Help Manual for PocketSMS

This Help Manual Contains Help on

  • Downloading and Installing PocketSMS
  • Getting ready to use PocketSMS
    • Turning off the automatic screen lock of the phone
    • Downloading Graffiti Application for Android phone, and setting it as the default keyboard
  • Reading SMS
  • Writing SMS using Graffiti application
  • Sending SMS
  • Learning apps writing using App Inventor
  • Morse Code
    • How can a Deaf-Blind learn Morse Code
  • PocketSMS v1.1

PocketSMS is an application (app) for android phones, which could be used by people who are deaf and blind to read SMS and send reply via SMS. The application communicates by converting the message into vibrations using the Morse Code for reading the SMS and advises users to use another application Graffiti to write SMS in response and sending.

Downloading and Installing PocketSMS
Go to the Web page and click on the button
to download the software file and save it in your computer. After this, use a Bluetooth, data-cable or any other means to transfer the software to your phone. After your phone receives the file it will show the file.

Select the file to install it. Installation takes a while.

Once the application has been successfully installed, go to home by pressing the “home” button.

Tap on the Menu button on your phone to open its menu. Select All Apps from the options provided.

This takes you to a place where all apps in your phone are installed. From here navigate for the PocketSMS app. The application icon looks like this.

Tap on the app to launch or begin the app.

Getting ready to use PocketSMS
Before you begin using PocketSMS, please make sure that
1. automatic screen locking of the phone is turned off
2. Graffiti software has been installed and has been set as the default keyboard.

Turning OFF the automatic screen lock of the phone

To turn off the automatic screen lock, go to home by tapping the home button provided in the phone. This button is provided in all the android the phones, but, the position of the button may vary from model to model. If you are on the home screen, you don’t need to press home button. Click the Menu button. Select the Settings option.

From the options that appear on the screen select the “Display” option to go into the display settings of the
phone by pressing "display".

Slide down through the various options of screen settings to come to the “Screen timeout” option. The option is usually displayed. However, tap at this option to set screen timeout time.

From the various options for screen timeout, like “so seconds”, “1 minutes” provided, select the “Never turn off” option”.

Now come back to the home screen of your phone.

Downloading Graffiti Application for Android phone, and setting it as the default keyboard
Graffiti is a single-stroke shorthand handwriting recognition system used in PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant) based on the Palm OS. Graffiti was developed by Jeff Hawkins in 1994. This is been used as standard for writing on touchscreen platforms since more than a decade. This is a handwriting recognition software, and has been used in popular PDAs. The software is based primarily on a neography of upper-case characters that can be drawn blindly with a stylus or finger. Instead of writing letters normally, users would write one letter on top of another, lifting the pen between them. Graffiti even recognizes symbols that aren't necessarily letters. It gives users greater speed in recording information. Since the user typically cannot see the character as it is being drawn, complexities have been removed from letters like "A'" "F", "K" and "T".

The corresponding Graffiti alphabets for English alphabets are written as:

Graffiti Alphabets

The software is freely available from the online android market. For downloading the software search for the "Graffiti for android". This app will be used for writing the reply SMS.

Go to the market place in your android phone. The icon for “Market” is usually on the desktop of the phone. Tap on the icon.

It will take you to the online market for android applications. Search for “Graffiti for Android” in the Market.

Download the free Graffiti software available in the market, by tapping at the correct option.

Loading of this application usually takes just 3 to 5 minutes. Graffiti will be automatically installed on your phone, and a message will be displayed.

After installing Graffiti App successfully, go to the “Settings” of your phone. In the “Settings” look for “Language and Keyboard”. Select the “Language and Keyboard” option.

Enable the option “Graffiti” option here by tapping on it.

When you check the “Graffiti” box, a message box like this would pop-up saying “Attention: This input method may be able to collect all the text you type, including personal data like passwords and credit card numbers. It comes for the application Graffiti. Use this input method?”

Select the option “OK”. Graffiti is installed.

Reading SMS

For reading SMS that comes to your android phone, PocketSMS would take use of Morse code. Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment. It thus, is ideal method of information transmission for text disabled. Read more about Morse Code.

PocketSMS app, in place of “dots” and “dashes” of the Morse code, uses “short vibration” and “long vibration”. Duration of “long vibration” is three times the “short vibration”. Each vibration is followed by a silence which is equal to one “short vibration”, i.e., a “dot”.

Go to the “All Apps” option and run the PocketSMS application, by selecting the PocketSMS button. The screen of the application displays the message as “Phone will vibrate when SMS is received”. Whenever an SMS is delivered to the user's phone, the phone will vibrate once to indicating it.

This Blue color box is followed by a Orange color box, followed by a Pink colored box, which is followed again by a Yellow colored box. The Orange text box will display the contact number of the sender followed by the content of the SMS sent by the sender. The Pink box will display the alphabet, its corresponding morse code in dots and dashes, whichever is currently being read out. The Yellow box is for the Caregiver to adjust the length of the vibration. The original vibration has been set at 200 milliseconds, which is 0.2 seconds. So for a vibration of 1 second, the caregiver would need to type 1000 milliseconds.

Tapping anywhere on the blue screen once, takes the user to another screen, which again displays a short message for the caregiver – “Short press to read the SMS and Long press for replying”.

A short press on the screen read the message to the user. The SMS is read in a format <NUMBER OF THE SENDER> followed by the <MESSAGE>. Each Alphabet is converted into its corresponding morse code and phone vibrates accordingly.

After the message has been read out, a silence follows. This indicates that the reading has been completed. Typing “RX” would take you back to the received SMS. In case while the reading the message, by mistake, user entered into the writing space, user could scribble “RX” on the Graffiti area for writing to go back to reading section.

Writing SMS using Graffiti application

To use Graffiti you have to select Graffiti as the input method. (Set it as the default keyboard of your phone). For this, go to the Menu button and tap on “All apps”. From all Apps available look for the Message app. Tap on the app.

Select to type in a new message by clicking on the “New Message” option.

This would take you to a text box where you could write your message. Tap for a long time at the text box in which you have to give the input.

A menu with two options (1) Edit text and (2) input method, comes up. Here, select the “input method”.

This would take you to another menu which would ask you to Select an Input Method. Here select “Graffiti” as the Input Method by tapping on it.

This sets Graffiti as the default keyboard for the phone, so that when the user chooses to reply, she could usethe keyboard. Once input method is selected the “Graffiti” window would appear. After the setting is done, you could come back to the PocketSMS app.

After an SMS is received, and read, give a long press on the screen. The Graffiti keyboard will load automatically for the user. Though PocketSMS is compatible with other keyboard available, Graffiti is recommended.

The screen of Graffiti is divided broadly in two parts – upper half and lower half. Please ask your caregiver to help you understand these areas on your phone screen. The upper part is the portion where the written alphabets appear. The box below is again separated into two spaces. The left hand side space is for writing alphabets and symbols. The right hand side space is for writing numeric.

The user needs to write words, alphabet by alphabet using the graffiti symbols as shown in the Graffiti Alphabet Chart above, in the beginning of this Help Manual . As the user goes on scribbling with our fingertip, alphabets would appear. While typing in case the user needs to delete an alphabet using backspace, the user could use her finger to make a dash in opposite direction.

Sending SMS

After typing in the desired message scribble “TX” on the screen. The SMS would get automatically sent to the sender of the SMS, i.e., number from which the user has received the SMS. After this the screen automatically moves back to the reading section.

Learning apps writing using App Inventor

The best place to learn how to write applications for Android phones is App Inventor itself. Here are a list of references to help you learn how to write applications for Android mobile phone.

Introduction to App Inventor, before starting
Books and Videos
Reference Documentation
Mailing Lists / Forums / Groups

Morse Code

Morse code was first used by Samuel Morse in 1844 for telegraphy. The International Morse Code encodes the Roman alphabet, the Arabic numerals and a small set of punctuation and procedural signals as standardized sequences of short and long signals called "dots" and "dashes" respectively. The duration of a dash is three times the duration of a dot. Each dot or dash is followed by a short silence, equal to the dot duration. The dot duration is the basic unit of time measurement in code transmission.

PocketSMS uses a series of vibrations in place of on-off tones for each alphabet, which could be felt at palmtop to make sense of content of the SMS.

How can a Deaf-Blind person learn Morse Code

A user can take help of Braille text, to learn Morse code for the corresponding English alphabets. Help from a caregiver could also be availed, who could teach the user, using haptic feedback (is a tactile feedback technology that takes advantage of a user's sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, and/or motions to the user), or whichever method they use for communication.

The caregiver could take help of the website to learn Morse Code and then, help the deaf blind person learn Morse Code.

PocketSMS v1.1

New Features:
1. Now, the user could send SMS to a person of her choice even if that person has not sent SMS to the user.
For this, enter the writing section and write the message. After the user have finished writing the SMS, write, "NX", which would mean that the user now  wants to enter the phone number to which she wants to send the SMS. On writing "NX", textbox will be emptied and the user could enter number of the receiver in textbox. After entering the number in the textbox, write "SX" which would mean send the SMS to the typed-in phone number.

The message will be sent to the number and the app will go back into the reading section.

2. Basic User Interface is same as before but the problem of automatically opening of keyboards when moving from reading to writing section has been resolved. Keyboard opens only when the textbox is touched or gets focus.

3. If the user wants to send SMS to the last person, whose SMS have ben read by the user, user could go into the writing section and type the message and send it by typing "TX".