Teach your phone some new tricks, without the need for any apps. Whether you want to send a single SMS message to a group, add an appointment to a Google Calendar, send data to a spreadsheet or translate text from one language to another, SMS service Delighta gives you access to a few of Google’s tools using nothing more than a text message.
There are two ways of using this service – you can sign in at the website, which gives you access to more features. Alternatively, you can simply text your Gmail user ID to the phone number provided on the site. Sign up for an account and you can tie the service to as many phone numbers as you want, giving you and your entire team the ability to update a single spreadsheet remotely.
Either way, you’ll get access to an easy-to-use array of features. While researching this application I spoke briefly with Suyog Bhobe, one of the people behind it. He told me he hopes businesses will make use of Delighta for a few reasons. First, there is no app to download, so it doesn’t matter which kind of phone you or your employees have. Second, there’s no need to worry about a developer having access to all of the software on your phone. And third, it’s very simple to use.
If those aren’t selling points for you, simply think of Delighta as a clever hack that allows you to use SMS to accomplish things only smartphones could previously.
Have you ever wanted to send an SMS message to a large group of people? You can do so on your phone by adding numbers to your message, or you can use Delighta to make and maintain groups:
When you’re ready to send a message to a particular group all you need to do is send a message to Delighta. Start the message with “$grp” followed by the name of your group, followed by your actual message.
Using this feature requires that you log into Delighta with your Gmail username and password. Your password will be encrypted.
You can use Delighta to quickly add something to your Google calendar. Well, sort of. When I tested this, it added something to a Delighta calendar that was shared with my Google account. Either way, this can be useful.
All you need to do is send a description of the appointment to the Delighta phone number. So, if you’re getting your hair cut on Friday at 4, you simply text “Haircut on Friday at 4” to Delighta and this appointment will show up on your Delighta calendar on Google Calendar. It’s simple to use, though I think ifttt is a better way to send messages like this.
Every message you send to Delighta is added to a Google Spreadsheet. You can use this for many things, such as simply keeping a lists of messages you can check out later:
You can also add custom columns to add things to: just use a “$” followed by the name of the column followed by data for the. For example: “$dinner 10” would create a “dinner” column and put the value “10” under it.
I asked Bhobe what this is for. He had this to say:
“Say you’re a business with 20 people, with phones. They want to enter data in a sigle spreadsheet from their phone. If you’re using a smartphone you need to configure the 20 phones to use the same spreadsheet and hope there are no typos. You cannot change the name of the spreadsheet.”
“By making it SMS based it is so simple: the person who sends the SMS doesn’t need to know about spreadsheets of Gmail users IDs. Data from multiple phones can go on the same spreadsheets.”
Bhobe said the spreadsheet portions of Delighta are already used by convention centers to count attendees in real-time. It’s not hard for people to think up other uses for this, depending on their situation.
This is neat to me. You can quickly get any sentence translated from one language to another simply by sending out a text. All you need to do is enter a “$” followed by the language you want your text in, then type your text. You’ll get a response quickly:
Note that the number for requesting translations is different than the main Delighta number. Also note that Delighta only supports languages supported by Google Translate.
I’ve shown you how to make your dumb phone smart using ifttt, and I’m not going to stop using ifttt anytime soon. Delighta does things that service cannot, however, because of its focus on a central spreadsheet and the possiblity of using multiple phone numbers for coordination.
Can you think of any uses for Delighta? Leave them in the comments below. We can talk about it.