[App Fridays] TBOX does for SMSs what Google’s Inbox does for email
Since the arrival of instant messaging mobile apps, text messages are passe. But the few SMSs that we do receive are either important messages from our bank, family members, purchase orders or even spam. It can get confusing to sift through the clutter and search for what we need, especially in case of time crunches.
Mihir Mohan decided to take up the challenge and developed a mobile app, TBOX, to solve this issue and help users declutter their mobile inboxes.
What is it?
In its essence, TBOX is a mobile app that helps users better manage their mobile SMSs by categorising incoming messages into different folders based on their context. Users can also set up reminders, mark and favourite important messages etc.
TBOX launched its first stable version on October 16th 2014, six days before Google launched ‘Inbox’. Coincidentally, what Google’s Inbox does for email, TBOX does for SMSs, with a few unique and additional features as well.
-Create an email backup of SMSs and store a back up on external SD cards.
-Send and receive SMS messages within the app, as it is integrated with the users phone book.
- Users can add custom categories and tags so that it is easier to understand the context of the SMSs.
-Password protection for a category of messages.
The Guy behind it
Mihir Mohan, Founder of TBOX is an IIT Kanpur graduate, who worked for companies such as Virtusa, BEA Systems, The Hit Factory and Newshunt before starting his own company Unamia. Though Unamia had received funding and was doing well it could not ride the e-commerce wave and had to shut shop. Mihir is now a mentor at Startup Academy, where he helps mentor freshers and young IT professionals working at different startups. He also spent about five months working on TBOX, before going live with it officially in October this year.
Mihir is working on a web browser based desktop version of the app and also on a business model for the mobile app. He confirmed that it will always be free for users and is working out a way to generate revenue from it by getting banks and other businesses involved and use his platform to send out messages to their users, once his app reaches a certain threshold of users.
What we liked
The app has an intuitive UI and UX with text messages landing in the right sub-categories such as banks, bills or shopping automatically.
As stated, I was able to create an email backup of my messages, choose which email ID I wanted to send it to and also store a back up on my phone’s external SD card easily. Also swiping a message to the left marks it as spam, a much needed feature.
What could be improved?
While the app gets most features right, one area of improvement could be giving users the option where they want to see the latest incoming message. Right now it shows up at the top of the screen by default and most users are used to seeing recent messages at the bottom.
[ Update : Users can now modify this as per requirement by going to Manage Settings> General and ticking or unticking the option as needed. ]
Also dual SIM users can integrate only one of their SIM cards at a time. With the rise of dual SIM smartphones, it would be great if both SIM cards could be supported in future iterations of the app.
The app does boost productivity and de-clutters a user’s inbox, making it easier to focus on the important incoming messages and also respond in a timely manner through reminders.
If you are an app developer and with an interesting app, please reach out to [email protected] with details.