I’m Busy is a program that many people have been waiting for. The program lets you set an autoresponse to all emails and SMS messages. This means that the program acts as a sort of answering machine for your email and SMS messages when you are unavailable. Users with Exchange and BES will not be that impressed with the email autoresponder since they can already set up an out of office reply but BIS and heavy SMS users will find this program very useful.
During our review the program worked quite well but we did have two concerns. First of all there is no way to set an autoresponder separately for either email or SMS. You either set it for both or none. The second issue is a pet peeve of mine. You cannot transfer your license from one device to another. If you change devices you have to pony up the $12.95 once again. There is a trial so I would recommend you try the software before you buy. It serves a very specific purpose very well but does not allow for much customization.
Installation: The install was relatively painless and can be done OTA since the download is only ~40k. Once you have installed the program you are ready to go. Keep in mind that the trial version only lets you autorespond to 5 emails or SMS messages and then disables itself.
Interface: You can see the look of the interface in the screenshot above. There are not that many options but they do offer quite a bit of functionality. The main option is to turn the autoresponder on or off. You also have the secondary option to set a time limit to auto disable the autoresponder. As you can see in the second screenshot above you have 5 time choices for the auto disable, 30min, 1hr, 2hr, 4hr, and 8hr. The main reason I found this useful is the fact that there is an inherent flaw in this program. If you turn off your BlackBerry with the autoresponder active you will find that when you turn it back on the program will autorespond to every message you received while it was turned off. This happened to me and got quite annoying and the auto disable was the dirty fix.
The last configuration option is the ability to set up to 3 different custom auto responder messages that you can switch between. I found this to be a nice addition. Another thing that I found interesting was the fact that the program has a built in recognition of who it has already autoresponded. That way you wont get stuck in an autoresponder loop. Imagine I email Bob and he has a autoresponder enabled. I would then get an email back and autorespond to his… you get the picture. The program remembers who it has responded to and only responds once back to each sender. This memory is cleared every time you disable the autoresponder. You do get a confirmation every time a outbound email reply is sent but the developer has removed the confirmation from SMS messages since they received complaints that it cluttered the screen.
Side Notes: As a side note I felt it would be nice to share a bit of background history of the application that addresses why there are no major bells and whistles in the application. The owner of ImBusy owns valet parking companies – www.rentafrog.com – in Fort Worth, Texas area and was receiving large amounts of sms and email from employees and customers. He finally got sick of everyone expecting him to respond immediately to every sms or email and paid a company in to develop I’m Busy.
Conclusion: As I said before this application was created to serve a specific purpose and it does do that very well. The bells and whistles may come down the line but for now I would not hold your breath. I would highly advise people trying the trial before the bite the bait on this one. The author is very forthcoming and responds to support issues very quickly. As I mentioned before I only have 2 issues with I’m Busy. The fact that you cannot transfer licenses from device to device will deter many early adopters who buy a new BlackBerry the second they come out. The ability to set autoresponders for email and SMS separately was very annoying for me since it meant I could not use the software in conjunction with my Exchange/Outlook out-of-office reply. Check out the software at the links above since I don’t doubt that there are many people who have been looking for this exact solution for a very specific problem.