This is pretty cool. KitKat, the upcoming version of Android will allow you set a third-party texting app as your default.
As revealed by Google, users will have the option of changing their default app in their settings. The Internet giant also revealed that it will be making APIs public so that developers don’t have to worry about losing them.
It says that it’ll also go some way to getting rid of the problem of people building SMS apps using hidden APIs. Google discourages this practice because hidden APIs may be changed or removed and new devices are not tested against them for compatibility.
According to Google, it’s important for developers to make sure that when their app is not currently selected as the default SMS app, it’s important that they disable the ability to send new messages from it because, “without the ability to write to the SMS Provider, any messages you send won’t be visible in the user’s default SMS app”.
Apparently SMS isn’t the only communication function that’s getting a makeover with KitKat. The Next Web reports that Hangouts could be getting an upgrade that will include SMS functionality.
The update should also help alleviate the issue of Android Malware, especially given that unofficial SMS apps are the source of so much of it.
Google is urging developers to update their apps “as soon as possible” and says that it will be releasing the necessary Android 4.4 SDK components “soon”, whenever that is.