Microsoft’s Garage has given us a personal shopping assistant, an Android lock screen, a strange clipboard thing, an app to help the color blind, and much more. It’s a program that keeps giving, by allowing Microsoft employees to do whatever they want.
SMS Organizer is one of the newer projects coming out of Microsoft Garage; built by ‘Team Golconda’ from Microsoft’s Hyderabad office in India, the app is specifically designed for the Indian market.
SMS is the new email
The idea is quite simple: SMS Organizer treats text messages much in the same way email is treated. It creates folders, categories, reminders, based on the content of text messages – and it does all this without an internet connection.
“SMS in India is what email is [for] the rest of the world,” the project’s description says.
It’s not wrong: India is a mobile-first market; per India’s telecom regulator, India has more than a billion mobile subscribers, with a population of 1.3 billion people, that’s a healthy number.
There’s no limit to how many connections a person can get. Therefore, one person could – in theory – be counted as two subscribers. However, even if we half the number of subscribers to 500 million and account for this; the number of people with access to the Internet hovers around 400 million.
SMS, clearly, holds grave importance.
SMS Organizer’s appeal is obvious; the amount of SMS can quickly make it difficult to organize all this information, much in the same way with email.
SMS Organizer, therefore, uses machine learning to classify text messages into specific categories. SMS informing of transactions are bundled separate from promotional ones, for example.
Additionally, the app can create reminders for upcoming trains and flight travel, movie bookings, and bill payments – all from the SMS messages.
The app also lets users block certain senders to reduce the amount of spam they receive and gives fine control over notifications. You can, for example, choose not to be notified for promotional text messages.
Here’s the most important bit: it does all of this without an internet connection. That’s incredibly useful for India, where mobile data is sparse and expensive.
For now, SMS Organizer is an invite-only phase – here’s the link to sign up for it.
The app is only available for Android; iOS’s limitations obviously do not permit for a 3rd party SMS app.