify. You can determine if you want inbound, outbound or both forwarded.
Scratching my head, I began to ponder the possible benefits of forwarded text messages to an email address. The more I thought about it, the more benefits I conceived. Let me share with you the results and invite your comments if you see other uses.
First and foremost, I think the major benefit would be as a backup record to important texting exchanges as in the case of a legal transaction for business arrangements or travel plans. There is a log of text messages created in the Windows folder, but it can only be read in the client that created it. Having an email backup is more useful and makes more sense.
I’m playing around with the idea of creating a novel or a play based almost entirely on text message exchanges. I think it would be a hoot. Can you imagine a play that would have two people texting back and forth never saying an audible word to one another? The scenes would change from home to office to car to restaurant and so forth throughout the day, but texting would be the only interaction. The audience would be treated to two huge screens each representing the actors’ cell phones.
The problem my collaborator and I discovered was that some of the messages had been inadvertently erased. Some of the dates were screwed up and out of sequence when the machine was reset unwittingly and the date not adjusted. An email backup would have saved the day.
Besides backup, this utility could have a whole range of stealth applications. For instance, what about cheating spouses? The program could be surreptitiously installed in the unsuspecting suspected spouse’s phone and programmed to route an email to your lawyer, private eye, or perhaps to the other guilty party’s email. It’s also a way to make sure your kids are where they are supposed to be and with whom they’re supposed to be. When I was young, I used to go to the library a lot, or at least that’s what I told my parents. I wonder if kids still do that. Parents would probably just tell them to look it up online.
I must say that when I’m sitting in front of my computer working, it’s nice to have my text messages streamed in with my email so that I don’t have to deal with my phone. I use a program called True Connect from raspberry software.com the places a tool bar on your Outlook ribbon that allows you to create and answer SMS messages. This brings up a wish list item for TxtForward, and that is to be able to reply to messages from an email client.
Another nice feature of TxtForward concerns those of us who have a whole stable of phones. As a writer/reviewer, I am always juggling several phones at any given moment. Some people have a private phone and a work phone. Wouldn’t it be nice if all your SMS messages could be directed to one depository, your email. Of course, with TxtForward this is no problem.
Another plus is that if you change phone numbers or get a new phone or SIM card, with TxtForward, your SMS records remain intact.
Now let’s look at security issues. Unfortunately, email clients that I’m familiar with do not allow the encryption of folders, files, and messages, so if your communications are sensitive, you are at risk. About the best you can do is password protect your whole email program, but this is a bother and isn’t really all that secure. Another suggestion is to create an obscure email account that you can password protect and use that for your messages with security issues.
I have another approach. First you will need to get a copy of Resco Explorer, which is an amazing program in itself basically for Windows Mobile devices. It’s actually a whole suite of useful utilities. But of interest here is the fact that it places an item on your desktop right click menu button for encryption of files and folders. With this application installed on your desktop, you can then create a page in Word and simply drag your text message email over to the Word page taking care to keep them in order. You can annotate them and organize them. After you have saved the page you can encrypt it and password protect it. How’s that for a creative solution?
By the way, you have the choice of forward messages from the developer’s server or directly from you phone. Note that some services such as Gmail will not show messages sent to yourself. In this case, you would want to use Electric Pocket’s server or send them to another email account. Electric Pocket swears that you can have complete confidence and that they do not log, monitor or record messages on their server.
In conclusion, it seems that the usefulness of this application is only limited by your imagination. It should have a premium edition capable of sending to multiple email addresses. It would be nice if Electric Pocket addressed the issue of security too. TxtForward would be even more useful if you could respond to messages directly from the email program.
Take it for a trail run or make it yours for a mere $7.95. It’s available from www.electricpocket.com.
If you can think of any more helpful uses of this application, please share.