How can we improve the Windows platform?

SMS Access API

Please, provide a way to backup the texts.
Or, at least, provide a API access to the texts to allow developers to implement an application for SMS backing up.

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    Marco MuraMarco Mura shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Henry BoehlertHenry Boehlert shared a merged idea: SMS Access API  ·   · 
    AnonymousAnonymous shared a merged idea: open sms up to create, read, or delete sms.  ·   · 

    Currently, the platform provides a number of SMS Access from a system eventing perspective (as of Windows Phone 8.1), and Windows Phone supports sms backup/restore for consumers as part of the base OS (Settings → Backup). What we don’t provide is a backup API.

    Using SMS events: Check out the Build 2014 session ( or MSDN docs on background tasks (

    Although the capabilities are there from a consumer perspective (the core ask for the suggestion), I’m marking this as ‘Under Review’ for the API perspective. The team is aware of the ask and it is something that is being considered.


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      • RaviRavi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have app ideas that analyze SMS and display some useful info for the user. That would need atleast a readonly access to the text messages. This is too basic a API for any phone.

      • John MorrisJohn Morris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Cliff - this needs to be fixed. Why the inexplicable resistance to simply providing an API to allow developers to create a phone app that can back SMS messages up to another location and from there sort them, extract pictures that were attached (MMS messages), search them, etc. Other phones do this and the lack of this capability is angering users and developers alike. Not sure why MSFT is refusing to provide this capability.

      • Brad JonesBrad Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Simply put -- I want access the SMS data on my phone in a way that allows me to copy and manipulate that data programmatically. My current specific need is to copy a thread with its date/time stamps into a document. There's no way to do that programmatically or without simply typing dates and times on a message by message basis.

        Alternatively, give me access to the hidden data stored on my OneDrive in the backup files.

      • Long VoLong Vo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is necessary to have SMS Access APIs to implement a 3rd party App to receive, handle, reply SMS that comes into a WP device. I ever heard that there will be, but now I have nothing. Please provide it ASAP for a higher user experience.

      • AshishAshish commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Any updates on this??? Still no api provided to access the sms thread in Windows Phone?

      • Anders HyldahlAnders Hyldahl commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Basically we just need an API to be able to access the SMS container/store/database. Such an API can then be used to implement different backup, export and extract features. We just need the API

      • sherrysherry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I believe currently there is no way to compose sms with a picture basically an mms from backend code. SMSComposeTask is there but to my knowledge that is only text based. A simple scenario as an example is : i select a photo and it automatically launches messaging with a new message and has that photo in it.

        Forgive me if I am unaware of this functionality already there.


      • StevieBallzStevieBallz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Perhaps better than saying Backup (which it does with OneDrive) we should rather ask for an Export-Functionality (CSV-file or similar). Aside from that access via an API would really be a helpful addition. It might be worth considering a separate OS Popup asking you if you want to allow such access when it's done first (and allowing Apps to do this in the future, similar to the implementation of trusted NFC-Apps in 8.1).

      • Jordan MillsJordan Mills commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Seriously, it's been three years. All we have is marketing speak telling us that something tangentially related is a solution. Can we get a real answer one of these days?

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I strongly disagree that the "core ask" has been fulfilled and it is only the API side that remains. Being able to migrate content to a new phone is NOT backup. Backup is where I can move it off the phone to somewhere safe. Safe from accidental deletions (I've almost done that twice now - it's easily done and it would be a disaster).

        I wonder if perhaps some of the team there simply do not understand how many people use their phone because they themselves don't use it that way. For many of us, the txt history is vital. We HAVE to be able to export it. I have a Windows 7.8 phone which I have had to keep and look after for two years now because I have no way of backing up the many txts that are on it.

        I **ONLY** bought a WP8 device because I checked in advance and it said that backing up SMS messages had been added. I was misled. It is absolutely clear to me that the team do not understand what "backing up" means to most people. I have to have that data and it has to be safe against accidental deletions. That means periodic backups to a file system under my control.

        PLEASE rescind this idea that the phone currently provides backup of SMS. IT DOES NOT.

      • lnerelnere commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ludicrous state of affairs. All people want is the ability to read and write SMS messages. The nonsense of only device to device backup is incredible but what I've come to expect of the windows phone team. Windows phone lags in the market place because developers are hamstrug with crazy decisions like this.

      • GoyakGoyak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just crazy. I feel like I went backwards when when I got my WP. I loved the phone. Couldn't believe when I discovered had no txt b/u like my other very old ones had. Give away 70% of the things it can do for that one thing. Let's face it, the bulk ain't exclusive, could've got all the rest in any phone.
        These days messaging as important as any correspondence.
        For pity's sake. They are used in court as evidence. My mothers death was texted by my sister. The confirmation of the loss of 370 was sent to passengers' families by text. Huge stuff.
        How would you guys feel if we said that when you move house, you must tear up your business contracts, throw your your first love letters in the garbage, and burn your children's birthday cards to you. And the rest. Forget the important day to day correspondence with lifelong loved ones and friends.
        Years down the track and and it is being 'considered'????
        Also crazy that an average consumer like me is mucking around and risking permanent damage with root kits to try to access whatever is currently out there - put together by talented yet hamstrung developers who are willing to give their time and expertise for nothing.
        And yet I paid MS. I also pay for an extra sim to keep my old phone alive and ask that texts are sent there so they won't be lost for all eternity. An expensive, clumsy exercise that is irritating to me and my correspondents - and one that just should not be necessary at this stage of the game.
        Wake up. Please.

      • pjeneipjenei commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You must be kidding! It's ridiculous that Windows 8 (!) has an SMS API (Windows.Devices.Sms namespace) for years now and you are still considering to create the same API for the phone.
        I'm a .NET developer but would never recommend anyone using a Windows Phone who has anything to migrate from another phone - in other words, who is over 8-10 years, depending on her parents.

      • Caleb KingCaleb King commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This suggestion blows my mind. In the three years since I suggested it, I have bought three windows phones. Nokia, which had the feature on a phone which gave me the idea before I switched to WP7 has come into the Microsoft fold. I have been so hopeful. My skills as a developer have grown by leaps and bounds. I have written data APIs from scratch that currently do awesome things. Live Drive, Sky Drive, and now OneDrive have come into being. It should make things so simple at this point. The new reality is that one shouldn't even need to send this data to the file system for access through USB, as I originally wanted. I foresee a time when the project manager makes a recommendation to export the messaging data to OneDrive. Either all or on a per-recipient basis. Would that satisfy the original request? A resounding, "Yes."

      • mdgrkbmdgrkb commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I need this functionality added to Windows Phone 7.8 too, not just later versions.

      • DarrellDarrell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Cliff there is 1000's of applications in the Android market that use sms triggers and also compose and send sms. Its a limitation to developers not to have this same ability on wp8.
        We can't create the same useful services, so people that want those apps can't buy a windows phone.

      • MarkMark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Backup was a large step forwards however my requirement is still to
        a) archive my messages to files on my PC for access / later retrieval.
        b) ideally implement a PC client to read and reply to messages from my PC as I could with Nokia PC Suite (via Bluetooth / usb). Like others I'll write the app myself if the API it there!

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