Sunday, 16 September 2012

Text tone

I get a lot of texts on my phone, mostly from automated systems. Indeed, I got one at 22:08 this evening saying something crashed, bugger! Nagios, I hate you... Some are less serious though, nagios monitors lots of things but I have tests tracking banking and even the alarm system at the office.

When I finally got an iPhone a while ago, one of the first things I checked is whether I can do custom text tones based on the sender. I could not. I resigned myself to the fact that all texts sound the same.

This evening, at my sister-in-laws, somehow in conversation the idea of text tones came up, and I commented how it was a shame you can't do that. Pauline insisted that you can! I handed over my phone for her to show how to do it, confident in the knowledge that she would look foolish and getting ready to look smug.

She did it. What sourcery is this? Smugness mode cancelled. It seems iOS 5 added text tones and I did not notice. Plonker.

I only managed to recover a small amount of smugness when the text tones did not in fact work for "named" text sources. I.e. texts from a word not a number, like "Bank". Pauline tried, and failed, to make it work. One cannot make a contact with a word as the mobile number.

Well, you can - you go to the text and "Add to contacts". This allows the mobile number to be stored as a word, something you can't type when editing it manually, and bingo - the text tones work for these too.

Well done Pauline!


  1. So you mean you COULD do it when you checked, you just failed. As iOS 5 has been out the entire time you have owned an iPhone and you are no longer on iOS 6...

    1. Maybe I checked on the iPad then, but when i first checked I could not do text tones.

  2. Ha! Not figured out how to set a custom tone to a person yet, but in attempting to I found that you can make custom vibration patterns lol

    1. Hang on, if you have not figured out how to yet, then that means Pauline had beaten both of us.
      Yes, custom text tone overall, easy. Custom per person text tone is now just a field in the contacts next to ring tone.

  3. vibrate the message in morse like an Android - awesome

    Mind you, when people see you feel in your pocket and smile (as you are 'reading' a message) but they don't realise you have morse-sms-vibrate you may get some funny looks...