Modify default SMS app permission - Plan 3.0?

moto X pure on plan 3.0 and I’m testing Signal and Google Messenger for SMS and MMS. However, the messages are showing up on the phone/default SMS app, if open. But since SMS/MMS is not default, you cannot send using this app. I thought this was strange that SMS/MMS are showing up in both apps.

The default SMS app cannot be disable or uninstall, but should the app permission be modify? i.e. Settings -> Apps -> Messaging -> Permissions -> turn off all permissions (contacts, phone, SMS, storage)

No it is normal for messages to show up in both. Only the one that is default should notify you and only the one that is default can send. They are both reading from the same local directory on the phone.

Hi Sean,

Any issue with disabling all the permission on the phone/default SMS app? I’m thinking w/out permissions, the app will not read storage or such but was not certain if other SMS apps makes use of the underlying/default SMS app or not.

Is it causing an issue?

SMS and MMS are viewable in Google Messenger (GM) or Signal and default SMS app. Although the same message does not appears in GM and Signal. Just between GM or Signal and default SMS app, really strange. I’m tempted to force stop the default app, clear all storage, disable all permissions to see if weird behavior continues.

They are all reading from the same Android database. They are just readers of the same data.

Got it! (overlooked the first post about reading from same local directory)

As seanr mentions, Android uses a special database within the system to keep the log of SMS / MMS messages. This is independent of any messaging app. However, due to security, Android made it that while any app is able to read from it, only the default app is the one with permission to edit it such so rouge apps cannot just delete sms messages without you knowing.

Now, onto your second observation. Signal is slightly different because it is a secure messaging app. While it does have features to handle SMS and MMS for convience, it actually keeps the messages within it’s own encrypted storage which means it is secure. This means unless Signal is set as the default (aka the main messaging app you want to use), it doesn’t actually go out to import messages from the phone so SMS will show up on Google Messenger but not Signal.

Or at least this is my conclusion from my own use.

Message an
Expert customer