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Android 4.4 KitKat Will Allow Default Third Party SMS Apps

by Todd Haselton | October 15, 2013October 15, 2013 1:00 pm PDT

Android KitKat - Yellow and Red Mascots, KitKat Pyramid and Helmets

Google announced on its developer blog recently that Android 4.4 KitKat will allow developers, and in turn users, to set third party apps as the default SMS application. Yes, several applications already allow this by using Google’s “hidden APIs,” though Google says it currently discourages that “because hidden APIs may be changed or removed and new devices are not tested against them for compatibility.”

defaultSmsApp

That changes in Android 4.4 KitKat, however, and Google recently published guidelines for developers so that their third-party SMS clients can be ready to go right away. A user will be able to choose a specific default SMS app, similar to how you can set a default launcher right now, and that will force the Android 4.4 KitKat SMS_Deliver_Action string to deliver the text to the appropriate application. Google says that only the default application will be able to write back to the SMS provider, and says that “it’s important that you update your messaging app as soon as possible to be available as a default SMS app, because although your existing app won’t crash on an Android 4.4 device, it will silently fail when attempting to write to the SMS provider.”

Android 4.4 KitKat is expected to make its debut any day now, though Google has been silent on any invites for a press event. Developers can head to the source link below for more information.

Google The Verge

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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