Mobility

Create unique SMS/MMS popups and quick replies with Glowfly

Glowfly is an Android app that offers control over SMS/MMS notifications. Find out how business users can use Glowfly to make daily life more efficient and reliable.

You get important texts from various people, some more important than others. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to configure the SMS/MMS notifications to behave differently for those more important people -- say a different popup theme, a quick reply button, or a quick call button? Well, with the help of a third-party application called Glowfly, you can have full control over how SMS/MMS notifications look and behave on your Android device.

This outstanding add-on will set you back $1.99 (USD), but 50% of the proceeds will be given to a cancer patient in need.

Features

Here are some of Glowfly's features:

  • Android 4.0+ compatible
  • Scrolling for multiple unread popups with unread count
  • Quick replies
  • Contact specific notifications
  • Display MMS pics popup
  • Display popups over lock screen (optional)
  • Tablet-friendly
  • Long-press options
  • Hide contact pictures, all buttons, and long-press options
  • Themes and plugins for additional functionality

With the help of Glowfly, business users have the ability to set up quick replies and other functionality to make daily life more efficient and reliable. Let's take a look at how to install and set up of Glowfly.

Installation

The installation is quite painless. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for and tap the entry for "glowfly" (no quotes)
  3. Tap the price button (should be $1.99)
  4. Tap Accept & buy
  5. Allow the installation to complete

That's it. Glowfly is now installed. You can go back and also download various theme packs for the application.

Configuration

When you first open Glowfly, you'll be notified that the license has been verified. Tap the "Ok, thank you!" button, and this notification will disappear. With the license notification out of the way, you're ready to configure the general options for Glowfly and then set up Contact Notifications for individual contacts.

There are quite a few general options to configure (Figure A). Most of these options will be very user-specific. The options you might want to first consider are:
  • SMS/MMS Notifications: Set up all options for notifications
  • Advanced Settings: Popup mode, Show Popup over Lock Screen, Screen control
  • Select Theme: Select the theme (you'll need to download themes for this option)
Figure A

Glowfly installed on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III.

In the SMS/MMS Notification section, you can configure the following:

  • Default Notifications: These are the configuration options that will be used for all contacts that do not have a Contact Notification set up
  • Enable Reminders: A handy way to help you remember to reply to messages
  • Preset Message: These are preset messages for quick replies
  • Quick Reply Signature: If you want to include a signature in your quick replies
  • Delivery Reports: Enable or disable the logging of message delivery

One of the handiest configurations in Glowfly is the Popup Buttons. This allows you to enable buttons in the quick reply window that can:

  • Delete now
  • Reply
  • Quick Reply
  • Call
  • Forward
  • Reply to (phone number)
  • Open Inbox
  • Speak
  • View/Add contact
  • Dismiss all

NOTE: The difference between the Reply and Quick Reply is that Quick Reply handles the reply from within the popup, whereas the Reply opens the default messaging client.

To set up Popup Buttons, follow these steps:

  1. Open Glowfly
  2. Tap SMS/MMS Notifications
  3. Tap Popup Buttons
  4. Tap Button 1 Configuration
  5. Select the action for Button 1

Now you can go back and configure actions for buttons two and three.

Along the same lines as the Popup Buttons, you can create quick reply messages that enable you to quickly send a saved, pre-configured reply to a message. Here's how:

  1. Open Glowfly
  2. Tap SMS/MMS Notifications
  3. Tap Preset Messages
  4. Tap Add Preset Messages
  5. Enter text for the preset
  6. Tap Create

Create Contact Notifications

After you configure the options, it's time to create Contact Notifications. These are the individual notifications used for different contacts. Here's how to set one up:

  1. From the main Glowfly window, tap Contact Notifications
  2. Tap Create New Notification
  3. Select the contact to be created
  4. Set the options for the Contact Notification (Figure B)
  5. Tap Save
Figure B

You can even set the vibrate pattern and LED options.
Make sure you choose a contact-specific ring tone, vibration pattern, and LED color with blink rate. Once Glowfly is set up, SMS messages will appear as popups with the features you've set (Figure C). Figure C

From this popup, you can Reply, Quick Reply, or call the sender of the message.

When the Glowfly popup appears, if you want to send a pre-set Quick Reply message, do the following:

  1. Tap Quick Reply
  2. Tap Presets
  3. Tap the preset message to be sent
  4. Tap the Send button (Figure D).
Figure D

You can create as many preset messages as you need -- and get as creative as you like.

After you use Glowfly for a while, you'll come to the conclusion that this is how messaging should work out-of-the-box. It really is that good of an application. Glowfly can easily make texting more efficient, and it will also let you know when crucial texts come in.

Have you used Glowfly or a similar application? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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