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For any texters: www.o2text.com

  • 07-11-2010 9:52pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    Some of you may find http://www.o2text.com useful. It's utility which you can send your free webtexts from. I'm looking for any feedback -- good and bad.

    Don't let the name put you off; it supports O2, Vodafone and Meteor so far (3 coming very soon), and will run in pretty much any browser...The difference with this and the actual providers' (O2, Meteor, etc) webtext apps is that this is designed to be as quick and easy as possible. It's one single simple page

    Myself and a few friends have been using it extensively (I originally made it)...also very handy to send free texts when you're abroad. Or from your phone.

    Suggestions welcomed, especially constructive criticism!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭ flashforward


    I really like how this works, and will bookmark it.

    Constructive Criticism:
    Seen as the whole point of the site is to send messages with as little effort and clicks as possible you could think about removing the pop-up
    "Text status: SUCCESS" this means I have to click close every time i send a message.
    Imo the 'Text status' should appear either above or below the 'Status' bar just letting me know that the message has being sent, not requiring me to click out of anything.

    Also if you want this site to take off I'd consider a new catchy domain name - not specific to one service provider.

    As far as the site design goes its o.k.
    I dont really like the X/O2 logo. - A new domain name would again allow you to create a proper logo.

    Think about ways of making the site look more 'professional'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,379 ✭✭✭✭ Trojan


    I'd consider rebranding to "irish sms" or "irish texts" or something generic like that. Using o2 is probably a trademark violation.

    I think you need a bit of work on the design to make it appear more trustworthy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    Totally agree with you both. Initially it was a tool for myself, and sort of a challenge for me. Most of my time has gone into the backend -- how it actually works. Although it looks quite okay on Firefox (Mozilla curved corner CSS), it deffo looks quite cheap in any other browser. Yeah, to be honest I wouldn't trust it if I saw it either...

    Deffo needs to lose the O2-ness and domain name.

    Thanks for the input so far.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,379 ✭✭✭✭ Trojan


    Cool. Is it just a pet project, or do you plan to try monetise somehow?


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    Ah just a pet project...no plans to make money from it. Just looking for the satisfaction of building a useful tool that people use...whch remains to be seen!

    If anyone's interested in helping, lemme know!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,456 ✭✭✭ stick-dan


    any details on how to do this? or perhaps an API? i would be very very interested in learning how to do this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,089 BengaLover


    Wow, very useful, and very simple, love it and will use it.
    I would like to see a feature that lets you save or select your used numbers, kind of like a directory so you dont have to type in the number each time maybe.
    It was rather confusing when I entered the username field, as I assumed it would be my own name, not my number, and logging out and logging in to send each message is a bit of a pain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    BengaLover wrote: »
    Wow, very useful, and very simple, love it and will use it.
    I would like to see a feature that lets you save or select your used numbers, kind of like a directory so you dont have to type in the number each time maybe.
    It was rather confusing when I entered the username field, as I assumed it would be my own name, not my number, and logging out and logging in to send each message is a bit of a pain.

    BengaLober, thanks :). Yeah, some tooltips might be an idea -- although if you used your name it should have told you (hope so)? Also, I know a way to save numbers would be handy, but I want it small and simple :) ...maybe a box that saves your top 5 numbers or something...but nothing like the Meteor or O2 phonebooks (slow, bloated, annoying -- although quite good if you actually use it properly).

    stick-dan wrote: »
    any details on how to do this? or perhaps an API? i would be very very interested in learning how to do this.
    Well, what are you looking for? Curious about how it actually works or just want a way to do it yourself from your own site/application?

    The problem with providing an API (as a downloadable library/JAR) is that everytime a provider changes something, the API could break. That is why I designed a site rather than a standalone application: so the user will always have the latest-and-greatest by just visiting the site.

    You're welcome to use my serlvet to send texts. As long as you know how to do POSTs this would be easy (easiest way is through a HTML form with method="POST"). It would only take about 8 lines of HTML.

    I've toyed with the idea of creating a proper web service so applications can use it to send texts...just not sure if many developers would use it. And the big disadvantage to being a third-party anything is gaining trust. Would be cool though! I may...


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭ Frank Jnr


    I just gave your website a try out there, and I have to say I like it.

    Here's a suggestion I would have...

    Create a mobile version, something that can display nicely on a mobile browser, saves having to send text messages that cost money. I think there are some apps out there that do this but a mobile browser version would be sweet.

    I just sent myself a test message via my N95 (I know, so old fashioned, but I like it) and it worked a treat.

    I'd be interested to know how this works, I could set up my own private page that logs me in automatically, really minimize the amount of fuss sending a free text message from my phone (and minimize cost too).

    I've bookmarked you on my phone and I'll be using your site in future. Keep up the good work.


    Regards,

    Frank.


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    Frank Jnr wrote: »
    I just gave your website a try out there, and I have to say I like it.

    Here's a suggestion I would have...

    Create a mobile version, something that can display nicely on a mobile browser, saves having to send text messages that cost money. I think there are some apps out there that do this but a mobile browser version would be sweet.

    I just sent myself a test message via my N95 (I know, so old fashioned, but I like it) and it worked a treat.

    I'd be interested to know how this works, I could set up my own private page that logs me in automatically, really minimize the amount of fuss sending a free text message from my phone (and minimize cost too).

    I've bookmarked you on my phone and I'll be using your site in future. Keep up the good work.


    Regards,

    Frank.

    Thanks :) ... Yes, it was meant to originally be for mobiles, and should still look okay, but a pure-mobile version might be worthwhile (big in-your-face buttons, etc.) .

    Here's some HTML you can use to use the 'sendText' action (the response will be HTML too):
    <html>
      <head>
        <title>Send Text
        </title>
      </head>
    
      <body>
    
        <form name="input" action="http://www.o2text.com/o2text" method="post">
          Username: 
          <input type="text" name="username" id="username"/>
          Password: 
          <input type="text" name="password" id="password"/>
          Message: 
          <input type="text" name="message" id="message"/>
          Number: 
          <input type="text" name="number" id="number"/>
          
          <input type="hidden" name="operator" id="operator" value="o2"/>
          <input type="hidden" id="action" name="action" value="sendText"/>
    
          <input type="submit" value="Submit"/>
    
        </form> 
    
      </body>
    </html>
    
    Change the operator value to 'vodafone', 'meteor', 'o2' or 'three' as necessary. Don't worry, the server doesn't throttle the provider with a login request each time you send this -- it'll only do it once and cache as necessary (unless the session expires).

    I didn't intend for this to be used this way, but work away if you want!

    Thanks for the tips.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭ Frank Jnr


    I've one word for you... Sweet!

    Got a standalone page on my phone now, have my username & password in hidden input fields (although your website doesn't seem to like that) but I have another copy of the form with everything as you sent it for initial log in.

    Now I just gotta get my contacts off my phone and into a drop down field.

    Thanks again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    Frank Jnr wrote: »
    I've one word for you... Sweet!

    Got a standalone page on my phone now, have my username & password in hidden input fields (although your website doesn't seem to like that) but I have another copy of the form with everything as you sent it for initial log in.

    Now I just gotta get my contacts off my phone and into a drop down field.

    Thanks again.

    Cool...guess there's no point me putting up any ads then!!! :D By the way, hidden inputs do work:
    <input type="hidden" name="username" id="username" value="086123456" />
    <input type="hidden" name="password" id="password" value="yourPassword"/>
    
    ...I just tried it.

    And FYI, there's another action, 'login', which just logs you in, doesn't send any texts (it only considers the username/password fields). Dunno if you'd find that useful -- handy to check your username/password though.

    Note that O2Text.com verifies some stuff before sending it to the servlet, but since you're skipping that step, you could easily throw in all sorts of stuff that it doesn't expect, and make it barf. Although I've made fairly robust to such things, so it shouldn't...

    If I'm changing anything that might break your page, I'll let you know...


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    Frank Jnr wrote: »
    I've one word for you... Sweet!

    Got a standalone page on my phone now, have my username & password in hidden input fields (although your website doesn't seem to like that) but I have another copy of the form with everything as you sent it for initial log in.

    Now I just gotta get my contacts off my phone and into a drop down field.

    Thanks again.

    Cool...guess there's no point me putting up any ads then!!! :D By the way, hidden inputs do work:
    <input type="hidden" name="username" id="username" value="086123456" />
    <input type="hidden" name="password" id="password" value="yourPassword"/>
    
    ...I just tried it.

    Note that O2Text.com verifies some stuff before sending it to the servlet, but since you're skipping that step, you could easily throw in all sorts of stuff that it doesn't expect, and make it barf. Although I've made fairly robust to such things, so it shouldn't...

    If I'm changing anything that might break your page, I'll let you know...


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭ Frank Jnr


    rat_race wrote: »
    Cool...guess there's no point me putting up any ads then!!! :D By the way, hidden inputs do work:
    <input type="hidden" name="username" id="username" value="086123456" />
    <input type="hidden" name="password" id="password" value="yourPassword"/>
    
    ...I just tried it.

    Maybe it just coughed for me then first thing this morning, I was messing with it earlier on a few different browsers and it worked after the first hiccup.

    Still, it's a great piece of work, something I've thought about doing for myself in the past but never really progressed with it.

    Keep up the good work! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    Ahhh, I know what the problem is, and it's to do with some changes I made last night. Should be very rare though, and fixed with a re-login. I'll fix tonight!


    Anyway, thanks for the reviewing! I'll keep making it better (it's very new and very few people are using it).


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 141 ✭✭ en.r4cart


    Great job!!!!
    Star it and use it.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 141 ✭✭ en.r4cart


    Thank you for your cool website.

    Do you mind adding the contact list function that can store phone number and name, or load the contact list from vodafone server ?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 141 ✭✭ en.r4cart


    Thank you for your cool website.

    Do you mind adding the contact list function that can store phone number and name, or load the contact list from vodafone server ?

    Nobody think about this issue ?

    I think I have to back to vodafone official website.
    All best!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,209 ✭✭✭✭ aidan_walsh


    It might take a little more than 3 days to implement a feature you ask for, if he decides to do it at all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ rat_race


    en.r4cart wrote: »
    Nobody think about this issue ?

    I think I have to back to vodafone official website.
    All best!

    Hi, I just read this now...I've been very busy and unable to do this yet, but I'll try to do some sort of phonebook this weekend...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,829 lil_lisa


    I would consider having slightly smaller text, it's a bit more professional.
    Also, I just sent you blank feedback, maybe have some validation on that form for comment/suggestion.

    Oh, one thing to think about in the future, if you're planning on saving peoples contacts and everything, the one thing I hate about meteor.ie is that it doesn't save the message you just sent. Even to save last five messages or something, that would be a really good feature. Again, just something to think about!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,456 FSL


    Please don't take this the wrong way but there is no way I would enter my phone number and password into a site other than that of my phone provider.


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