Recently, at the XDA-Developers forum, another exclusively free-for-the-community Android application appeared. At launch the users where quite skeptical asking if it works using the Cellular network, does it work in real time, and whatsoever. Later on, as some satisfied users posted their experience, more and more members started to download the application. Currently the package has over 800 downloads and that’s just a few days after the XDA release. SMS2PC costs $3.20 at the Play Store, but if you have an account at xda-developers.com you may download it for free. Find out what’s so special about this app by reading my review!
Ease of use
SMS2PC needs two separate programs to work together. You’re supposed to install one on your desktop computer, and the other on your Android powered smartphone. Both user interfaces are intuitive and easy to use. To be honest the best adjectives to describe the UI would be Spartan and painfully plain – I liked it! The desktop variant contains an Inbox (or at least it’s supposed to… more about it later on), a compose message screen, contacts picker, and of course the settings control panel. All those screens are manageable through the tray icon, which changes based if a device is connected or not. SMS2PC is the first application of its kind to feature smart connectivity. No do not need to enter any IP settings. You only need to enter a passphrase – same for both devices -, and connect them to this same network. You may expect problems if you use a firewall package. In my case, for my Norton Internet Security I had to add my device as trusted in the Network Security Map, and of course enable Internet access for the application in Program Control. This might be hard to achieve for some users and therefore we rate the app 4 points out of 5 when it comes to ease of use. The manual states what to configure for SMS2PC to connect successfully, and of course I took this into account.
Like I mentioned above, both applications use smart connect to establish a connection – that’s something outstanding for sure. Right now SMS2PC only allows you to receive and send SMS messages. Unfortunately there is a glitch in the desktop software that doesn’t allow to view the inbox. The app does work in real time, so if you get a reply it gets pushed right into the conversation window. The notification window is configurable and so is the sound that comes together with the popup. There are three ways of connecting to your smartphone, namely: USB, Cellular and WiFi. The lack of Bluetooth support is rather disappointing. In my opinion it would dramatically increase my phone battery life time. If you always use a wall charger, the USB connection or a desktop cradle this might not be an issue for you. That’s all SMS2PC has to offer – the lack of features can’t be overlooked. Therefore I rate the app 2 out of 5 when it comes to features.
Both applications load, and change screens lag-free. Over WiFi and USB the large data transfer needed to send contact information was quick and didn’t irritate. The apps use minimal resources and require so little space that anyone will be able to install them without problems. However I encountered some strange disconnects. After some research I found out that the Android app has to be blamed. After I restarted it the connection was restored in a blink of an eye. I ensured that both wakeup locks where on, but after a few hours of usage the error came back. I rate the app 3 out of 5 when it comes to speed, and therefore also reliability.
Install or not
SMS2PC is rather a special solution for those who need a notification window for new SMS messages right on their desktop. Personally I also enjoyed the ability to send SMS messages while typing on my PC keyboard. The biggest pro of this application is it well-designed interface. Kind of everything else is bad. The inbox is bugged and completely unusable, the connection tends to brake, and overall it would be nice to see some add-ons – for example a signal status bar, and battery level. I look forward to the development and hope to see this app grow daily. The developer appears to be active making app updates to be expected. For me personally this app is a keeper, but if I had to recommend it to my friends I’d tell them to wait until critical problems are resolved. On the other hand, the variety of support for three desktop operation systems might be really a critical point for Linux, and Mac users.
- Plain interface
- Outstanding manual
- Well-designed tray icon
- Free, no ads (only for xda-developers members)
- Very light on resources
- Multi OS desktop app (Mac, Linux, Windows)
- Lacks essential features
- Bugs here and there making some options totally unavailable!