Third-party messaging application Signal is set to remove the ability to send SMS and MMS messages from the Android application to enhance privacy and security.

In a blog post, the messaging firm has confirmed that Signal will soon remove the ability to send SMS and MMS messaging from the Android app. The statement suggests that “SMS support no longer makes sense,” but the reasons for this decision have been fully detailed throughout the extensive post.

In order to enable a more streamlined Signal experience, we are starting to phase out SMS support from the Android app. You will have several months to transition away from SMS in Signal, to export your SMS messages to another app, and to let the people you talk to know that they might want to switch to Signal, or find another channel if not.

A major reason for the removal of SMS support is the insecure nature of the protocol. Signal states that this is “inconsistent” with its “values” and what users come to expect from the platform. Telecom data breaches are also cited as another reason that this change is coming, despite the likely complications for users.

The complications of fusing SMS and native Signal messages appear to be another reason for the removal. In selected regions, confusion means that some users may incorrectly send high-cost SMS messages rather than native comms to contacts. By removing it, there is no longer any confusion. This is true for many other messaging systems like Telegram and WhatsApp, which do not have an SMS or MMS function, instead, multimedia and text content is sent using native app protocols.

Sadly, this does mean that you will no longer be able to use Signal as your default messaging application on your Android smartphone once SMS support is fully removed in the coming months. Because of that, it is suggested that you transition to a new default application on your device. You may want to disable this function now and can check by heading to Signal > Account > Select Chats > SMS/MMS. If SMS is enabled, you may need to export to another app.

Luckily, Signal will start to send notifications and prompts to switch for anyone using the messenger over the coming weeks.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com