At Frontline, we believe that partnership and collaboration best help us drive positive social change. Today I’m delighted to share how our partnership with SocialCoding4Good, an initiative of Benetech, has resulted in great improvement to the FrontlineSMS contact search and selection capability, using our newly released Multi Selector tool. See the demo of the multi selector to see how it works.
Starting today, we’re making it even easier to engage, everywhere. We’d like to introduce you to FrontlineSync, our first, free Android app, available now on the Google Play Store. FrontlineSync turns any Android phone into a gateway - meaning that users can now use local phone numbers to send, receive, and manage SMS, and - for the first time - missed calls using FrontlineCloud and FrontlineSMS.
One of the most asked-about features of our apps (FrontlineSMS and FrontlineCloud) is regarding the ability to handle sending and receiving messages through a third party application or web service. Many of our users want to build apps for a wide range of application areas which talk to our apps so that we can handle their SMS functionality. Using any language that can call normal API methods many successful integrations have been developed with great success and with limited input required from us.
Hurray! The Frontline Credit Project is back up and running! The :Credit project lowers barriers to moving value through mobile, whether through mobile money, airtime, or voucher codes. We research mobile money trends and insert ourselves in markets around the world so that we know where strong and upcoming markets are currently and can predict where they will create huge impact in the near future.
We recently completed a team retreat, in which we discussed our strategic vision for the future of our Frontline products. You'll see a number of major improvements coming throughout 2014 to our products. We've even created a web page so you can keep track of them over time: New Features and Updates in FrontlineCloud. Back in the office, we did a short, 1-week improvement sprint and challenged our developer team to make as many useful improvements as they could in that time. We're impressed with their output, and we think you'll find the below improvements will make the application even easier for you to use.
We are excited to announce a new release of FrontlineSMS, our free and open-source desktop product. When we launched FrontlineCloud, we made a promise to continue to develop and support our desktop application. Thanks to generous support from the Open Society Foundations, we have released Version 2.3, which has a number of particularly exciting features and improvements.
We want to say thank you to all of our users and supporters for a tremendous and inspiring 2013. Your ideas, input, and investments helped us achieve so many accomplishments over the past year: we topped 100,000 downloads with FrontlineSMS. We launched FrontlineCloud. We received a Google Impact Award for our work with our partner Landesa to secure land rights for 80,000 families in India.
FrontlineCloud has been out in beta for just over a month, and we’re proud to have over 450 users signed up already, sending and receiving thousands of messages. The newest addition to the Frontline product set has had an incredibly warm and supportive reception on social media and in the many lovely emails we’ve received from friends, users and donors. To everyone who has retweeted, liked, emailed and signed up to look around, a huge thank you.
Here at FrontlineSMS, we’ve been making software for a long time. When we first released Version 2 of our software, a little over a year ago, we were one of a few SMS management platforms available- one of even fewer that was free and open source. At the time, we were proud to have around 25,000 downloads and an active user community. You can imagine our surprise when we checked our download numbers last week and learned that FrontlineSMS has been downloaded more than 100,000 times- more than 75,000 times in a little over a year. We were so excited, we got a cake. You have to understand, when things get serious at FrontlineSMS, we get serious about getting a cake.
“Our dev team does SCRUM, with user-centric, test-driven development”. We’re proud of that statement, but also very aware of how unsubstantiated that claim can sound. We’ve all heard the stories of the tech companies with 6-month-long ‘iterations’ and 3000-page specification documents that nonetheless brand themselves Agile. These horror stories could push some to follow their agile approach of choice to the letter, for fear of being swept downstream into the dreaded waterfall, but at FrontlineSMS we feel we’ve adapted much of the industry’s best practices and most trusted tools to create a process that gives us confidence in our code, and the ability to create an ever-improving product for our users.