So I was helping a friend at work try and set up his new cel phone to send emails and I got to thinking about how losers (like me) that don’t have fancy pda phones can get important email pushed to them.
The key is that most cel phones on major networks have a built in capability to receive emails, so everyone who has a phone has a mobile email address (i think). Take my provider, Cingular, for example; you can send a short text message to anyone on the cingular network by entering their phone number @cingularme.com. i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org
The way I have it working is that Gmail forwards email to my phone’s email address. But I don’t want gmail to send every email I get to my phone, so I set up an email filter in Gmail.
Under the ‘create a filter’ section of Gmail, type a word in the ‘Has the words’ section. Make it something relevant, but somewhat uncommon, so you don’t gut accidental forwards to your phone.
Click on ‘Next Step’ and check the box next to ‘Forward it to:’ and type in your phones email address.
Now all you have to do is tell anyone you want to be able to email you in important situations to include that word in their subject or email body. Tada! Somewhat instant round-a-bout gmail mobile email push thing.
- Send quick address info
- Brief turn by turn directions
- A phone number
- Bank account updates (you will need to set up your online bank account to notify you when your balance drops dangerously low)
- Grocery lists (an ongoing obsession of mine)
A small caveat regarding this method, mobile text messages are restricted in length, so tell yer peeps to keep it short, and to remove any lengthy signatures or those pesky legal disclaimers, otherwise you will receive the entire email in a series of chopped messages.
UPDATE: For those interested in trying this out, you can try to find your phone’s email address here. It looks like each provider has multiple email setups, so i would try emailing your phone until it buzzes. Also, when trying out different email addresses for my phone, some arrived with better formatting than others. i.e. @cingularme.com arrives in a better layout than @mobile.mycingular.com Ymmv