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SMS App without MMS?

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by dorlow, Feb 27, 2022.

  1. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Are there any SMS only apps that don't have the ability to send/receive mms?
     



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  2. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
    Moderator

    Some texting apps will let you turn off auto downloading MMS so you wont receive them unless you OK the download. I'd be surprised if any don't support MMS at all.

    What are you trying to do?
     
  3. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I'm trying to setup my kids restrictions. I can't monitor MMS messages. I want to make it so my kids cannot send/receive mms messages.​
     
  4. Milo Williamson

    Milo Williamson Android Expert

    Verizon Messenger plus,you can turn it off completely, messenger you can as well, textra it will not get back those roaming messages at all.
     
  5. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I've checked Google Messages and textra and a few others and it doesn't appear I can prevent MMS messages. Even if I could from the settings of the app, what's stopping my kids from finding the setting and turning it back on?
     
  6. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    what i'm trying to do right now, which seems to be working is installing a firewall app and then blocking data for the messaging app. It seems to be working.
     
  7. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

  8. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Ok... I tried that app. It works... sort of. I've found that, yes, it cannot send/receive media. I found the setting in the app to make it the default sms app. I sent a text to my pixel phone and the text went through. I then tried to send a text from my pixel using the native app to the kid's phone with the sms only app and the text did not go through. I then installed the kaliturin text app on the pixel and then sent the kid's phone a text message and it did go through. So, I think that tells me that, even though I'm only sending text from the pixel to the kid's phone, it's still sending as an mms. Which means, if I set the kids to only be able to use that app, they will only be able to receive text messages from people that send only sms messages even if the mms message is only text...

    So, maybe I'm looking for the wrong thing. Maybe I need an sms/mms app that I can restrict it so it cannot receive any images, gifs, or anything... just text. it can be sms or mms, but all images are stripped from the message. Does such an app exist?
     
  9. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Yes, some MMS are just text, though I'd not expect that to be the default for a single one-to-one text: it is more typical in group chats (there are 2 ways of doing these, one of which uses SMS and one MMS). Another thing to watch is that the Pixel's native app can also sent RCS "Chat" messages, which are a third thing, distinct from both SMS and MMS: these also require data connections, and actually many message apps don't support them (I only know of 2 offhand, but there may be others).

    I'm afraid I don't know of an SMS/MMS app which does what you want, though to be fair I've also never looked for this.
     
    puppykickr likes this.
  10. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Are your kids using their own cellular services or are all of you using a family plan with just one carrier?
    With my carrier there is an option to disable photos/videos/group messages over mobile data but this does pertain to just my own account, I don't know if there is any kind of granular control when it involves a family plan. But this is a cellular/mobile data only issue, so don't forget to also take into account WiFi connectivity.

    Something else to keep in mind that SMS is text only, MMS is text and/or with attached media (photo or video), but there's also the issue where things like Apple iMessage group chats are sent to Android as MMS. So if you're trying to filter out MMS messages for your kids to work only between you that's one thing, but if they interact with other kids who use iPhones than you'll be cutting off your kids from being able to receive iMessage group messages. That's just another complication on top of the existing text messaging incompatibility issue with the Android-Apple platforms.
     
  11. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Not to mention that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of other apps you children can get that will allow things other than texts to go through.

    Wack-A-Mole may have been fun at the fair, but that's about it.
     
  12. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Did you go through all the settings on the app?
    The defaults are to block most things.
    Perhaps your texts were blocked by the app.
    Be sure that all blocking is off, and that notifications are on for the app.
     
  13. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    My kids can't download any app in the play store. I've become so frustrated trying to limit what they can do, I signed up for a google workspaces account. I have all of their phones and tablets added to my workspaces account where I can put on policies of what the phone can and can't do. (Costs me $20 per kid a month... but Im frustrated...) I restricted the app store to only show the apps I allowed. I've also set the web browser to only be able to browse google. No links work to any other sites. I have it setup with advanced device policy and the phones are signed in directly to the work profile. I have the serial numbers of all of the phones tied to my workspaces account, so, if they decide to wipe the phone and reload it, the only email they can use is the workspaces email I gave them. Any other google account will be denied. So, I think I got it pretty well covered.

    I figured out a solution today for texting. I installed an app called sms backup and restore. I set it up on my kids' phones. It backs up their texts hourly to their google drive (within my workspaces.) I then granted myself access to their drive folder where the backups are at. (They can't access drive. I removed it from their phones.) I can now load the files it's storing on google drive and open it with the same app on my phone and I can see all texts and all gifs, images, etc. Everything. I have it setup to backup hourly.

    I restricted the android settings. The sms app, I pushed it to the phone and the kids don't have permission to remove it. It's stopped at an OS level. If they attempt to hit uninstall, a popup comes up stating the administrator restricts this change or something to that extent.

    Then I also setup my own NAS. I don't let them use gmail, google drive, contacts, google photos or anything. They have to use my NAS email and drive app. All of their email is sent directly to my MX records directly to my email server, not routed through any other servers. Since it's my server, I can see all of their email and everything in their drive and photos...
     
    #13 dorlow, Feb 28, 2022
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2022
  14. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    I still dont really see how they cant just download whatever from somewhere else.

    Also, devices can be had for cheap as all get out, so a person can just get another device and do whatever they wish.

    Also, as far as trusting Google with anything, remember that everything you do online is monitored by them- for their profit, not yours.
    Also keep in mind that they are the single largest purveyor of malware and malicious software for these devices- then they claim that it is 'dangerous' to get apps elsewhere.

    These are but a few of the issues that keep me from trusting Google at all.

    Not to mention how they skew search results.

    IMG_20220216_180257_169.jpg
     
    #14 puppykickr, Feb 28, 2022
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2022
  15. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    My kids devices can't get apps anywhere. There are exactly 30 apps in the store they can download. I control the only apps they see. This is not a consumer solution... this is a business level solution. I work on the google team for a fortune 500 company so I do have a little background in working with google at an administrative level. I'm restricting their phones the same way our security team resticts me on my work profile on my phone. Only difference with the kids is the kids are signed in directly with the workspaces. there is no option for them to go to a personal area to do whatever they want like I can with my personal phone.
     
  16. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    only problem with google workspaces is you can lock it down, but you can't really setup monitoring.... it's supposed to be a professional business tool... not a child restriction and monitoring app. im using qustodio to monitor. but they can't really do much wrong on their phones anymore.
     
  17. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    about your comment that devices are cheap... yes, one of my kids could walk into a dollar store and buy a cheap android phone. But, they won't be able to add it to our network. I have a policy that every device that joins goes into the default container and it doesn't have any internet access. I have to login to my router and move it to a container that has internet access. I guess it won't stop them from using it at school or whatever.

    Just to let you all know, I was strict a while back but then the kids kept going around my safeguards, so I was easing up. Well, one of my daughters got depressed about stuff she saw on social media and wanted to commit suicide. So, we took her to a hospital. She got out and was out for a week and was readmitted again. We learned during that time that it was social media. But my daughter says she can't help it. We block it but she can't help it. She'll find a way and she can't stop herself. Her doctor at the hospital said she cannot have any social media and we need to monitor everything she does online. So, I'm back to being strict. But buying a phone these days that has no internet is about impossible. I did find one phone that had no internet on it... I bought them, but problem with that is I can't use gps with them and a few other things that I have in place using smart technology that doesn't work on a dumb phone. Also I couldn't monitor her texts. So, this is my solution now. I'm at a loss of anything else to try though...
     
  18. dorlow

    dorlow Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    A few jobs ago, I worked for a school district. I was told to keep all of the kids off of social media. It was a constant daily job learning what the kids figured out to get around my blocks, I block it, one kid finds a work around, spreads it, I find it and block it, they find another work around and spreads it.... it was a constant battle. Finally after years of that, the principal told me to just open up social media. we can't stop it.
     
  19. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Probably the only thing you could really do would be to live inside a Faraday cage.

    Of course, once they go outside...

    But the real question is what are these kids that are so depressed about social media going to do once they find out that real life is even worse?!?
     
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