Android: Integrating GoSMS Pro with Avast Anti-Theft

Following is a description of how I managed to get GoSMS Pro working with the Avast Anti-Theft module without the password being exposed in standard user-readable SMS messages.

The problem is that GoSMS (and also HandCent SMS) install themselves with a very high priority and can therefore hinder other apps (mainly security apps) from getting to the messages first – this can work one of two wbhays: either the app blocks the SMS in which case Avast never receives the message OR the app forwards the message on, Avast receives the message but by then the user (potentially a thief or receiver of a stolen phone) also then sees the message, including the Avast PIN code which they can then use to disable Avast.

Priority and the reasoning for the above is described below; this content has been taken from Avast and AndroidLost forums – all credit goes to them:

From Avast:

Priority is a number with a pretty big range (around 2^31 = more than 2 
billion). Apps are ordered by their priority (what happens when the priority 
is the same is not determined IMHO, some say the first one installed gets the 
message, but I tested it and couldn't confirm this) and the one with highest 
priority gets the message first. The app then has around 5s to handle the 
message (the time is given by the system). What an app can do is to pass the
 message to the next one with highest priority or to block the message. 

And that is exactly how AAT (Avast Anti-Theft) works: it looks at the message, 
identifies whether it is meant for AAT and if so, blocks it. If not, it passes
 the message to the app with the next-highest priority unchanged.

Now what some messaging apps do is they receive a message and block it. In that
 case AAT doesn't receive the command at all. Some receive it and pass it 
further, in that case AAT receives the command, but the message is visible in 
the messaging application that got the message first.

From AndroidLost:

From androids point of view all applications are equal. But the apps 
themselves can set a priority and say how important they are. And by default the
 incoming messages  are sent to all apps, but any app can stop the message from
 moving on to lower priority apps. The way I see it we can split the importance 
into three groups:

1. security apps (androidlost, virusscanner, etc)
2. apps that modifies the messages and passes them on to others
3. normal display apps

Let me explain:

1. Security apps should obviously have the highest priority since they
should read the messages first and have the option to stop the
messages from arriving to other apps.
2. I have never seen such an app but assume that you want a timestamp
written inside each SMS you can have an app do this. This app should
have a medium priority since they should get the message before the
display app.
3. The display apps should have a low priority. In this group we have
the normal message display and custom display apps like Go SMS Pro.

It is quite OK that Go SMS Pro stops the SMS from moving on to the
normal display app. But they really should use a reasonable SMS
priority. I have not found any recommendations but I would say a
number between 0 and 10.000 would be reasonable.

I have chosen 300.000 as priority since I think my app is rather
important but there may be other there has a higher priority.

Go SMS Pro has chosen a priority of 2.147.483.647 since they think
they have the ultimate app in the universe. That is the highest number
you can set.

So basically what I am trying to say is that Go SMS Pro does not code
nicely. The only thing I can do is to recommend you to write them and
ask them to use a _reasonable_ SMS priority.

A user’s solution to the issue:

Hey guys I found the answer on the Where's My Droid's website :

Go SMS - Open Go SMS, hit 'Menu' and click 'Settings', click on
'Receive Settings', then uncheck the 'Disable other message
notifications. Then open the built in SMS app, hit 'Menu' then click
settings, there is a setting called 'Notifications' uncheck that.

Handcent SMS - Open Hancent, Hit 'Menu' and select Settings, Click
Application settings, then Default Messaging Application, Set this to
'Disable'. Then open the built in SMS app, hit 'Menu' then click
settings, there is a setting called 'Notifications' uncheck that.

My solution, with screenshots for GoSMS:

Make sure you have the following settings set in GoSMS Pro:





Them, on testing, you should see the following. You should never ever ever see your pin code displayed in an SMS:



Hope this helps someone!

Android: Setting The SMSC (SMS Message Centre) in Android ICS

A combination of being in a rush and fat fingers whilst in the “Testing” menu (*#*#4636#*#*) led to me deleting the SMS Message Centre Number from my Google Nexus S phone.

It runs a custom ICS – either Apex or AndroidME – and there is no “Message Centre” setting under the Messaging App.

So, scrolling to the bottom in the Testing menu -> Phone Information you can see the “SMSC: ” field.


The actual SMSC number is: +447785016005, however inputting this into the field and hitting update just produces “update error”. The issue is that this needs to be translated into PDU format (Protocol Description Unit) and you can do that here:

For the number above, this turns out to be 0791447758100650 which is what you would hope to see on your working UK Vodafone droid.

For some people, entering the PDU number above into your SMSC field in the testing menu and pressing “update” will have the desired effect but for me, the “update” button won’t work unless you have a “+” in front of the number which is no use at all.

The solution? Take the SIM card out and stick it in a non-android phone (I used a Blackberry), go to the messageing app, settings, message centre number and enter the real number, i.e. +447785016005.

Save, exit, power off, replace SIM into Android phone, job done.

Hope this helps someone ..




Android: ICS on Nexus S – “Unfortunately the setup wizard has stopped”

If anyone has tried flashing the new Cyanogenmod 9 (Alpha 12 at the time of writing) then you may have got to the “Touch android to start” screen and been met with the “unfortunately setup wizard has stopped” error message.

You can bring down the notification window and click on the settings icon, set up your accounts etc but the home page will still come back to the “Touch android ..” page.

To get round this, touch the screen in all 4 corners in a clockwise direction, starting top left – this will bypass the wizard and let you get set up properly, albeit manually. I’ve circled the points in the pic below.

Hope this helps someone ..