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Switch Android to Android Texts back to SMS

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Jethro82, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. Jethro82

    Jethro82 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I have a plan with very limited data but unlimited SMS and MMS messaging. Recently Android Messages stopped using SMS to message other android phones. It actually won't send a text if I turn the data off. It still however will text my friends who use iPhone and my city's public transit SMS service(and hence I'm assuming most SMS modem services). I want to switch it back. I have an Alcatel 1x, the build and version information from my about screen is as follows:
    Model: 5059A
    Android Version: 8.1.0
    Kernel Version: 4.4.95
    Build Number: 6J8A+UIA4

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  2. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    I have not seen this issue before.
    Obviously (to me), if iphone users and your city's transit are able to communicate with your device via SMS, then it seems that your device/app is working fine and that the problem is elsewhere.

    The first thing I would do after looking over all the settings in your SMS app is to try another app.

    Simple SMS Messenger - Manage messages easily (An easy and quick way of managing SMS and MMS messages without ads.) - https://f-droid.org/packages/com.simplemobiletools.smsmessenger

    Your old messages should transfer right over, and now you can try and see if you can send a SMS to an Android user.
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    It sounds like your message app is using RCS messaging (which of course only works to other RCS users, so has to use SMS not only to iPhones but also to any Android user whose carrier doesn't support RCS or who just isn't using RCS).

    There are 2 solutions:

    1) Just change your SMS app. Very few apps apart from Google's Messages app support RCS, so pretty much any alternative app will solve your problem.

    2) Go into Messages' settings, select "Chat Features" and turn off the "Enable chat features" toggle. That should force it to use standard SMS rather than RCS.

    Personally I prefer (1), because I find Google's app remarkably limited in its customisation. But if you are happy with the app then the second solution should work (at least as long as the setting works as described).
    puppykickr likes this.
  4. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Well, that explains why I had never seen this issue before- I have never used Google Messages.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    I don't use it either, and I'm not sure how widespread RCS is here yet anyway (it is however the pre-installed app on my phone, so I can temporarily set it as default so I can look at its settings).

    TBH I don't see any real advantage to RCS while adoption is so limited (which is undoubtedly Apple's motivation in refusing to use it: a built-in cross-platform rich messaging system would make iMessage irrelevant as a lock-in for users). I'll use SMS as that is universal, and other cross-platform message apps where rich messaging is preferred (I don't live in a bubble where everyone uses a single operating system, so neither RCS nor iMessage is actually that useful to me).
  6. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    The over-riding limitation with text messaging is there's a reliance on SMS and MMS as the only two protocols that all the texting services will support. Apple uses its iMessage protocol as its default, WhatsApp uses its WhatsApp protocol as its default, and just recently Google has been pushing its RCS as a new Android default. iMessage and WhatsApp are closed-source and proprietary, only in play when it's a point-to-point interaction (i.e. Apple user to another Apple user). RCS is not Open Source but Google has licensed it so it can be readily used by any texting service. But Apple has refused to adopt RCS into its iMessage app so at this point RCS is just another texting protocol. SMS and MMS are antiquated and have inherent limitations keeping up with today's technology, but they remain as the tenuous link we all rely upon as far as text messaging.

    Your issue appears to be tied to how MMS is transferred. SMS takes up a minimal amount of bandwidth, and it can travel via WiFi, cellular, or Bluetooth connections. MMS messages can involve more bandwidth though, still a relatively low amount, but still more. Within common carriers (both sender and receiver using the same service), you 'might' be successful sending a MMS message over WiFi or cellular but in most cases you do need to use mobile data. Also keep in mind that any iMessage group text (and most Android group texts) are sent as MMS. There's an added issue where iMessage to iMessage and WhatsApp to WhatsApp interactions all take place within either Apple's servers or WhatsApp servers respectively, and that takes place no matter which carrier is in use. A benefit is since each of those closed systems transfer within each system, a user doesn't have to worry so much about file attachment sizes -- i.e. since all iMessage transfers take place within Apple's online servers file attachment limits are quite ample, but with MMS carriers will automatically scale down higher res photos and videos on-the-fly. It all boils down to all these variables are factor and conditional in different ways as to what device you're using and what device your recipient is using.

    Text messaging is plagued by corporate oversight, there are multiple players involved and each is opting to use its own standard. Unlike email where that eventually became a common standard (POP and IMAP), by all indications texting doesn't appear to be heading in that same direction. So yeah, with MMS you'll probably need to use mobile data connectivity.


Messages Forum


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March 24, 2020
Last Updated

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