Tag Archives: review

Windows Mobile 6.1 and SMS messaging.

I have recently updated my PDA to Windows Mobile 6.1. This at the time seemed like a good idea, though in the last few days I have found out that Microsoft really does not understand Mobile Phones, and here’s why I think this.

A mobile phone to me, is a device that I can make / receive phone calls on, and send / receive SMS/MMS messages with. Anything else on a mobile phone is an “Extra”. Camera’s are not needed, I have a digital camera, however, some of these “Extra’s” can be useful. Wifi access for instance, is useful when trying to use VOIP at the office, or browse the internet on the mobile device in a location that has Wifi. This also means that a web browser is useful. I also use TomTom, which is why I have generally run Windows Mobile on my PDA, instead of something like Qtopia (this said, I do also have Qtopia on my device)

I also believe that Microsoft doesn’t understand screen resolutions. My device supports 640×480 (or 480×640 depending on which way round i’m using it), however Windows mobile believes that I am blind and must is it at 320×240,  and for me to use the device at 640×480, I have to download a 3rd party tool to do so; in my case, I’m using “RealVGA”. Here’s what my Main “home” screen looks like:

Home Screen

Nice, Simple and clean.

Let’s just spend a moment on Windows Mobile’s SMS system, which is possibly one of the worst SMS systems I’ve ever seen. If like me, you rarely delete messages then you know how a very full in-box can look (and i’m talking a few thousand SMS Messages). Someone may remind you of something that is a reference to an SMS message, to which you would think about when you received the SMS, and would then scroll down to the appropriate date, and select the message. On windows Mobile 6.0 this was OK, one 6.1 they have decided to group SMS’s by the person they were received from, which makes your in-box “look” much smaller than it is. It also tries to arrange them by “Conversation” within the SMS, however, it gets this very wrong. This is where Windows Mobile 6.1 falls apart. What this means is, in your sent folder, you have a list of sent messages, as you did on older versions, in your in-box folder, however, You end up with a very short list, here’s a view of my In-box:

SMS Inbox

As you can see here, what looks like 3 SMS messages, is actually closer to 20. Within these items in your in-box, you also end up with SMS’s that have been received from other people, as you would expect, but you also end up with SMS’s that you have sent. This is trying to succeed with the “Conversation” aspect of things.

Clicking on one of these items shows you the “Conversations” with this person. Here’s a screen-shot.

SMS Message

I’m not sure what the broken Icon on the left is for, but that looks broken. You cannot select a single SMS, making replying to a message more difficult. Infact ‘Reply’ isn’t even an option on the menu…. thanks Microsoft.

I fear that Windows Mobile 6.5 will have the same issue, and this worries me. If a company does not understand how people USE devices, they should not be writing operating systems for these devices. So for now, I’ll be using Qtopia, and only loading into windows when I require use of the SatNav. Shame, because I would quite like to have 1 tool on my device that works with everything I do, but I have better things to be spending my time on at the moment than trying to use software that doesn’t work.



Ok, I have just found that you can reply by simply writing your message in the “view message” screen, and pressing send. I still think this was designed by people that don’t use SMS, and is not the most useful SMS tool I’ve encountered on a mobile phone/PDA.