This is a followup article to “SMS-Email Gateway on Android Devices“.
In that, I stated that Relay Me was the app that met my needs; however, there was a problem. I am going to elaborate on it later in this article, but I have found an alternative: SMS@Email (on Google Play). It is quite similar in the feature set, and all the features come for free, unlike Relay Me’s case.
Unfortunately, it does not function the way it should on my Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini (E10i/Robyn) running MiniCM 7.2.2. But it seems to be because X10 Mini keeps killing the service because of lack of memory.
Relay Me’s problem is that it does not correctly MIME-encode the email messages it sends out and because of that, some MUAs, such as Thunderbird, cannot display the messages correctly.
This seems to be due to a misunderstanding on the author’s side about what Gmail’s “UTF-8 encoding” means. It means Gmail will encode the message with its body text represented in the UTF-8 character set. This encoding uses the MIME encoding scheme, just as it should. But this happens only when you compose your message in the Gmail Web app or the Gmail Android app.
However, if you are using Gmail’s SMTP server, i.e., if you are using Gmail as MTA, this encoding process is not done on Gmail’s side; it’s the MUA’s responsibility. You cannot just throw raw UTF-8 text to Gmail’s SMTP server. You have to properly MIME encode it before you do so.
This appears to be the root cause, given the messages Relay Me sends lack anything MIME-related entirely. Given that you’d have to MIME-decode incoming emails to be able to forward them as SMSes, if Relay Me is missing MIME-en/decoding facilities, it’d be fair to think it is not capable of forwarding properly-MIME-encoded incoming emails as SMSes — although I cannot actually test this hypothesis; this feature comes with its paid version and I do not have it.
To the author’s credit, he has already listed this issue as something that needs to be resolved.