In Android 4.4 KitKat you must choose one SMS app to rule them all

In Android 4.4 KitKat you must choose one SMS app to rule them all
Google has just announced one change that will be coming to Android 4.4 KitKat so that developers can get their apps ready for the switch. So far, as with any other app, you have been able to choose whatever SMS app you want to handle your messaging. But, so far if you had more than one SMS app on your system, even if you chose one as the default, all SMS apps would still get access to your texts.

Starting with Android 4.4, Google wants to change that and make it so only one SMS app can receive the SMS_DELIVER_ACTION intent or the WAP_PUSH_DELIVER_ACTION intent for MMS messages. Also, if an app is not the default SMS app on a device, Google is asking developers to disable the option for that app to send a message. It seems that although there are quite a few SMS apps in Google Play that will handle your messaging for you, most are using hidden APIs to do this. Google says it "discourages" this practice, but we haven't heard of the company ever banning an app from Google Play for doing it. 

So, with Android 4.4 Google is offering developers a standard API set for building an SMS app, and that's where this change will come in. It also means that if an app is using the hidden APIs, but doesn't update, it will not work with Android 4.4. Of course, at launch that will only mean a few unsupported devices, but those out there with Nexus devices tend to be a very vocal minority. 

FEATURED VIDEO

31 Comments

1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

This was a problem with Google Voice. Messages kept being duplicated and pinging both stock and voice SMS.

4. javac

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

Dude you have never even owned an android device... why are you trying to claim something is wrong with android when you have never used it?

8. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

CyanogenMod 10.2 has voice+ which let's me use my Google voice number for texts system wide. Awesome feature.

13. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Never heard of it. And for that matter, is totally irrelevant. Voice doesn't get any SMS's over the phone network. Heck, even if you were like weird and set your normal number to get SMSs sent to your voice number, you still wouldn't get a circular condition since SMSs would be sent from a regional number, not spoofed from your number.

16. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

This was never a problem with Google Voice. If you had this problem, it means that you had SMS forwarding on in the GV settings which would then ping both.

19. javac

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

I like how this guy(Mxyzptlk) tries to make random stuff up to bash on android but then also makes random stuff up about the iphone or denies facts if it doesn't support the iphone.

2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Btw Michael you might want to redo that title. It can be misleading if read the wrong way.

5. GeneralTsosChicken

Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

Shut Up

6. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

The title is quite alright.

15. shuimaranaman

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

Bro go sit on a Broomstick you lil bitch

21. andynaija

Posts: 1261; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Looooollll so mean but had me cracking up :D

17. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

In what way?

18. ilia1986 unregistered

You might want want to redo that post of yours, Mxyzpltk. It can be misleading if read the wrong way - people might mistake you for an intelligent person.

25. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

How could someone possibly mistake him for am intelligent person?

26. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1777; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Why is this guy not banned yet? He must have finally got his 5S and has buyers remorse so has to take out his frustration on here.

3. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

This should fix many sending glitches and errors. Things would always mess up when both the default and 3rd party SMS apps would receive the same messages. Especially when it came to MMS. (Android's biggest problem imo)

7. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

did you try turning auto-retrieve and notifications off in the stock SMS app?

30. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

Yes I did. SMS wasn't that bad, but MMS was the main issue.

10. datsyuk

Posts: 180; Member since: Jan 11, 2012

Agreed. Hopefully MMS not sending and receiving is fixed. That has been AWFUL on every single Android device I've had including a Galaxy Nexus. As long as its 100% stable that will be great.

20. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

My nexus 4 randomly fails to send text, maybe this will fix it. Not that big of an issue but it is annoying.

31. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

I know exactly what you mean. Galaxy Nexus would do the same thing.

29. The_Innovation

Posts: 648; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

I had the Galaxy Nexus myself. It was horrible indeed. I kept switching to different 3rd party apps hoping one was more stable than the other, but it was an overall problem.

9. iliketech

Posts: 78; Member since: Aug 17, 2011

yea right, If people would read the instructions on these 3rd party SMS apps when they are installing them, then all would be smooth... A new SMS app won't make all the changes for you, you have to manually make some changes yourself... I love trying Handcent, or Chomp SMS and like them much better than stock Android. But I know from reading the install screens, help menu, and trial and error that I must make some changes (flip switches) to get the look and feel I want.

11. Jklaz

Posts: 159; Member since: Jul 01, 2013

Hangouts messaging !

12. londoner

Posts: 36; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

Am just about to buy the G2 but there is something that stoped me... i am talking about the os andoid 4.2 when the note 3 and htc has the 4.3 versions. how big is the differencies between the 4.2 and 4.3 versions of thejelly bean? And will the G2 be eligible to get the 4.4 kit kat upgrade?

14. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Very little difference. They should just skip 4.3 and go to 4.4. The G2 could get it when LG gets the source for their non Nexus devices.

22. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

gosms has always been superior to the Android's native messaging app

23. Snoobab

Posts: 175; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Nestlé can EAD

24. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

IMHO this is a bad move... one of the strenghts of Android is the ability to have multiple applications handling a given event like an SMS. I can't imagine how many applications will break... For example, applications that backup received messages will not be able to be notified anymore when an SMS is received... applications that have to send an SMS for some reason (I have one that lets you buy bus tickets with an SMS) will stop working... Strange move by Google. They want more control, but they should realize that the flexibility of Android is one of the things that allowed this OS to be more appreciated by developers than iOS, thanks to the fact that they could do things that simply were not possible on iOS. Where is Google heading? Do they want to follow WP/iOS path? Bad move!

27. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

No!Don't ban Mxyzptlk. I read all his posts for a good laugh. His posts are so Mxyzptlk which is can't really understand what he's really trying to convey. Don't ban him, I request ;)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.