My day is split between sitting in front of the computer and being on the move. While I am at my computer my HTC Magic (running Android 2.2) is comfortably charging in its dock. Unfortunately, this means that every time I receive a text message or other notification I have to remove the phone from the dock and read the message. Additionally, I hate writing a message on the Android’s tiny keyboard when I am sitting at a full sized keyboard.
These problems have been alleviated by the new Android app TalkMyPhone.
TalkMyPhone works by having your phone connect to your instant messaging client. The IM client then displays your text messages and other information as though it was a conversation with any IM contact. The beauty of TalkMyPhone is that it also allows you to act on the information you receive, for example by replying to a message.
There are two ways of setting up TalkMyPhone. You can either add it to your IM client as a new contact or as yourself. I have chosen to add it as a new contact on my IM client of choice: Digsby.
Step One: Navigate to https://register.jabber.org/ and create a new Jabber account.
Step Two: Add the new Jabber account as a friend on your IM client. In my case my Jabber account was email@example.com
Step Three: Make sure that your new contact appears in your IM client (it may appear offline).
After you have downloaded and installed TalkMyPhone on your Android phone you will have to set it up to communicate with your newly created Jabber account and your IM client.
Step One: Launch the app and select TalkMyPhone Preferences.
Step Two: Input the relevant information.
- Address to notify: enter you standard Gmail address
- Use a different account: check the option
- Login: enter your newly created Jabber account (e.g. test123)
- Password: enter the password associated with your newly created Jabber account
- Under Additional settings enter the following:
- Server host: jabber.org
- Server port: 5222
- Service name: jabber.org
Step Three: Choose notification options.
I use all the notification options save for the battery state changes as this overwhelms my IM client with notifications every few minutes!
Step Four: Select Start/Stop TalkMyPhone from the apps main page on your Android phone.
The app will connect with your new Jabber account and a message will be displayed on your IM client indicating that a connection has been established.
Once the app is set-up, you can issue any of the following commands from your IM client’s conversation window:
|reply:<message>||reply to the latest message (message must be displayed in the conversation window)|
|sms:<contact>:<message>||send a message to a specific contact (“contact” can be a name or number)|
|sms:<contact>||read the last five messages from the contact|
|ring||start your phone’s ringer for a few seconds|
|where||Google map links will be sent to your phone (useful to locate your phone)|
|copy:<text>||copy text into your android keyboard|
|contact:<contact>||display contact information|
|<paste URL>||paste any URL into the conversation window to have it open on your Android phone|
Sending a message to a contact
TalkMyPhone allows me to free myself from my phone and focus on my computer when I am at my desk. It is much easier to respond to messages using my IM client than my phone. Also, it is useful to be able to receive notifications through the IM client so I don’t have to keep looking over to my phone.