Android Sending SMS

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There are following two ways to send SMS using Android device:

  • Using SmsManager to send SMS

  • Using Built-in Intent to send SMS

Using SmsManager to send SMS

The SmsManager manages SMS operations such as sending data to the given mobile device. You can create this object by calling the static method SmsManager.getDefault() as follows:

SmsManager smsManager = SmsManager.getDefault();

Once you have SmsManager object, you can use sendDataMessage() method to send SMS at the specified mobile number as below:

smsManager.sendTextMessage("phoneNo", null, "SMS text", null, null);

Apart from the above method, there are few other important functions available in SmsManager class. These methods are listed below:

S.N.Method & Description
1ArrayList<String> divideMessage(String text)
This method divides a message text into several fragments, none bigger than the maximum SMS message size.
2static SmsManager getDefault()
This method is used to get the default instance of the SmsManager
3void sendDataMessage(String destinationAddress, String scAddress, short destinationPort, byte[] data, PendingIntent sentIntent, PendingIntent deliveryIntent)
This method is used to send a data based SMS to a specific application port.
4void sendMultipartTextMessage(String destinationAddress, String scAddress, ArrayList<String> parts, ArrayList<PendingIntent> sentIntents, ArrayList<PendingIntent> deliveryIntents)
Send a multi-part text based SMS.
5void sendTextMessage(String destinationAddress, String scAddress, String text, PendingIntent sentIntent, PendingIntent deliveryIntent)
Send a text based SMS.

Example

Following example shows you in practical how to use SmsManager object to send an SMS to the given mobile number.

To experiment with this example, you will need actual Mobile device equipped with latest Android OS, otherwise you will have to struggle with emulator which may not work.
StepDescription
1You will use Eclipse IDE to create an Android application and name it as SendSMSDemo under a package com.example.sendsmsdemo. While creating this project, make sure you Target SDK and Compile With at the latest version of Android SDK to use higher levels of APIs.
2Modify src/MainActivity.java file and add required code to take care of sending email.
3Modify layout XML file res/layout/activity_main.xml add any GUI component if required. I'm adding a simple GUI to take mobile number and SMS text to be sent and a simple button to send SMS.
4Modify res/values/strings.xml to define required constant values
5Modify AndroidManifest.xml as shown below
6Run the application to launch Android emulator and verify the result of the changes done in the aplication.

Following is the content of the modified main activity file src/com.example.sendsmsdemo/MainActivity.java.

package com.example.sendsmsdemo;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.app.Activity;
import android.telephony.SmsManager;
import android.util.Log;
import android.view.Menu;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.EditText;
import android.widget.Toast;

public class MainActivity extends Activity {

   Button sendBtn;
   EditText txtphoneNo;
   EditText txtMessage;

   @Override
   protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
      super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
      setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

      sendBtn = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btnSendSMS);
      txtphoneNo = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.editTextPhoneNo);
      txtMessage = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.editTextSMS);

      sendBtn.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
         public void onClick(View view) {
            sendSMSMessage();
         }
      });

   }
   protected void sendSMSMessage() {
      Log.i("Send SMS", "");

      String phoneNo = txtphoneNo.getText().toString();
      String message = txtMessage.getText().toString();

      try {
         SmsManager smsManager = SmsManager.getDefault();
         smsManager.sendTextMessage(phoneNo, null, message, null, null);
         Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(), "SMS sent.",
         Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
      } catch (Exception e) {
         Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(),
         "SMS faild, please try again.",
         Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
         e.printStackTrace();
      }
   }
   @Override
   public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
      // Inflate the menu; this adds items to the action bar if it is present.
      getMenuInflater().inflate(R.menu.main, menu);
      return true;
   }
}

Following will be the content of res/layout/activity_main.xml file:

<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
android:layout_width="fill_parent"
android:layout_height="fill_parent"
android:orientation="vertical" >

   <TextView
   android:id="@+id/textViewPhoneNo"
   android:layout_width="wrap_content"
   android:layout_height="wrap_content"
   android:text="@string/phone_label" />

   <EditText
   android:id="@+id/editTextPhoneNo"
   android:layout_width="fill_parent"
   android:layout_height="wrap_content"
   android:inputType="phone"/>

   <TextView
   android:id="@+id/textViewMessage"
   android:layout_width="wrap_content"
   android:layout_height="wrap_content"
   android:text="@string/sms_label" />

   <EditText
   android:id="@+id/editTextSMS"
   android:layout_width="fill_parent"
   android:layout_height="wrap_content"
   android:inputType="textMultiLine"/>

   <Button android:id="@+id/btnSendSMS"
   android:layout_width="fill_parent"
   android:layout_height="wrap_content"
   android:text="@string/send_sms_label"/>

</LinearLayout>

Following will be the content of res/values/strings.xml to define two new constants:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>

    <string name="app_name">SendSMSDemo</string>
    <string name="action_settings">Settings</string>
    <string name="hello_world">Hello world!</string>
    <string name="phone_label">Enter Phone Number:</string>
    <string name="sms_label">Enter SMS Message:</string>
    <string name="send_sms_label">Send SMS</string>
    
</resources>

Following is the default content of AndroidManifest.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="com.example.sendsmsdemo"
    android:versionCode="1"
    android:versionName="1.0" >

    <uses-sdk
        android:minSdkVersion="8"
        android:targetSdkVersion="17" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.SEND_SMS" />

    <application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@drawable/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:theme="@style/AppTheme" >
        <activity
            android:name="com.example.sendsmsdemo.MainActivity"
            android:label="@string/app_name" >
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>
    </application>

</manifest>

Let's try to run your SendSMSDemo application. I assume you have connected your actual Android Mobile device with your computer. To run the app from Eclipse, open one of your project's activity files and click Run Eclipse Run Icon icon from the toolbar. Before starting your application, Eclipse will display following window to select an option where you want to run your Android application.

Android Mobile Device

Select your mobile device as an option and then check your mobile device which will display following screen:

Android Mobile SMS Compose

Now you can enter a desired mobile number and a text message to be sent on that number. Finally click on Send SMS button to send your SMS. Make sure your GSM connection is working fine to deliver your SMS to its recipient.

You can take a number of SMS separated by comma and then inside your program you will have to parse them into an array string and finally you can use a loop to send message to all the given numbers. That's how you can write your own SMS client. Next section will show you how to use existing SMS client to send SMS.

Using Built-in Intent to send SMS

You can use Android Intent to send SMS by calling built-in SMS functionality of the Android. Following section explains different parts of our Intent object required to send an SMS.

Intent Object - Action to send SMS

You will use ACTION_VIEW action to launch an SMS client installed on your Android device. Following is simple syntax to create an intent with ACTION_VIEW action

Intent smsIntent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);

Intent Object - Data/Type to send SMS

To send an SMS you need to specify smsto: as URI using setData() method and data type will be to vnd.android-dir/mms-sms using setType() method as follows:

smsIntent.setData(Uri.parse("smsto:"));
smsIntent.setType("vnd.android-dir/mms-sms");

Intent Object - Extra to send SMS

Android has built-in support to add phone number and text message to send an SMS as follows:

smsIntent.putExtra("address"  , new String("0123456789;3393993300"));
smsIntent.putExtra("sms_body"  , "Test SMS to Angilla");
Here address and sms_body are case sensitive and should be specified in small characters only. You can specify more than one number in single string but separated by semi-colon (;).

Example

Following example shows you in practical how to use Intent object to launch SMS client to send an SMS to the given recipients.

To experiment with this example, you will need actual Mobile device equipped with latest Android OS, otherwise you will have to struggle with emulator which may not work.
StepDescription
1You will use Eclipse IDE to create an Android application and name it as SendSMSDemo under a package com.example.sendsmsdemo. While creating this project, make sure you Target SDK and Compile With at the latest version of Android SDK to use higher levels of APIs.
2Modify src/MainActivity.java file and add required code to take care of sending SMS.
3Modify layout XML file res/layout/activity_main.xml add any GUI component if required. I'm adding a simple button to launch SMS Client.
4Modify res/values/strings.xml to define required constant values
5Modify AndroidManifest.xml as shown below
6Run the application to launch Android emulator and verify the result of the changes done in the aplication.

Following is the content of the modified main activity file src/com.example.sendsmsdemo/MainActivity.java.

package com.example.sendsmsdemo;

import android.net.Uri;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.util.Log;
import android.view.Menu;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.Toast;

public class MainActivity extends Activity {

   @Override
   protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
      super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
      setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

      Button startBtn = (Button) findViewById(R.id.sendSMS);
      startBtn.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
         public void onClick(View view) {
         sendSMS();
      }
   });

   }
   protected void sendSMS() {
      Log.i("Send SMS", "");

      Intent smsIntent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);
      smsIntent.setData(Uri.parse("smsto:"));
      smsIntent.setType("vnd.android-dir/mms-sms");

      smsIntent.putExtra("address"  , new String ("0123456789"));
      smsIntent.putExtra("sms_body"  , "Test SMS to Angilla");
      try {
         startActivity(smsIntent);
         finish();
         Log.i("Finished sending SMS...", "");
      } catch (android.content.ActivityNotFoundException ex) {
         Toast.makeText(MainActivity.this, 
         "SMS faild, please try again later.", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
      }
   }
   @Override
   public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
      // Inflate the menu; this adds items to the action bar if it is present.
      getMenuInflater().inflate(R.menu.main, menu);
      return true;
   }
}

Following will be the content of res/layout/activity_main.xml file:

<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
   android:layout_width="fill_parent"
   android:layout_height="fill_parent"
   android:orientation="vertical" >

   <Button android:id="@+id/sendSMS"
   android:layout_width="fill_parent"
   android:layout_height="wrap_content"
   android:text="@string/compose_sms"/>
    
</LinearLayout>

Following will be the content of res/values/strings.xml to define two new constants:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>

    <string name="app_name">SendSMSDemo</string>
    <string name="hello_world">Hello world!</string>
    <string name="action_settings">Settings</string>
    <string name="compose_sms">Compose SMS</string>

</resources>

Following is the default content of AndroidManifest.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="com.example.sendsmsdemo"
    android:versionCode="1"
    android:versionName="1.0" >

    <uses-sdk
        android:minSdkVersion="8"
        android:targetSdkVersion="17" />

    <application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@drawable/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:theme="@style/AppTheme" >
        <activity
            android:name="com.example.sendsmsdemo.MainActivity"
            android:label="@string/app_name" >
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>
    </application>
</manifest>

Let's try to run your SendSMSDemo application. I assume you have connected your actual Android Mobile device with your computer. To run the app from Eclipse, open one of your project's activity files and click Run Eclipse Run Icon icon from the toolbar. Before starting your application, Eclipse will display following window to select an option where you want to run your Android application.

Android Mobile Device

Select your mobile device as an option and then check your mobile device which will display following screen:

Android Mobile SMS Compose

Now use Compose SMS button to launch Android built-in SMS clients which is shown below:

Android Mobile SMS Screen

You can modify either of the given default fields and finally use send SMS button (marked with red rectangle) to send your SMS to the mentioned recipient.



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