Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Better SMS : Ideas for the default Messaging App

I see this pattern often repeated across different OS platforms. The negligence of their core / built-in default apps.

On Android the problems are twofold : On the one hand, there is the menace of pre-installed and useless apps, and on the other, the negligence of some of the useful pre-installed apps like the SMS app with no useful features added to the app since ages.

There are many useful third party alternatives to the SMS app. But i was wondering why, when there are so many different ideas implemented in third party alternatives, is the default messaging app being neglected instead of adding useful features to the app ?

So i would like to propose a better (default) sms app, with the below feature set :

  • SMS Auto-sorting
    • Messages should be categorized automatically using learning algorithms into various categories such as Finance, Notifications, Offers, Miscellaneous, Personal etc
    • This kind of organizing is done neatly in the SMS Organizer app from Microsoft Garage. But i don't understand why this isn't the norm yet.
  • SMS Reminder Functionality
    • Like it or not, SMSes are the default notification method for payment of your dues, taxes etc. And these SMSes typically come in a format with an end date (e.g., pay by xx-yy-zz date etc). 
    • It would be a good addition to notify the user with reminders of pending dues to pay on time.
  • SMS Auto-clean
    • As time passes, we accumulate a lot of junk messages which either we have dismissed or opened and not action'ed upon etc. So we could typically set a junk folder auto-deletion mechanism. For example, messages categorized as Miscellaneous, can be auto-deleted post 60 days (this is one of the examples where clearing up SMSes can be done confidently).
These three features would super charge the experience of the default SMS app. 

If you are a OnePlus phone user, I have submitted this idea as part of the OnePlus PM Challenge and you could upvote the idea if you like, here : #PMChallenge.