After over 8 years in the Play Store SMS Bot Widget has had to be taken down. Google has updated some policies on apps that have the permission to write SMS messages. Basically any app with this permission has to be a fully fledged SMS sender/receiver app. SMS Bot Widget was never intended to be that so it has to go. It wasn’t the most popular app but over its lifetime it had an average rating of 3.86 stars which I think is pretty good. If I get round to it I might release the source code on github so that it’s spirit can live on!
- New theme
- Only Android 2.3+ supported (Android 1.5-2.2 support dropped)
- Widget count reduced to one resizeable version on Android 3.1+
- Improved widget loading on reboot
Dropping support for the ancient Android versions let me remove a lot of legacy code from the app, simplifying it. I think Android 2.3 is a very reasonable minimum in 2017! I also realised that having 3 different widget versions for Android 3.1+ was redundant. Having one resizeable widget simplifies things. However, existing 1×1 and 2×1 widgets already on home screens will need to be re-created.
SMS Bot Widget V2.51 is now in the Google Play Store. Here is the change log:
- High resolution icon added
- Warning added for Android 4.4 Kit Kat devices about not being able to write to sent messages
I finally got my hands on a Nexus 5 today and its great. Unfortunately there is a small issue with SMS Bot Widget and Android 4.4. A few days ago Google announced a few changes to the way SMS messages are handled in Android. As a result of these changes SMS Bot Widget can no longer write to a device’s sent messages as of Android 4.4. The messages are still sent so the app fulfills its primary purpose but the device will have no record of it. In order to completely fix this SMS Bot Widget would have to be set as the primary SMS messaging app on the system and that is a lot to ask of a simple widget app. Instead I will update the app to warn Android 4.4 users of this behaviour.
A quick update following yesterday’s release of V2.4. It turns out I accidentally made the app only compatible with Android 4.3! It was showing “not compatible” errors in the web Google Play Store for anything running earlier Android versions. This was because of a new “uses-feature” element I added to the app manifest to notify the Play Store that SMS Bot Widget required home screen widgets. Unfortunately I set the required attribute to “true” and because the feature was new in Android 4.3, previous versions didn’t know about it. Hence the “not compatible” errors. Of course when I tested my app’s availability yesterday on Google Play on my Nexus 4 newly updated to 4.3 it all seemed fine. The perils of being on the bleeding edge!
SMS Bot Widget version 2.4 is now available in the Google Play Store. Here is the change log:
- Removed internet permission
- Updated instructions for Jellybean devices
- Reduced size
SMS Bot Widget has been updated to V2.3 in the Google Play Store and I am happy to announce it is now completely ad free. Why would I suddenly do this? The trouble is with ads is you need to add a library to your Android app and that means keeping it up-to-date, working around any bugs it might have, testing it etc. So this should free me up to actually implement more features. Also I think it puts some people off from using an app. I am considering removing ads from Paperless List as well. Other changes in V2.3 are:
- Lock screen widget for Android 4.2+ devices
- Resizeable widget for Android 4.0+ devices
- Bug fix: HTC devices with Android 4.1 unable to configure widget
- New simpler widget backgrounds with proper focus and pressed styles
I wanted to completely remove the 1×1 and 2×1 widgets from Android 4.0+ devices but that became a problem when upgrading from the previous version. It broke any 1×1 or 2×1 widgets already added to the home screen so I had to leave them in.
SMS Bot Widget Donate (which disabled ads in the free version) has been removed from the Play Store as it didn’t get many downloads.
I have just uploaded updates to both my Reader Widgets (Pro and Free) and SMS Bot Widget apps in the Google Play Store. There was a bug in Android 4.2 that prevented the widgets in both apps from being added to the home screen. I have also added lock screen support for Android 4.2 and made the medium Reader Widget resizeable in Android 3.1+.
I have just uploaded SMS Bot Widget V2.1 and Reader Widgets Pro and Free V2.34 to the Google Play Store. Both versions had a problem with Android 4.1 Jellybean. Widgets could not be added to the home screen as the configure activity was launched before the widget could be dropped into place. This was because of changes to the way widget events get fired in Jellybean.