SMS Stories September 28, 2017

Google’s SMS app appears to be picking up smart replies and a crazy new attachment UI

Google has a ton of messaging apps, but its best features are pretty split up between the various services. Now, one of Allo’s best features appears to be coming to the Android Messages SMS app.

SMS Stories August 4, 2017

Android Messages v2.3 adds a ‘mark as read’ button in notifications, available now

Google’s SMS app “Android Messages” is one of the company’s most well-polished messaging apps, but it still lacks quite a few features that even the most basic SMS users would want to have. In its latest update, v2.3, Google has added a new “mark as read” button to the app’s notifications.

SMS Stories February 10, 2017

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One of the big areas of focus in Android Wear 2.0 is allowing the watch to run independent of a connected smartphone, especially when connected to LTE. That’s a big departure from the approach of former versions of the OS, which only tried to extend the reach of your smartphone to the wrist. Now, apps are being updated to reflect the new focus of the OS, and that includes Pulse Messenger.

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SMS Stories November 4, 2016

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After laying the groundwork and garnering support from carriers worldwide, Google is finally launching RCS messaging. Android devices on Sprint will be the first to send and receive enhanced SMS messages that feature read receipts, better group chat, high-res photo sharing, and more.

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SMS Stories June 14, 2016

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Facebook Messenger is increasingly a good citizen of the Play Store by adopting the latest Android features and having a Material design. Now, after a few weeks of testing, Facebook has officially announced that Messenger can now send and receive texts as your default SMS client.

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SMS Stories February 22, 2016

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Google made its commitment to RCS (Rich Communications Services) clear last year when the company acquired Jibe, but now things are getting even more serious. The GSM Association today announced that it, more than 15 global mobile operators around the world, and Google, have finally struck a deal to actually make bring RCS to widespread adoption. And Google says that an Android RCS client is in the works, being made in collaboration with several Android OEMs and the aforementioned mobile operators…

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SMS Stories February 16, 2016

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Danish security firm Heimdal has detected a nasty piece of malware that spreads via SMS and tricks users into downloading a malicious app. The text message containing the download link has already been sent to 100,000 phones in Denmark, though common sense security practices should keep users safe.

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SMS Stories February 12, 2016

SMS function could return to Facebook Messenger for Android

Facebook has been busy testing new versions of its Material-inspired Messenger in recent weeks. Three weeks ago, the Material Design refresh started showing up for a handful of users with an account-switching feature and new FAB (floating action button), while others last week reported a fresh new blue lick of paint.

More recently than that, it seems some Messenger users are seeing the inclusion of a new feature. Or rather, the return of an old, discontinued feature.

SMS Stories January 13, 2016

Pushbullet service adds photo messaging (MMS) from PC, increased texting reliability

Pushbullet can finally send picture messages (MMS) from your computer. The long awaited feature was just introduced in the first big update of the year along with increased SMS readability.

SMS Stories December 17, 2015

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The well-connected Derek Ross took to his Google+ profile yesterday, sharing a post entitled “Things that’ll piss people off”. In said post, he details something that — indeed — will piss people off. According to Ross (who has a pretty good track record when it comes to Google software), the Mountain View company is planning to strip SMS support from Hangouts in an effort to make the app better at its job… expand full story

SMS Stories November 3, 2015

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Pushbullet, the popular multi-device notification and link-sharing tool has been updated today to take full advantage of Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s built-in improvements. The company announced that the new update uses Android 6.0‘s runtime permissions and Direct Share features to give you more fine-tuned control over which parts of your system it has access to, and give the option to share items more easily and quickly with compatible devices…

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SMS Stories July 15, 2015

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Pushbullet has to be one of the most widely adopted apps for Android. It lets you share links, notifications, images, and more across your smartphone and virtually any other device. Today, the company announced that it has added a new SMS UI to its desktop presence. With today’s update, you can now you can see entire conversations on your computer. expand full story

SMS Stories December 4, 2014

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AirDroid is a well known Android app that has long allowed you to remote-control your Android phone from a Windows or Mac OS X machine. But with the countless updates that Apple brought to iOS this year and the continuity features that tie the iPhone and Mac OS together seamlessly, Android users were left with much to desire. The latest version of AirDroid makes an attempt at filling that hole in Android users’ hearts with its latest release, bringing tons of features that make using your phone from a desktop environment easier than ever.

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SMS Stories July 17, 2014

In a study conducted by security research firm Zscaler, 28% of Android apps request permission to read old SMS logs, while a whopping 68% request permission to send SMS messages from your phone. They also found that 36% of apps request GPS permissions, while over 46% request access to the “phone’s state”, allowing the app to gather information related to the SIM card, IMEI number, serial number and more. For the study, Zscaler analyzed over 75,000 apps from the Google Play store and logged the requested permissions from each app. Being a security firm, Zscaler considers SMS and GPS related permissions to be the two most “high risk” permissions to grant access to, with “device information related permissions” landing sixth on the list.

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SMS Stories July 1, 2014

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Last year, Google added SMS support to Hangouts, along with several other features. However, prior to this, the company also had a similar feature available in emerging markets that let users add their phone numbers to its instant messaging platform. Similar to Google’s defunct Gmail SMS service, this was an alternative for feature phone users and people in regions with limited internet access.

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SMS Stories May 22, 2014

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Apple says it’s resolved an iMessage server issue that was affecting former iPhone users who switched to Android and other mobile operating systems. This is all good and well, but Apple’s text message woes don’t end there. The company is currently working on another SMS intercepting issue, according to Re/code. Apple is struggling to keep track of phone numbers that used to be linked to its iMessage platform. This is causing some ex-iPhone owners’ text messages to be absorbed by the company’s servers before reaching their intended contact.

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SMS Stories April 21, 2014

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An iMessage sent to Glass

Google announced today that it’s about to bring SMS for iPhone and a new Calendar Glassware to Google Glass users following an update to KitKat and the introduction of new features earlier this month. First up, iPhone users will now be able to receive text messages on Glass but, as Google points out, they “won’t be able to reply from Glass due to some limitations with iOS.” The support for SMS is a feature that Glass users have long had access to when paired to an Android device.

SMS for iPhone – iOS fans, by popular demand you can now get texts from your friends on Glass. Get started by going to your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings and turning on “Show Notifications” for your paired Glass. When you receive a new text message, it will appear as a notification on Glass. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to reply from Glass due to some limitations with iOS. (Android fans, don’t feel left out – you’ve got SMS on Glass already.

You’ll begin receiving notifications as long as the “Show Notifications” option for your paired Glass is selected from Bluetooth settings. Google also announced today that it will release Calendar Glassware available in the MyGlass tab: expand full story

SMS Stories July 18, 2012

In a blog post on the official Google Africa blog today, the company announced it created Gmail SMS. It is a new service that will allow users to send and receive Gmail messages via SMS. Rolling out first in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, Google explained the feature would hopefully make Gmail even more accessible to users who often find themselves without an Internet connection:

You can now send and receive emails as SMS messages using your mobile phone, regardless of whether or not your phone has an internet connection, like Wifi or 3G. Gmail SMS works on any phone, even the most basic ones which only support voice and SMS. 

Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS. You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient – who will find your message in the right email conversation thread!

Receiving Gmail messages via SMS will be free, but your standard SMS rates will apply for replying to messages and everything else. Google has instructions for how to sign up for the new service on its blog. expand full story

SMS Stories July 6, 2012

Report: AT&T to start system for blocking stolen devices July 10

So, someone stole your AT&T Android smartphone—now what? Well, AT&T plans to début a new system July 10 for blocking any stolen device.

According to The Verge, which cited a trusted source, the system will block access to voice, data, and SMS should a smartphone or tablet be swiped. The account will remain “intact,” as the publication noted, to avoid the “inconvenience of a full SIM block”:

The company sent a message [above] to customer service representatives on Wednesday advising them of the change. According to the guidance, AT&T will compile a “blocklist” of stolen devices and service will be automatically suspended “if any attempt is made to use a device that is stored in the blocklist.” The only way to add a device to the list will be by contacting a customer service representative directly, and users with remote data wipe apps will be required to activate them before suspending their device, to “prevent access to their personal information.”

AT&T will not have a directory of blocked phones, but a customer who requests a block may also remove it later. Therefore, the company will likely keep a record of blocked devices corresponding with customers.

This aside is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

SMS Stories May 1, 2012

Gmail just received three handy improvements, while killing off some aging features, but the most notable update is automatic message translation.

According to the Official Gmail Blog, Google pushed Gmail Labs’ automatic message translation to everyone today after receiving overwhelming positive feedback on the feature from Google Apps for Business users:

We heard immediately from Google Apps for Business users that this was a killer feature for working with local teams across the world. […] Since message translation was one of the most popular labs, we decided it was time to graduate from Gmail Labs and move into the real world. Over the next few days, everyone who uses Gmail will be getting the convenience of translation added to their email.

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SMS Stories October 2, 2011

The fine folks over at Android Police have discovered that many HTC devices have a huge security hole due to a recent Android update. The results are pretty shocking, and HTC has no one to blame but themselves. In a recent update, HTC included a set of logging tools that logs users email accounts, last known network and GPS connection, phone numbers that have been recently dialed, encoded SMS data (probably can be decoded), and system logs.

Okay so HTC logs all of this, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that any app that requests android.permission.INTERNET can get their hands on this information. Phones include the Thunderbolt, Evo 4G, Evo 3D, and more.

As of now, the only way to patch this hole is to root your device and remove /system/app/HtcLoggers.apk. If you’re not rooted, stay away from sketchy apps. As Android Police points out, even a high-quality app could still get their hands on this information. Android Police has all of the technical details.

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SMS Stories August 28, 2011

Samsung is getting into the proprietary messaging format game with a new product called ChatOn it announced today.  The service will roll out on its Bada, Android and even feature phones and will extend to competing platforms like Blackberry and iOS.  The service will run over IP and allow users to send text, images, and hand-written notes, as well as chat in groups and share video clips.

The new service, called ChatON, will be available from October and preinstalled in Samsung’s feature phones as well as smartphones running on its own bada operating system and Google’s Android software, it said.

Samsung’s partner Google has a similar Talk/Voice feature already installed on Android devices so it isn’t immediately clear which will take precedence.  All of these services are collectively eating at the SMS revenue that carriers have been squeezing out of their customers for a decade.  Apple’s iMessage is set to go live with the general release of iOS 5, also likely in October.

Speaking of the iOS maker, Apple was able to successfully block Samsung from releasing it’s ‘modified’ Australian Galaxy Tab in Australia it was reported this evening… expand full story

SMS Stories July 20, 2011

Wall Street Journal is reporting Google is winding down their Labs website – a site where users can test new products. Last week, Larry Page said Google would put “more wood behind fewer arrows”, meaning they wouldn’t put as many resources behind smaller products. Some might consider Labs a smaller product. WSJ notes some popular Labs products:

Many popular products had their start in Google Labs, including Google Alerts, which send people email updates when the search engine indexes websites containing certain information or news; Google SMS, which allowed people to do a search on their mobile device by texting their query to “Google,” or 466453; and Google Maps, one of the most important Google assets, also got its start in the labs site, in 2005.

For those of you who use Labs this is a sad day … this is a new Google.

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