01 November 2013

Queued For Sending

SMS now seems so clumsy and slow to me. I am sure that if you live in an area where you have great mobile reception then text messaging is almost the default way to communicate with anyone. I do get a bundle each day myself. The difference is that replying is such a pain.

Actually typing the message is OK, thanks to SwiftKey, but then comes the really annoying bit. You hit Send. And wait. Queued For Sending. Then, some time later, if you're lucky, you hear the derponk noise that accompanies a change to Cannot Send,  You try again. This time the display stays at Queued For Sending and there's nothing you can do. At least with Cannot Send you get a chance to Send Again. Not with Queued For Sending.  No way. You have to hope that it either does go or that you hear the kerponk.

On occasion I have resorted to copying an unsent message and sending it again and it has gone before the Queued For Sending one! Now that has really confused recipients sometimes!

All in all it's a bit of a drag. In complete contrast is GMail and, indeed, several other apps now which have message systems embedded in them - all, of course, using the internet rather than mobile data connection. In every case, I have been able to communicate far more quickly and reliably - and in the case of GMail, include all sorts of extras like links and images simply.

My problem, of course, is that not all my recipients have the appropriate apps on their phones but more and more do and, to a large extent, I am replying to those that come in that way so it's not that much of an issue anyway. More relevant might have been lack of an internet connection but I am finding BT WiFi hot spots in far more places than I find decent mobile reception! Not sure how long that will remain the case and maybe I have just been lucky. To be fair, most of my SMS problems are at home in a rural village and that is where I get great internet service in contrast to the non-existent phone service indoors.

It is frustrating, though, to see all the money being planned for 4G networks so that people can watch movies on their way to work when so many people are like me and unable to make a simple phone call or send a message on their mobile without wandering around outside or balancing on a window ledge.

It may be terribly embarrassing for teenagers to see a dad holding his mobile in the air to get a signal but that is what has to be done here and it is not always easy to remember to avoid doing that elsewhere!

Soon there will be a High Speed train whizzing past a few miles away and neighbours may be crowing about their new £40 a month fibre optic internet connections but none of us will be sending each other SMS to comment.

The people on the train will probably have 4G beaming down to their devices. They'll probably be beaming as they look out of the window and see me in the middle of a field waving my arms around.