Google‘s experimental SMS feature which was released for Gmail Chat back in 2008 has now been removed. This means that users can no longer send an SMS to their mobile contacts via Gmail Chat. Google said users can switch to Hangouts and choose to receive messages in SMS settings.
However, US and Canada users can send an SMS through Google Voice or switch to Hangouts and “continue receiving SMS messages as follow-me (i.e. if you’re offline and receive a Hangout message, you’ll get an SMS message).” The company said that “by streamlining our services, we’re able to focus on creating the best possible products for our users”.
A new app is now available on the Play Store called PPLCONNECT. What’s so cool about it? PPLCONNECT lets you virtually connect to your cell phone for calls and SMS for free from your computer, tablet, or even your friend’s device— and it’s all for free!
Although the app is currently in beta, you’ll still be able to take part in most of the important features the app will eventually offer in its full release. This includes sending and receiving SMS from your computer, tablet, or even another phone. All of the SMS are synced between devices and even your own phone’s inbox, so you don’t need to worry about missing any messages if you’re on a different device.
You can even make calls from any device as well, and access all of your contacts on any device (as long as it’s connected to the web in some way, of course).
It seems like a pretty neat tool. Hit the break for screens and the link to the app in the Play Store!
An IT administrator named Bogdan Alecu has discovered that Nexus phones receiving a flood of texts may start to function a little bit differently. The Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5 are all effected by this new exploit that causes those phones to reboot, crash the messaging app, or even disable a network connection. While other devices seem to be safe, Alecu advises that he hasn’t tested many others. The bug is coming from Class 0 SMS messages that are not regularly stored on a handset.
A developer has already taken to the Play Store to release a fix. Class0Firewall is a free app that prevents the Class 0 SMS messages from sending your handset into a tailspin. Google has told PCWorld that they are looking into the issue; however, we have no timetable on when to expect a patch.
Source: DefCamp, Class0Firewall (Play Store)
Today, 3 out of the 4 top US wireless carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint) have announced that they will stop charging users for receiving spam texts. While the announcement was made today, it actually won’t fully take into effect for at least a couple of days from now, or as much as a couple of weeks. It’s no secret that getting random spam texts can be quite the nuisance and could potentially cost you money. This move creates very good PR for these 3 companies.
As to why Verizon has yet to jump on board with this, here’s an official statement from a Verizon representative regarding this issue:
Following up on their release of the new KitKat keyboard to Google Play earlier today, Google has also made the new Hangouts v2 available. The big news with this update is the incorporation of SMS/MMS messaging into the Hangouts platform. Some other improvements include support for a full set of built-in emojis, the ability to view animated GIFs, location sharing, and the ability to set a “mood” indicator ala Google+ for others to see.
Sick of waiting for the new Hangouts update that brings SMS and MMS integration? Well wait no more because it’s now available to download. This update is version 2.0.0.012 and gives you all the goodies including the ability to share your location. Just grab one of the download links and let us know what you think.
Download (1) or Download (2)
While one tech giant announced the addition of support for SMS text messages in their product today, another has announced they are dropping the option for their product. Facebook announced today they are dropping support for texting with their Facebook Messenger app on Android. While they are dropping the SMS support, Facebook is set to release an update to the app to give it a fresh look and add some features they hope will encourage users to opt for Messenger when communication needs arise.
Android 4.4 ala KitKat looks to be a big release. Big enough to warrant a name change over being another version of Jelly Bean. With the upgrade it’s been rumored that Hangouts would take over the SMS/MMS functions. If today’s post on the Android Developers blog is any indication it looks like this will actually be the case.
According to the post, there are big changes coming to SMS/MMS apps in KitKat. The first change is creating a public API for SMS handling. In addition to the new API, 4.4 will allow users to set default SMS apps. The blog post purposely spills the beans on this new feature as Google wants third party app developers to prepare their apps for the new OS version.
Some new screenshots suggest support for SMS messaging is close to being included in Google’s Hangouts messaging platform. Support for SMS messaging was one of the glaring omissions when the new Hangouts app was released earlier this year, though Google has always maintained their plan was to unify messaging protocols including SMS. As part of the support for text messaging, it appears Hangouts will also support MMS, although it is not clear whether users will be able to send videos as MMS using Hangouts. In addition to the SMS and MMS integration, the new version will also allow sharing of videos via the Hangouts platform.
On the heels of the public’s worries about the NSA and “big brother” checking in on us, Wickr has released its app to Android devices, as it was already available through the iOS App Store.
The application allows users to send encrypted messages anonymously and privately, and users can also select an option which will cause your message to be permanently deleted after a certain time period ends, much like Snapchat’s well-known feature.
Here are some words from Wickr’s co-founder, Robert Statica:
“Wickr not only offers the most secure form of correspondence but also helps protect our users’ contacts as we anonymize this information before it leaves the senders phone. Wickr does not collect any personally identifable information on users nor can we read any messages or contents sent through Wickr, therefore, no criminal or rogue government can take them from us.”
So if you’re truly worried about the government and those “big bad corporations” spying on you, it looks like Wickr is the perfect app for you. Hit the break for a video and the link to the app in the Play Store.