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Frequently asked questions
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Here is a list of common questions we are asked, or issues users have reported over time.
How does it work?
- It hooks up with incoming SMS broadcast notifications in Android, and forwards any incoming text to your email.
- For outgoing SMS, it uses your phone's messaging app and sends them as normal texts you send from your phone.
Does it work if my phone is off?
Unfortunately not, your phone has to be on and connected to Internet for it to work. There is no problem if you lose connectivity temporarily, the app will resume to work once the connection is recovered.
Does it forward MMS?
No, it doesn't forward MMS. It is worth noting that some very long texts are automatically converted to MMS in most phones, so MMS is not only multimedia.
Does it forward texts I send from my phone too?
No, it doesn't forward sent texts. This is not the purpose of this app. You probably need an SMS backup application to do this. As a general rule of thumb, if there is something to do with your texts while you are holding your phone in your hand, it is probably out of scope for this app.
How do I configure the app?
- Enter the email address your texts should go to (where it says "Forward to").
- Configure a GMail account as your email gateway (where it says "Send via").
- If you would like to reply to these emails as text, make sure that replying switch is ticked and SMS mailbox label is selected properly. The default label is INBOX, but you might need to change it accordingly if you are filtering your text emails in GMail to go somewhere else than inbox.
How is it different?
Relay ME is built with user's security and privacy in mind.
- It forwards your texts safely using only a GMail account you control, we call it email gateway here. Nobody else sees your texts, including us.
- You need to set up your own gateway using a GMail account. If your main account is also on GMail, we still suggest you don't use it as gateway. This way you don't need to trust this app with your personal data (emails). When prompted, simply sign up for a new one and forget about it.
- The app doesn't ask for any password from you, it uses OAuth authorization protocol instead. The app opens a browser and sends you to Google's website. Again, this is a native browser not an embedded web view we control. You authorize this app to be able to check the gateway account's inbox and also send emails using it.
Is there a server involved?
Your texts only travel through the email gateway of your own, not through an intermediary server. However this app uses a server to perform authorization against Google.
Why do I need a GMail account?
- This app is provided to you free of charge.
- We don't sell ads, actually we are not very comfortable with this idea.
- By providing a free GMail account (or your own SMTP/IMAP server) you help to keep this app free.
- This way we won't have to use a shared gateway that can put your date (text messages) at risk if compromised.
How do I reply to texts from my inbox?
Simply reply to the email, without changing anything in the email header, including subject. This reply will end up in your GMail account which is then processed by Relay ME.
Is there a limit on replies?
The reply texts, the ones you send by replying to emails, are limited to 465 characters to make sure they can be sent by your phone without being converted to MMS.
How frequently does the app check for replies?
There are two different configurations you can choose from, to optimize for fast response or battery saving. The interval between checks depends on the current activity. If you have recently received a text, i.e. the app expects a reply, it will check every few seconds. Otherwise, there is no recent activity, it could take more than that to save battery. In the worst case, hours of inactivity, it could be about 2 and 9 minutes in each configuration respectively before the app detects your reply.
Am I charged for text replies?
Yes, those texts are sent from your phone using your SIM card and your carrier's charges apply.
Can I send someone a text (not a reply) from my email inbox?
Yes, simply send a message to your gateway email address with a subject like this:
[Relay ME] SMS +1-123-123456
Put the number in the format your phone understands.
It doesn't work for me, what should I do?
Please check the troubleshooting page for frequently asked questions and common problems users might face using this application. If you still can't find your answer, it is worth checking the Google+ community.
I don't want this anymore, what should I do?
If you want it disabled temporarily, use the switches provided in the settings tab. If you decide to uninstall it, you may also want to revoke the permission in Google account dashboard.
This app has helped me a lot, how do I pay back?
It is really exciting to hear that, no kidding we have heard that a lot (that's why there is a section here). Please donate to ISCC for us, via PayPal or credit card.