Using custom sounds for iPhone SMS notification

I quickly go bored of the default iPhone SMS sounds. But its relatively easy to switch them to your own.

I used the following apps to do this.

  • – for downloading a suitable replacement sound.
  • iFile – for navigating through the iPhone file system. You can also use iPhoneExplorer too if you’re on Windows.

First of all, find the new sound file you require. This has to be of AAC format, which is an MPEG4 standard audio file. This is the default format for iPhones. The extension will generally be .m4a, or .mp4. Bear this in mind if you are creating your own sound file from an existing MP3. You can import an MP3 into iTunes and have it convert it to AAC, or if you use Zedge (and tell it your using an iPhone) it will download in AAC format automatically.

Then, using the file browser of your choice, navigate through the iPhone’s folder structure to


In here are the default sound files for the iPhone. The new SMS sounds are named as follows:


where <x> is a number from 1 to 6. They are not named “Chime” or something easy to play with.

  1. Tri-Tone
  2. Chime
  3. Glass
  4. Horn
  5. Bell
  6. Electronic

So, decide which of the 6 you are going to replace. And rename the file to backup-sms-received<x>.caf.

Copy your new file into this folder, and rename it to the original file that you have just renamed to backup.

In your sound settings now, you’ll need to choose the file from the above list – and remember which one you chose to replace, as the names will be the same as they were before. I know its not the easiest thing to do, but its Apple’s fault I’m afraid. So, on my phone, I have Tri-Tone selected, but it has been replaced with Super Mario.


ThreadSMS – Review

My Nokia doesn’t have threaded SMS view – and its very annoying. So, after searching about for a suitable application for this, I came across ThreadSMS by eHandySoft (


Quick to load, and quick to navigate. On my N97 mini the scrolling was very smooth and precise. The threads are loaded with contact pictures next to the corresponding people (if you have contact pictures assigned). Clicking on a thread will open it up in a sort of bubble outline. Here you can read the flow of the thread easily.

If you want to reply, you have to click on a message, and then a text entry box appears. It would seem better to me to have the box always there, or at least an option to choose.

There’s even a method of locking your SMS so that prying eyes cannot view them (if you’re upto no good)

If you regularly receive spam SMS messages, then you can filter these out, and silence them. Another great idea.


I looks very slick. There are around 7 bubble themes you can choose, that changes the design of the thread view.

The different threads are grouped by sender, so in the main window you get a list of your contacts with their little pictures, ordered by the most recent first. Logically.


A good bit of software that expands the Nokia’s limited SMS functionality.