Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mobile thieves

Have you ever tried to get software, ringtones, themes and so on via SMS for your mobile phone? Have you then realized it did not work for your phone? I was watching weather forecast this afternoon in Antena 3 TV and the weather guy started offering a weather forecast tool for mobile phones. You can get it by just sending a word to a phone number. I had already heard of those companies sending stuff after a chain of SMS asking for the brand and model of your phone but... I had only 6€ left charged in my pre-paid card and I was in the mood to try how serious Antena 3 is.

Previously, I had read that each message cost 1€ and something (I could not read the whole number thanks to the small font used to inform about such an important thing). Well, not much to lose anyway.

After sending the first message, I received an SMS telling me to respond sending a new SMS containing the brand of my mobile phone :-)

I sent it and afterwards I was told to send the exact model of my mobile phone. The answer was that the software was not available for my phone.

The application looked like a JavaME app as it was shoen on TV. There are ways to make Java applications for mobile phones regardless of screen size. My N80 supports every JavaME API needed to communicate with a server and get weather information. There are nice tools to help you to serve the same application to different MID devices (J2ME Polish is one of them). Besides, all the "complex" information could be asked in one single message :-) and the cost of the SMS might be lower if your phone is not supported.

What really worries me is not me losing some few euros (I knew the big chances to fail but I decided to play)... it is those kind of behaviours supported by important companies and stopping people from using their mobile phones for more than voice calls.

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