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Recommend good android texting app?

Red Squirrel

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May 24, 2003
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I have Graphene OS and it seems all the texting apps I tried so far have issues. The default one does not support group chats, if you setup a group it just sends individual texts to each person so the replies come individually. I tried one called Simple SMS, but when you get a reply, you don't actually get it, you need to exit the app then go back in to see it. So I tried QKSMS but I keep re-receiving old texts randomly but other than that it does work properly with group chats.

Any other apps to try? I tried the Graphene OS support chat but they were useless just trying to convince me to switch to Signal but I don't really like the idea of using a 3rd party network as everything goes through their network first from what I'm gathering (tried it and it wanted me to make an account) and it's not like I'll get benifits of encryption anyway as all my family/friends use SMS and I won't exactly convince them to all switch to Signal when it's me that's having an issue with my phone not them.

Just looking to fix this weird issue so I stop getting old texts coming back as it's super annoying.

Honestly about ready to just say screw this and go to Apple like everybody else does since it just works. But I already put a bunch of money towards this phone so don't want to buy another. Suppose I could load the regular Google OS back on again but I really want to try to avoid that too if I can. It sucks that it's so hard to have a phone that's not constantly spying on you. It shouldn't be this hard.

Actually I wonder if having multiple SMS apps is part of my issue... I uninstalled Simple SMS and force stopped the stock one (won't let me uninstall). I'll keep it this way and see if the problem persists. I'll find out in a few days if I start getting old texts again. Back on QKSMS as it seems to be the only one that works decently... aside from the issue of getting random old texts back.
 
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GrumpyMan

Diamond Member
May 14, 2001
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I have been using Textra for years and have been happy with it. Not that expensive, I think it was 4 or 5 bucks or something around there back then.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,943
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I have Graphene OS and it seems all the texting apps I tried so far have issues. The default one does not support group chats, if you setup a group it just sends individual texts to each person so the replies come individually.
I think that's because SMS doesn't support group chat? My phone did the same thing when I sent multi-recipient text messages.

The default Android app (Messages) has an opt-in feature called 'chat features' which may do what you want. I haven't enabled it because I want to minimise data going through Google. imessage does the same thing with Apple.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
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Why not host your own Rocket.Chat? Not SMS though.
I want to stick to SMS/MMS (basically any form of carrier based texting) because that's what everyone else uses by default. Not really going to convince my whole family, friends etc to switch to some other thing. Group texting was working fine on my old phone (DTEK50) and it still does with this one with QKSMS, the issue is the app is glitchy and keeps "re-receiving" old texts at random. While some other apps don't seem to support group or have other issues. Like say my mom sent a text a few days ago and we had a conversation, I'll get that text again today. But it's random, sometimes it's a few days later sometimes it's a week later. I'll just get texts from past conversations randomly come in as new texts. Usually when it happens, it replays the entire conversation.

But yeah don't want to switch to a whole other platform because that's just not what most other people use so even if I managed to convince a few people to switch it's not going to be everyone so I'll still need regular texting to work properly either way. Most people just use carrier based texting. Though I think iphones use their own thing and most people do have iphones, but it does fall back to carrier based texting for non iphones. At least I think that's how they work. I sometimes think of just caving and getting an iphone like everybody else but I hate the lack of privacy of mainstream phones which is why I went with this in first place. Ironicly carrier based texting is clear text and in a perfect world everyone would just use signal or something so it would be established, but it's not the case. I'm more concerned about the passive spying that phones do like the OS or apps that listen to your conversations or track everything you do etc. If I send something over the internet then yeah I know someone is probably reading it.
 

Johnny Ringo

Member
Dec 6, 2012
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I want to stick to SMS/MMS (basically any form of carrier based texting) because that's what everyone else uses by default. Not really going to convince my whole family, friends etc to switch to some other thing. Group texting was working fine on my old phone (DTEK50) and it still does with this one with QKSMS, the issue is the app is glitchy and keeps "re-receiving" old texts at random. While some other apps don't seem to support group or have other issues. Like say my mom sent a text a few days ago and we had a conversation, I'll get that text again today. But it's random, sometimes it's a few days later sometimes it's a week later. I'll just get texts from past conversations randomly come in as new texts. Usually when it happens, it replays the entire conversation.

But yeah don't want to switch to a whole other platform because that's just not what most other people use so even if I managed to convince a few people to switch it's not going to be everyone so I'll still need regular texting to work properly either way. Most people just use carrier based texting. Though I think iphones use their own thing and most people do have iphones, but it does fall back to carrier based texting for non iphones. At least I think that's how they work. I sometimes think of just caving and getting an iphone like everybody else but I hate the lack of privacy of mainstream phones which is why I went with this in first place. Ironicly carrier based texting is clear text and in a perfect world everyone would just use signal or something so it would be established, but it's not the case. I'm more concerned about the passive spying that phones do like the OS or apps that listen to your conversations or track everything you do etc. If I send something over the internet then yeah I know someone is probably reading it.
Textra is SMS based. My family all uses Android phones, and works perfectly. In laws all have iPhones, and I get all messages from them without issue. Money well spent to purchase the Textra app.
 
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Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
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Is there a way to buy it without google play? I don't mind spending money just not sure if it's doable on this phone OS. I found an apk but it tries to open with open street maps for some weird reason.
 

Red Squirrel

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May 24, 2003
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Will it work on Pixel 4A 5G or just 4A? The 5G is not listed.

Starting to lean towards just saying screw it, and putting the stock Google OS back on. I just hate all the surveillance crap that's built in though.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
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Just found of LineageOS and was going to come here to ask about it and saw your reply. Is LineageOS itself decent? It does support my device.

I'm also starting to wonder if the texting issue I'm having is somehow hardware related, could that be? I guess trying a new OS will rule that out.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,103
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Giving up and just returning the phone. What a piece of shit. Not letting me reload the OS anymore it keeps failing half way through and saying connection error and crap like that. Tired of dealing with this. Unfortunately I can't seem to find the sim card ejector thing, which I don't get because I remember specifically making sure not to lose it and of course I go and freaking lose it...

I think I'm just going to cave and get an iphone. I hate that they scan all your data though but I hardly ever keep anything on my phone. Other than that I don't think they do as much spying as android does where it's constantly listening to you though, or do they? It's ridiculous there are no factory options for a phone that has no spying crap.

Edit: FML. Option to return is no longer there. I'm stuck with this now. I just don't know what to do anymore. $700 down the drain. This phone is bricked at this point since I was half way through the reload process so it's not usable right now and it won't let me load anything anymore.

Just going to go back to my old phone until I figure out what I want to do. I'll check with local phone repair shops see if they do loading of custom roms and maybe they'll have better tools to do it.
 
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MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
12,651
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There were a couple times I was pretty sure my phone was bricked back when I was installing custom roms on phones. I always got them to come back to life. Check out XDA, more Android nerds there.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,103
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www.uovalor.com
Yeah going to check there see if there's any way to get this going. I still have a few more things I can try. The thing with GrapheneOS is that there is like absolutely nothing online about it, no forum or anything, so it was hard to even find anything at all while trying to troubleshoot. Finding more details on Android itself or Lineage.

I may just cave and stick to stock Android as it will be the most easily supported, but I'll just want to try to figure out how to block all the calling home somehow.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
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Not getting far enough to follow any of that. Basically just stuck in a loop now where it shows the screen warning it's an unlocked bootloader, and then the google logo.

I put it in the freezer in hopes I can speed up the battery depleting and see if it does not do the same when I power it back on.

I'm almost tempted to see if I can RMA it but I imagine they'll know I tampered with it. Custom roms probably void the warranty, if there even is one. I think you're kind of on your own buying online. It's only been a few weeks and it already says I can't return it.

Posted on XDA Forums too to see if I have any other options.
 
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Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,103
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Phone was not in a state where ADB or Flashboot would work. And when I got it in such state I just could not find the proper files to do what I wanted, which was putting android 11 on.

I don't remember what I did since I was trying so much stuff, but I managed to get it into fastboot mode again and flash Android 12 on it. I actually wanted 11 though... lol. But think I might just cut my losses at this point and stick with Android 12. At some point when LineageOS is updated so that it works with 12 then I will re-attempt. Currently it requires 11 to be installed for instructions to work. The issue is the recovery partition part, that part fails and then it ends up bricking the phone. Even now that partition is wonky since if I try to go in that mode which is required for some of the steps, it just says "no command". So it's still not working 100% as it should but at least I have an OS now. I did end up finding the proper files to put 11 but the last step to install it fails.

Code:
# ./fastboot -w update image-bramble-rq3a.211001.001.zip 
--------------------------------------------
Bootloader Version...: b5-0.4-7617461
Baseband Version.....: g7250-00132-210419-B-7294132
Serial Number........: 0B281JECB00126
--------------------------------------------
extracting android-info.txt (0 MB) to RAM...
Checking 'product'                                 OKAY [  0.069s]
Checking 'version-bootloader'                      FAILED

Device version-bootloader is 'b5-0.4-7617461'.
Update requires 'b5-0.3-7241846'.

fastboot: error: requirements not met!
 
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Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,103
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Lol yeah quite the ride... I finally managed to get 11 on the phone now. Turns out locking the bootloader and unlocking it was key to making one of the steps that was failing to now work.

so I got 11 on the phone now which is a prerequisite for LineageOS. not sure why it matters what OS is on there if I'm wiping it anyway... but phones are weird.

Unfortuntaley still getting hung up on the recovery partition step of the LineageOs install, it fails to write to the boot partition, says it's invalid. Tried boot_a. boot__a b etc no go.

Found another set of instructions that talk about installing something called TWRP recovery instead, but I can't seem to find a rom for it for my phone.

I think I need to just cut my losses and stick with regular Android at this point. Maybe at some point a version of Lineage that does not involve doing the whole recovery partition thing will come up. Something that uses the same steps as what I did for Android 12 or 11 would be ideal as I got those steps down path now.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,103
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Ok so managed to get CalyxOS installed. Could not get Lineage because the recovery partition step kept failing on me. Calyx had a different install process that did not involve that and it worked. Now hopefully group texting is going to work properly... that as my main issue with Graphene. Have not switched sims yet think I will do that once I'm done my night shifts.
 
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