Getting Started

First thing you should do, once you have your login, enter it under the Options tab options icon. Click save, and your login should be stored. If you already have some (free) credits you're ready to go! If not you can activate simulation mode on the same tab to try out the functionality.

Quick Tips Open and close SMS Sidebar quickly with Shift-Control-S. On the Mac use Shift-Command-S.
You must enter mobile numbers in international format starting with a "+" sign and the country code if you don't use Automatic Numbering.
This manual is available in SMS Sidebar from Options tab options icon > Help

sms icon SMS Tab

status display screenie On top of this tab you see the Connection and Status display. It tells you if you're able to connect to the SMS gateway, how many credits you have, and confirms that you are in test mode if you activated it. Once you send a message it will also tell you how many credits you just used.

Click the box to update the status manually.

Sender Input: The sender input and drop-down remembers the last sender even if you close and re-open the sidebar. You can either use a alphanumeric sender up to 11 characters and numbers long or previously authorized numbers. If you use an alphanumeric sender your recipients will have to lookup your number to send you a reply. Numeric sender can of course be replied to effortlessly, however there are some legal restrictions: numeric senders must be authorized before you can use them. Authorized number are automatically remembered in the drop-down of the sender input.

The GSM standard allows no "exotic" (i.e. UCS-2 or UTF-16) characters in this field.

Recipients: The next section is used to enter and display your recipients. You have the option to save the recipient as a contact when you're sending the message. To do that, just check the save contact checkbox. A new input will appear allowing you to save a name with the number. To send a message to multiple recipients you must select them from the Contacts tab contacts icon.

remaining char display remaining char display 2 Now comes the message box. The number of characters left before a new SMS part starts is displayed below the box while you're typing.
If the message you're typing is too long to fit in one SMS the display changes to indicate how many parts you're sending.

Non-Latin characters use twice the space and are sent in a different character set. The characters left adjust automatically, as appropriate. For the maximum lengths see the features page.

When you click the send button all your inputs are checked.

Advanced settings: In the advanced box you can configure non-standard settings for your message:

Time to deliver is the amount of time the mobile network should try to deliver a message. If the message cannot be delivered within the time frame set, it is discarded. Possible values are between 3 minutes and the default 24 hours.

Flash SMS is a message which is displayed immediately on the recipient's display but is not saved on the phone. If the recipient somehow dismisses the message before reading it, he/she won't be able to read it at all.

Updateable: If you set an update ID for your message you can replace a previous message which was sent using the same ID to the same recipient. Cool huh?
Both, the replaced and the replacing message(s) need to have the ID set. Updating doesn't work with long SMS and is automatically disabled for long SMS.

Be careful however when writing your next message! Make sure you don't have any advanced settings active if you don't want them. To prevent accidents, advanced settings are not saved when closing SMS Sidebar.

More advanced features will be added in future releases.

contacts icon Contacts Tab

On this tab you find two inputs to enter new contacts or edit existing ones. It's always a good idea to save the number in international format.

Below is the list of all your saved recipients. Here you can select one or more contacts as recipients for your message. The list has two buttons, allowing you to delete selected contacts or edit one selected contact.

The text box below the contact list allows you to filter the contact list. It works with letters and numbers.

messages icon Messages Tab

On this tab you see a list of all your successfully sent messages indicating the recipient and the sending date. Above the list is a button to delete one or more selected messages.

Message: The sent message box tells you which sender you've used for the message and how much it cost to send it. You can review the text of a selected message and copy it for re-use.

Delivery Report: This box indicates the message status for each recipient of the selected message.
Delievered means that the message has reached the recipient.
Buffered means that the GSM network is still trying to deliver the message, but the recipient is currently unreachable.
Failed means that messages cannot be delivered to this number.

A message needs to be saved while sending to enable delivery reports for it. You can click the refresh button to get a quick update on the delivery status.

Click on a recipient in the list to get detailed delivery info. This is of special interest when sending long messages (did all parts arrive?) or if the message is not being delivered.

options icon Options Tab

Login: The first option, just below the Help box, is where you enter your username and password for the SMS gateway. To secure the extension from unauthorized use you may simply enter and save a blank password. You shouldn't however enter a blank username. To completely remove the login please use the main options: Tools > Options > Security > Show Passwords and remove the 'chrome://sms_sidebar' entry.

Simulation Mode: This option, found in Login, allows you to completely test the extension with no credits, with one exception: You don't receive an unlock code to authorize numeric senders and senders "authorized" in simulation mode are not saved when you close SMS Sidebar.
Everything else works exactly the same, all requests to the gateway are prepared, messages and contacts saved, etc. The aplication provides it's own "dummy" gateway responses and digests them. You could also call this sunshine mode: all the responses report success.

(Automatic) Numbering: This feature can be very useful if you're too lazy to enter phone numbers in international format (starting with a "+" sign and followed by the country code). So if you prefer you can enter all domestic numbers in local format (without "+" and country code, but preceded by "0") and just check "automatic". First however you have to create a numbering plan:

International prefix: The code you have to dial to call a number in a foreign country. In most most countries this code is "00".
Country code: The code to call your country from abroad, eg "1" for USA or "41" for Switzerland.
The following fields are not as important, but are used to check a number for typos (length checks)
Trunk Code: The prefix of your mobile carrier: eg. "079".
"Local" Number: the rest of your mobile number.

Click "save" and you've created a numbering plan. If you've created a numbering plan SMS Sidebar is able to check and convert different number formats for you automatically.

If you check the automatic checkbox all numbers that are successfully analyzed are dynamically converted to international format. They are still stored in exactly the way you entered them however. If you uncheck the checkbox the numbers are again displayed as before. I still however recommend saving all numbers in international format from the start.

Sender: In this section you are able to have phone numbers that can receive SMS (yours!) authorized as a sender. This is neccessary for legal reasons and a requirement of the SMS service provider. The procedure is quite simple:
Enter the number you want authorized in the your number field in international format (no, this time it's not converted for you automatically!) and press register sender. You should now receive an unlock code at this number.
Now enter the unlock code in the newly enabled form field and click send code. Voilà! The number is now available as a sender on the SMS tab sms icon.

Save Message: This menu let's you define a default action when sending a message: You can choose to save the message everytime, never or to be ask for each message. In order to get delivery report for a message it needs to be saved.

Delete All: Useful if you need to quickly delete either all of your stored messages or contacts. The delete buttons are secured with a checkbox.

That's it. Don't tell me you actually read the whole thing! ;-)

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