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October 15, 2013

Big SMS Changes Are Coming In Android 4.4 KitKat, Google Advises Devs to Update Their Apps

sms-android 4.4-kitkat-changes

When Google announced Hangouts at I/O in May of this year, the goal with the app was to unify all of their messaging apps into one cross-platform offering. The plan was to integrate SMS and MMS eventually, and even add in Google Voice at some point. Google’s Nikhyl Singhal confirmed this on Google+ about 5 months ago, but we haven’t heard much else about it, until now.

In a post on the official Android Developers Blog yesterday, it sounds like Google has confirmed these big changes coming for Hangouts and Android 4.4 KikKat. SMS and MMS appear ready to be added to Hangouts, and we may be able to choose what app to use as out default SMS app in Android 4.4. In the blog post, Google is suggesting that SMS app developers update their apps so that they will function properly in KitKat. In the new version of Android, only one app will be able to be set as the default SMS and MMS app. Google is asking devs to update their apps with the option of being set as that default SMS and MMS app.

It looks like Google is finally making moves to integrate SMS and MMS into Hangouts. They also want users to have the choice of setting their favorite SMS app as the default app. Whether you want to use Hangouts, or Handcent, or whichever app if your personal favorite, you’ll have the option. This might also mean that the stock Android Messaging app will make it’s way to the Google Play Store, just like the stock Android Keyboard. Google may put quite a few of the stock apps on the Play Store in the future. It’s easier to push updates to users if we don’t have to wait for a full OS update. We can just download the updates from the Play Store.

Android 4.4 KitKat should be unveiled soon. Some rumors even point to an announcement today. We’ll know more soon.

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Jeremiah Nelson

Jeremah lives in Virginia, on the east coast of the U.S. He loves Android and is versed in iOS. In his spare time you’ll find him flashing ROMs and listening to metal.