Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Incoming SMS Receivers Stop Work Google Hangouts Is Villain

I'm working on an app which notifies a Windows desktop/laptop when a new SMS text message arrives on an Android phone, this app does not do anything else to the text of incoming SMS. It only reads and notifies the laptop using Bluetooth(or WiFi).

My app stopped working all of a sudden, and I didn't know what was wrong. There's a nice blog entry on making your app compatible with Android 4 KitKat, I read it thoroughly but in the end I discovered my will not be affected since it's too benign and only the apps that might cause trouble for other apps.

My sixth sense raised an alarm shortly afterwards, that perhaps this issue is being caused by Google Hangouts. I had allowed Google Hangouts to take care of my SMS messages a few hours ago, without knowing it will screw my poor app.
I got Android 4.3.3 running on Sony Xperia Z smart phone.
Given below are screen shots from Hangouts app settings.


So, if your SMS receiver stops working all of a sudden do make sure Google Hangouts is not the culprit.
Android KitKat has got its own style of handling SMS messages, but still I don't see a point in why Google Hangouts will break 3rd party apps that need to only read SMS messages.

On a side note, I did think once that maybe this error is caused an up version of Android because my app was working well on my older QMobile A50 which sports Android Jelly Bean 4.1.3.

In case you're wondering what permissions are needed to make a new SMS broadcast receiver work, well I got the following:

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.SEND_SMS" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.RECEIVE_SMS" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_SMS" />

Monday, May 12, 2014

Disconnect Block Drop calls Android 4 and above

The internet is littered with forum posts and articles that would tell you it is impossible to block drop disconnect an incoming or outgoing call using code starting Android version 4 Jelly Bean, because Google placed strict restrictions on MODIFY_PHONE_STATE permission. Only the manufacturer signing certificate can grant you MODIFY_PHONE_STATE permission.
block drop disconnect call android

Download Best Call Blocker my app based on the technique described in this post

There are a lot of call blocker type of scenarios in which we need to shield our user from a bad guy's or sour ex girl friend's telephone calls.
The good news is, you don't need to MODIFY_PHONE_STATE permission to block drop disconnect an incoming call on Google Android . The technique described here is available to drop block disconnect incoming calls without using the secretive infamous permission.

Time to disclose the secret sauce, a hint first:
Ever tried to dial a call using ADB(Android Debugger Bridge) shell?

If you've done that, it is going to be very simple to disconnect or drop a call using a similar technique.
Time to spill the secret sauce, on the internet.

Drop call on Android 4 Jelly Bean KitKat and above

Friday, May 2, 2014

Android Package Name From APK Code

Android apps are supplied in .apk files(even if you download from Play store) which contain all information needed to install an app to an Android smart phone.
Once an app is installed on a phone it is identified by a unique package name, the package name format is:

This value is taken from the Manifest.xml file which is already present inside the .apk file.
If we search "get package name from .apk" on Google we won't be able to find the source code to do this on the first page, almost everyone tries to tell us that this will be done through command line.

Package Archive files

There is a little twist behind these search results, is there another name for .apk files?
Yes sir, the full name of .apk files is "Package Archive". You can say that's the legal name .apk is only a nick name used by the Linux OS (Android is a Linux) and developer community.