Archive for April, 2007

New SMS features

April 3, 2007

BillMonk’s SMS interface has gotten a revamp! This update contains a bunch of new features that work together to make the SMS interface a lot more useful.

  • Dynamic groups
    SMS commands that take groups (like “victim” and “shared bill”) will now let you specify the list of participants explicitly. Instead of setting up a group on the website with a name like “LunchMoney,” you can specify a list of people like “joe,jon,bob.” For each person, we’ll search the names and contact info of all your friends — so for example, “joe” could refer to, as long as you don’t have any other friends with “joe” as a name or email address. Social groups are always changing, and this feature helps accommodate that fact. Of course, you can still use static groups if that works for you.
  • Smart victim choosing
    We already have a victim feature that will tell you who should pick up the next tab. Right now it works by seeing who owes the most within a group of friends. That works alright, but it turns out we can give you a better answer if we know the amount of the bill you are paying. So now you can optionally tell the “victim” command the amount of the bill, and we’ll give you an even better answer for who should pay that bill. You can read more about the details of victim choosing in the FAQ.
  • New ‘choose’ command
    This is a new command that combines the power of Smart Victim Choosing and Dynamic Groups. In a single command, you can say:
    If you SMS this to BillMonk, we’ll choose the best victim and record that they paid a $25.31 bill. Then we’ll SMS you back a message that says who should pay. It’s one easy step for victim choosing and recording a shared bill — perfect for lunch outings when you don’t know who should pay!

All of this is documented on the newly redesigned Mobile Phone page