Task recurrence affects text reminder format

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fireflyer
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:28 am

Task recurrence affects text reminder format

Post by fireflyer » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:37 pm

I use text reminders extensively for keeping track of important tasks in my calendar. It is very useful, and the reminder scheduling is very flexible, especially using negative values for reminding me of certain tasks that are past due.

However, I noticed that sometimes I would get a reminder as a plain text message, and other times the reminder would come as a picture message. I think I have narrowed the issue down to whether or not the task is a repeating task or not. If it is a one time task, the message seems to come as plain text. But if the task has a recurrence set, then the reminders come as picture messages.

This is not a huge deal, but I do prefer the look of the plain text messages received on my phone. The picture messages seem to use a larger font font for the text and usually do not fit in a single window, where the plain text messages use my phone's font size and can usually fit in the display window completely. These tasks usually do not contain any details text, just the task title is enough for most of my tasks.

Is this expected to happen? Or am I possibly doing something wrong?

Still, VueMinder is a great program. Keep up the great work!

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VueSoft
Dan Chartrand
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:39 am
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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Re: Task recurrence affects text reminder format

Post by VueSoft » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:07 am

Hi fireflyer, I'm not sure why you're seeing formatted (picture?) text messages. The messages should always be converted to plain text. I wonder if maybe this is something your mobile carrier is doing. I'm testing with AT&T and SMS reminders for recurring events/tasks are delivered in plain text format, despite having formatted text descriptions and pictures.

Could you open the recurring event description and take a screenshot? Maybe there's something in the description that is causing the reminder to be sent as formatted text instead of plain text. Please send the screenshot to support@vueminder.com. I'll try duplicating the problem using the exact description you're using.
Dan Chartrand, Founder
VueSoft LLC | St. Louis, Missouri, USA

fireflyer
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:28 am

Re: Task recurrence affects text reminder format

Post by fireflyer » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:34 pm

Thanks, Dan.

I think this one is my misunderstanding. It has to do with the length of the message being sent. I am using T-Mobile, and I believe the message length is limited 140 or 160 characters. If it is longer than that, the email-to-sms gateway converts it to an image. I don't know if this is true for all carriers, but it seems to be the case for T-Mobile. I tested using my email client sending long and short messages to my phone, and the same occurs even outside of VueMinder.

When the task includes a start time, the message includes a descriptive start time and length of the task. When the task is recurring, the message includes the recurrence specification. Overdue tasks include additional text to indicate this as well. Together, these can take up a rather large chunk of the allowable message length. I had used a longer descriptive title for the task in question, along with a start time and duration, and adding in the recurrence bumped the length over the SMS length limit, resulting in the picture message from the carrier.

Now that I know the reason, I can try to work with it from my end. ;)

Thanks!

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VueSoft
Dan Chartrand
Posts: 3853
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:39 am
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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Re: Task recurrence affects text reminder format

Post by VueSoft » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:26 pm

Hi fireflyer, thanks for the information. I'll improve the next version to exclude the recurrence information in SMS reminders, or maybe make it an option. This should reduce the likelihood of the message exceeding the maximum length.
Dan Chartrand, Founder
VueSoft LLC | St. Louis, Missouri, USA

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