mrpear.net logo one IT guy's personal web site
ČESKY | ► ENGLISH |
twitter icon twitter icon google plus icon flickr icon 500px icon linkedin icon

Send and receive business cards (vCard) via SMS on Android

Android devices does NOT support contact sharing via short text messages (vCard SMS) the way we used to do it e.g. on Nokia phones. It does not even support receiving business cards via SMS and it just swallows that kind of incomming messages so user has no clue about that somebody sent him business card and, what worse, the sender receives success delivery notification. And because this was huge problem for me that I've solved recently I'd like to share the solution with you all.
Important UPDATE: It is possible to send even MMS vCard from your Android device since bizCard Manager version 2.0.0. Don't miss it and check bizCard Manager on Googlr Play.
If you are interested in solution only please follow the Google Play links down below directly so you don't have to read following description of how the story happened.
I'm really pleasantly surprised since I bought my new Samsung Galaxy Nexsus smart phone — it fits all my needs in terms of smart phone. The Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwitch together with perfectly tuned up hardware makes the phone handy for every task it is designed to. Even with pure Android — without any user interface addons like TouchWiz — it's intuitively manageable.
The first and only inconvience appeared while I noticed that something is wrong with business card receiving. Colleague of mine called me and asked me to call the person he sent me the details in business card recently. But what a surprise — my phone silently ignored all that kind of messages i have been sent.

Looking for solution

Usual trick — go to Google Play, find vCard via SMS compatible app, install (and even pay) and forget — did not work in this case. Not that the Google Play (formerly Market) is not full of apps claiming they are able to send and even receive business cards — few of them are able to, but it really depends on what their authors meant by the term of business card exchange.
The most simple apps just pick the contact name and phone detail(s) and send them as a plain text SMS in Name, phone number format. User doesn't have to manually copy and paste details from contact list to SMS so it's more comfortable to share selected contact. But recipinet still has to manually process incoming details.
More advanced apps claim business card sharing functionality. Even though I have not tested them thoroughly — i've requested refund immediately when I've had figured out they do not support receiving business cards from Nokia phones — I've noticed they can send business card in vCard v2.1 format what is important prerequisite for automatic processing of business card on recipient devices. Unfortunatelly, those apps send vCard data as plain text SMS messages which are displayed as plain text messages with raw vCard data on mostly all target devices. Recipients are not able to automatically process such received cards not even read card's data easily.

No solution at all?

I'm still quite surprised that I haven't found working app supporting Nokia compatible business card exchange — which is supported on almost all non-Nokia devices except Android phones. You will even see a lot of unaswered topics while browsing Android forums around the net.
So after a month of research I've gave it up. I sat down to the computer and started learning Android insides to get business card exchange working by my self. It was a wonderful trip, sometimes tough but finally successful thanks to a broad community of developers around the net.

Solution: bizCard Manager

There is bizCard Manager and a it's FREE version bizCard Manager FREE available on Google Play platform. The FREE version has few limitations and is intended for testing purposes only. This is finally the app that allows user to send and receive business cards via SMS on Android phones compatible with world-wide Nokia standard.
bizCard Manager - hlavní aktivita bizCard Manager - přijatá vizitka bizCard Manager - odeslat vizitku
bizCard Manager - sdílet kontakt bizCard Manager - notifikace přijetí vizitky

Main features

  • Send and receive business cards via SMS on Android devices including support for Nokia phones!
  • Perform direct actions on business card details (call number, send e-mail) even without need to accept card into contacts.
  • Nice business card UI — no raw vCard data displayed to the user.
  • Share contacts via SMS directly from contacts list.
  • Supports multiple contact list accounts.
  • Localized to EN, CZ, SK and we are working on DE.

Conclusion

I've solved the lack of contact sharing via SMS functionality by creating the bizCard Manager app, now available on Google Play. You can support it's development by buying full version for USD 0.99 and if you decide to do so, I really thank you for your support.
Also, I'd like to hear your feedback. If you have anything you would like to tell, please let me know in comments here, use contact form or just rate the bizCard Manager on Google Play. Thank you for that!

Related

Ads

Comments

3. 7. 2012 6:30:11, Andrej
Best APP!!! Russian symbol not response

1.Please add search of contacts written in Russian (Cyrillic) 2.Read vCard in MMS sending ANDROID devices or Add item in context menu from "long TAP"
31. 7. 2012 17:35:29, Pavel Hecht
Díky moc. Po všech marných pokusech něco, co funguje.
7. 9. 2012 13:16:16, I-van
It may good app, but :
1. Russian symbols don`t responce
2. It send MMS instead of sms message
7. 9. 2012 13:24:47, mrpear
[I-van] ad 2) It does NOT send MMS. For sure! ad 1) I'm sorry but there is annoying thing with the russian symbols because typing is case sensitive (trying to fix it).
30. 10. 2012 6:37:12, Bala
While sending the business card, there is no option to pick up the contact to whom I need to send it. instead I need to type the number. It a bit sort of defect. Could you please resolve this?
30. 10. 2012 17:11:28, Bala
Ya thank you for the solution regarding the issue I asked. Looking forward the contact picking option from your updates. If I get a paid version, what will the subscription validity & no.of users? Will the application accept all the updates happen further? Thank you in advance.
5. 11. 2012 8:06:52, Edro Roode
At last! something that works for receiving business cards. I downloaded the free version and it works. Thanks.
25. 12. 2012 8:34:37, Kobus Burger
Now I receive business cards from Nokia phones. Previously my Galaxy S2 did not even show that a business card was sent.
Can you please explain the following:
- Why does the Galaxy S2 not show a business card sent from a Nokia phone?
- What format does Nokia use to send business cards?
14. 1. 2013 12:46:35, Michael
Hi,

This app is just what I need and I like how it integrates. Unfortunately every time I try to send a contact is says "failed to send business card" which kinda defeats the purpose :) Can you tell me why this is please. I am running a nexus 4 and it says that it is compatible on the google play store. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers
16. 1. 2013 18:25:16, Sunil Nair
Tried the app. Like it. Bought it. Help me solve a problem for which I searching till now for solution. I works exactly as described. Exactly what I have been looking for since leaving my Nokia days behind.
9. 4. 2013 9:12:52, Unknown User
What if there is lot of user with same name and what about organization business cards
9. 4. 2013 19:47:20, mrpear
I don't think it is possible to have multiple contacts with same name (Android merges them). Organization vcards are not supported properly, gonna fix it.
21. 5. 2015 21:34:04, Andrew
Downloaded free version to test. It does nothing. "... FREE ...does not accept cards into contacts..." What does free version do? (Xperia M2, Android 4.4.4)
22. 5. 2015 9:06:59, mrpear
[Andrew] Hi Andrew, with the bizCard Manager FREE you can send vCards (limited) and test if your device is compatible to receive them. If you want to accept received vCards you have to buy full version.
17. 6. 2015 23:31:14, Robert Marshall
Thanks for the app! It solved an issue I was having for importing MMS vCards. However, the current version seems to populate all phone numbers as "Other" type, rather than what they are in the vCard (i.e.: mobile, home, main, etc.). Also, the photo doesn't seem to be coming through though I know it's being sent by the sender. Fortunately, sending vCards seems to be fine.

app version: 2.1.2
Phone: Verizon HTC One w/Lolipop v5.0.2 and Sense 7
8. 7. 2015 1:08:36, Lisa
Hi,
I bought your program to make sure I had all the capabilities. I still can't read a vcard card when people send it to me. It continues to say "unsupported vCard format" when I tap on the card in a text message. Do I need to do something besides installing your program to make it work? Phone: LG E970, Android 4.1.2
Thanks,
Lisa
8. 7. 2015 8:00:12, mrpear
[Lisa] My app does not add any functionality to your existing texting app, but it is able to capture incoming SMS vCards and it is also able to import MMS vCards from your inbox. You have to work with vCards inside my app.

Are you using standard android texting app (not any third party)?

I've send you further info by email, hope it helps.
31. 8. 2016 12:46:16, James
bizCard Manager app free version is spam bait to upgrade to paid app - I hate developers like that who create spam apps.

Avoid this developer, even if you have to manually deal with vCards.

Don't ever support a developer who creates spam.
31. 8. 2016 12:56:11, mrpear
[James] Hi James, I really don't get why you call my app "spam". bizCard Manager with full features is not free and the free version is for testing purposes only so you can decide if you want to buy or not. I've spent weeks developing this app, but if you think it is not worth $1,5 I understand it and you can just decide to not buy it and deal with your vCards manually or even you can check alternatives to my app.

What do you think?

:
:
(not requiered and non public, used for further contact)
: