La Vita è Bella


Purge Strikes Back to Android!

A Little Bit History

Back in 2005, after graduation from college, I got my first job at TrendMicro. After I got paid for enough money, I went to the store and brought a Palm Treo 650 home. That's the dream phone of that time. It have good hardware spec and more important, PalmOS.

My Treo 650 was broken at 2007. The radio module is died. So I can't use it as a phone, but can still use it as a PDA. I've made a nature choice: bought a Treo 680 to replace it. The reason is quite simple: it have PalmOS inside.

But the bad thing is I lost my Treo 680 at the end of 2007, left it on a table of a restaurant and never got it back again. This time I didn't buy Centro (but I recommended it to my then roommate :P). I decided to try something new. So I bought a Symbian phone (Nokia E51), Symbian looks like something comes from Stone Age compare to Palm OS. Then I bought a Windows Mobile phone (Sony Ericsson Xperia X1), but realized later that I do hate Windows Mobile. I bought a Samsung Galaxy (not to be confused with Samsung Galaxy S) at 2009, as I thought Android was mature enough to use. And I do love Android! But the lack of support and upgrade from Samsung makes me unhappy.

Finally, Google released Nexus One and I ordered one at the first time. This becomes the first phone after Treo 680 that I'm still happy after using it for half year, and I'm still happy with it while it's nearly a whole year already for now.


But there's still something I missed from Palm, like "Purge":


(I dug out my broken Treo 650 today, blow away the dusts, insert the battery, and it still works! so comes this photo.)

"Purge" is a simple feature to do the cleanup work: delete all old messages older than N days. Yes Android is much more powerful compare to Palm OS in the old days, and it can keep "almost everything" (actually for SMS, it will keep only the recent 200 messages per conversation and automatically delete old ones by default). But I don't like to keep too many meaningless "everything", I prefer the old Palm way.

So I took the last weekend to make Purge Strikes Back!

Purge Strikes Back!


Something I must mention is that for SMS deletion, I used some undocumented API. What did this mean? It means that this app may or may NOT work for you. It may or may NOT work as you expected. It may DELETE ALL YOUR SMS even you didn't mean to. It works on my Nexus One with Froyo and system Message app, it may not work with other phones, Android versions or Message apps. And it may break anytime even it works fine for you now. You take it totally on your own risk.

The call log deletion is implemented with system API, which should works fine, but I took no responsibility for your unexpected data loss, either.

So you'd better BACKUP YOUR SMS BEFORE TRYING IT. Personally I'm using SMS Backup + to do this for me and it works fine (it also backups call logs, too). There may be better ones but this is a choice you can consider.


How to Get It

Download it from its GitHub repo. It's free. You can also get the source code there, licensed under GPL v3.

I'll publish it to the Android Market in the coming days.

What to Expect in the Future

  • A nice shiny icon (maybe a broom or a witch? I've serious considered to call it "Quidditch"), CALL FOR HELP
  • Auto purge at every midnight.
  • Your idea here.


Some UI elements took from another awesome open source Android app Financisto, which is licensed under GPL v2.


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23:53:07 by fishy - Permanent Link

May the Force be with you. RAmen