launches the new FrontlineSMS

This is something I rarely do – plug a product. But my friend Ken Banks has something special with FrontlineSMS and I encourage you strongly to try it out. 

I’ve played with the beta and written about it (in sum, not a very positive experience) but Ken assures me that the feedback received from the beta testing stage has been incorporated into the final product. Importantly and excitingly, FrontlineSMS now runs natively on OS X and Linux, which means that I don’t have to use Bootcamp anymore to use this. 

For over a year now I’ve been following Ken’s work with FrontlineSMS and frankly, it’s been an inspiring story. In a conversation with Colin Rule in October last year, Ken Banks explains the raison d’etre of FrontlineSMS. Having already proven itself in Pakistan at the worst of times amongst many other places, the new avatar of FrontlineSMS with its multi-OS client will be a tool that drives SMS advocacy and strategic communications via mobiles, including that which I have written about earlier as the development of m-government services.

The Press Release of the new version of FrontlineSMS is here. Go to the FrontlineSMS website here

I’m looking forward to using the new version and will put a post in the coming months with my experiences of using it for my work in Sri Lanka. 

8 comments on “ launches the new FrontlineSMS

  1. kiwanja
    June 25, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    Thanks for picking up and posting this, Sanjana

    As you rightly mentioned, the early Beta you reviewed was a VERY early Beta, and we’ve come a long way since then. It’s been a long and in some cases challenging process, but the new version is already out there and already creating positive change. See a post from my Blog this morning:

    There will be further work needed on this, and the growing user base will become increasingly important in helping us identify issues and future enhancements. There are plenty of places this can go, and we already have a small but growing community on the FrontlineSMS website.

    Looking forward to seeing how you can make use of it in your work. I’ll be in touch re: the Mac build!

    Cheers for now.


  2. Katrin
    June 29, 2008 at 1:10 am #

    Sanjana – can you try the newly released version and do a write-up for MobileActive? We are getting flak for the beta review, though my trials with Frontline (the new release) mirror yours from your beta trials. Would love an update, when you have a chance.

    And on another note — are you coming to South Africa, mobileactive08? I have not seen a session submission from you yet but I hope you will? We have travel support available. Looking forward to finally meeting, I hope!


  3. kiwanja
    July 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    Hi Sanjana

    From some of the comments in the FrontlineSMS Community, we’ve clearly made considerable strides over the past couple of months or so with the software. Naturally the Forums are dominated by people who have needed help of some kind, but we’ve managed to very quickly get almost everyone up and running.

    I don’t know what experiences Katrin has had since she hasn’t made any comments or sought help in the Forums, where everyone else is going. There are also comprehensive help files included in the software, which have helped many people around some initial challenges, and I don’t know if she is consulting them. The idea of the Forum is that problems can be shared, and other users can benefit from seeing the solutions.

    Many people don’t have problems, and just get up and running straight away. Sadly we don’t always get to hear from them.

    It’s just worth making the point that FrontlineSMS will never be finished, but will be work in progress for many years to come. This second release is a major step from the first, but we still have a long way to go.

    Take it easy.


  4. John Riordan
    May 15, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    Ken Banks will be presenting at the Mobile Monday event “Mobile for Development” in Geneva June 8, 2009. If you want to find out more about frontlineSMS and other Mobile applications for helping developing countries please feel free to come along to our event. for details see

  5. John
    May 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    Ken Banks will be presenting at the Mobile Monday event “Mobile for Development” in Geneva June 8, 2009. If you want to find out more about frontlineSMS and other Mobile applications for helping developing countries please feel free to come along to our event. for details see



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