Google Hangouts requires permissions to receive, read, and send SMS messages, could support be added soon?


Very early reviews of Google Hangouts seem to be mixed. Many people love the new service, but many are also unhappy with the fact that SMS messaging is not integrated. These users have quickly dominated the app’s reviews in the Play Store, pleading for the feature to be added to what is supposed to be a unified messaging system.

However, a quick look at the permissions Google Hangouts requires reveals that SMS support could be coming soon. Among the permissions the app has access to – receiving text messages (SMS), reading text messages (SMS or MMS), and sending SMS messages – none of which the app currently seems to actually be using.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this means SMS support will be added sooner than later (maybe with Android 4.3?), making it even more of a truly unified messaging system. After the break you can read the message permissions Google Hangouts requires.


– Allows the app to receive and process SMS messages. This means the app could monitor or delete messages sent to your device without showing them to you.
– Allows apps to read data from the Google Talk content provider.
– Allows the app to read SMS messages stored on your device or SIM card. This allows the app to read all SMS messages, regardless of content or confidentiality.
– Allows the app to send SMS messages. This may result in unexpected charges. Malicious apps may cost you money by sending messages without your confirmation.

About the Author: Aditya Thawardas

Born in India and raised in Tennessee, Aditya is currently a marketing/finance student in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh. Aditya started off in the world of smartphones with a first generation iPhone, until he realized what he was doing and quickly switched to Android. He then got an HTC Aria, followed by a Samsung Captivate, and today he is a proud Samsung Galaxy S III owner. Aside from writing for Talk Android, he occasionally writes for the Tennessee Titans blog, as is a huge Titans fan. In addition to the Titans, Aditya also loves all Pitt Panthers teams, the Nashville Predators, Memphis Grizzlies, and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also enjoys playing the guitar.

  • Sudoeste

    Actually it does use read and receive SMS so it can verify your number just like WhatsApp

  • GoogleIntern

    This article is incredibly stupid. Did no one at TA even install the app before writing this article?

    1. It receives an SMS to verify your number right when you install it.
    2. If the contact doesn’t have G+, it says “Would you like to send an SMS to invite them to Hangouts?” That’s it.

    Seriously. Install the app before pulling stuff out of your ass.

    • Nick Scarantino

      Yes, and since it does those things it makes it possible to use it as an SMS app once they include that coding. They are correct in assuming it has the potential to come soon based on the permissions.

    • Daniel Jeffrey

      Do you feel rude now for being so agressive when Google have confirmed this is coming?

  • vnovomsate

    Does anyone having the same problem like me with receiving hangout messages?
    I can send to everyone but can’t receive. Any solutions ? Galaxy S2 I9100 4.1.2…..Thanks