How can we improve the Windows platform?

SMS Access API

Please provide an API that provides access to the texts to allow developers to implement an application to enable scenarios such as reading or archiving SMS messages.

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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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      • Mike CriderMike Crider commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So I purchased a Windows 8 phone with the intention of writing apps for personal use, and for the app store. I currently have need for an app that can parse data in, as well as send and receive SMS. I bought the Windows phone specifically because I thought it would be easier to develop this style of app for my enterprise on windows .... not to mention compliance related tools that need to be developed around SMS.

        I am completely astonished that this capability is not available in Windows 8 phones. We have a good number of skilled C# developers that I would like to leverage in building apps for Windows phone, but when the most basic of features is not available for them to develop on, it leaves me scratching my head as to why even bother developing on Windows. If I have to train my developers up on Java, I might as well leverage that investment.

        I know that this issue alone will cause me to put my windows phone in a drawer, and not allow any additional Windows phone to be purchased in the organization. I am very disappointed. I was really wanting to push towards MS phones, but I can see why the app store is so light on apps.

      • aloahaaloaha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We had a very successful Windows Mobile (CE 5 & 6) SMS Application. Customers are asking us if we ever plan to port it to Windows.

        Unfortunately we have to tell them that MS does not allow us and they are better off with buying an Android device.

        SMS is less dead (banking, eHealth, etc.) then many people and MS think.

        I just do not understand why MS ignores that market.

      • aloahaaloaha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        On Windows Mobile (CE 5 and 6) we had developed a very successful SMS Application.

        Customers are asking us to port it to Windows Phone.

        Currently all we can tell our customer is that MS is NOT allowing us and that they are better off with Android.

        I just cannot understand this!

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If you can not give API access to SMS, why don't you (MS) create an app that can backup (for unfortunate event of data loss), Archive (for compliance), Export (to switch to other mobile OS) and Restore (to switch from other mobile OS) SMS. -- Offline (not to cloud).
        As a matter of fact, i would prefer if MS built this app then let 1000s of apps sniff my SMS.
        If you can not build such a simple app that means you don't have any resources allocated to this team and I suspect MS is discontinuing windows phone OS from its product range.

      • asdasd commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        With these API situation will become weird like on android now - most of googleplay's apps require sms-access even games and apps not related to sms management, making using these apps risky.

      • Andrey KalinovskiyAndrey Kalinovskiy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It's really necessary to have opportunity to read SMS messages by application code. For example, to parse SMS alerts from banks about money transfers in home finance application.

      • MKMK commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Cliff Simpkins wrote: "Although the capabilities are there from a consumer perspective..."

        No, from a consumer perspective, the capabilities are not there. You cannot transfer your messages to a computer or save them to a disk. All you can do is transfer them back to a phone. If that wasn't bad enough, if you delete some text from the phone, they are also deleted from the cloud. In a typical situation, if they accidentally got deleted, the so-called "backup" won't help to restore.

        If we need to look through old messages, we are supposed to scroll back and forth on the phone for the thousands of them.

        If we wanted to archive the previous years' SMS and only have the recent ones on the phone, what "capabilities are there" to do it?

        This nonsense turns an otherwise good phone into a joke.

        If you like your SMS, you can keep your SMS. Period.

      • DvaidDvaid commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I wanted to backup SMS from my Windows phone to my computer. I have been on various threads and that date back years wanting this functionality and it is still not possible to do so. It is obvious that Windows has no intention of providing this. Every response from MS is just a run around that avoids what its users are asking for. There is only one option for me left - to go back to using Android ASAP and never to return (this was my first Windows phone experience), the less messages lost to a Windows phone the better. How can MS expect to be a serious contender in the phone market if it still can not provide basic SMS archiving/transfer functionality.

      • CliveClive commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Without the ability for an MDM solution to backup/archive SMS messages, we will be forced to stick with BES and BB 10 devices. So please count this as 450 votes.

      • Bryon GreeneBryon Greene commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This should be a no brainer and should not require 10,000 votes from people before implementing this API. Users need to be able to search and organize their own SMS messages like Android and iPhone and developers can make great applications to help. I know people who went back to iPhone and Android due to the lack of this feature alone therefore WP8 sales are negatively impacted. The users assume everything else on WP8 is impotent like SMS search is.

      • DarrellDarrell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Cliff its been since 29 Dec 2011 that Microsoft understood that "SMS Access is of vital importance'. Marked 'Under Review' 5 Dec 2012, then under review again 15 April 2014.
        Over nine thousand votes to get API access to text message and the events.

        The only issue is apps being built that may using the api in a method that the users does not know. The testing phase and the rating system will help prevent this minority of unwanted apps.

        The business requirement and apps that can be created would increase app sales and phone sales with a more positive benefit than the minor risk.

        So can we urge Microsft to release ability for developers to access the SMS history and events.
        Or at least grant special access and deployment ability to those that willing to present code or details of how they are using the api.

      • William DibbernWilliam Dibbern commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please reconsider this item. This could have some very cool applications in the real world, beyond backing up messages. I know other phone operating systems might not let you, but help us innovate Microsoft! Or at least help us to understand the risks/problems so we can learn.

        Either that, or let us access the files in the backups :)

        Please and thank you.

      • MustBeMeMustBeMe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Two dishonest points in admin response 1) This suggestion is not just about a "backup API" it is about access to read/manipulate SMS messages. 2) This suggestion is not about capabilities from the customer perspective, it clearly states about API access for dev to make app for customers. Why lies Microsoft?

      • MarkMark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The person who decided to make WM8 a one way street and requiring expert or developer ability to migrate back out needs to be sacked. That is the single most stupid decision that was made. End users want the facility to migrate from one platform from another with ease. For instance they want to transfer data, including SMS messages for a multitude of reasons including legal, in a simple fashion. The convoluted way to transfer a thread and print it is beyond the vast majority of users.

        When I got my win 8 phone I was taken with it and liked the long battery life and simplicity of use but was a little disappointed with the lack of apps and stability of some. So I was pretty happy until I had a legal issue that required extraction of SMS messages. So after weeks of research I found that I had to enable backup and back door access through Problem is that it only backs up messages from that date not prior. SO what am I doing.

        First I need to hand over the phone to a solicitor who will type up the thread and pay through the nose to do so.

        Secondly I am switching to an android phone and when the case is over I will be taking a very heavy hammer to my windows phone.

        That's what happens when you make a phone a one way street, it ends up in a dead end and in my phones case under a lump hammer

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Incomprehensible and disgraceful state of affairs. Do we have to beg feature by feature for the graciousness of Microsoft to 'allow' developers to DEVELOP - even for functionality as core and universal as this? I wonder what Microsoft's ulterior motive is in behaving this way. They can't be as daft as it appears. Can they?

        Bad karma, folks. You'll pay the price.

      • Matthew BurnsMatthew Burns commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        One of the few things left that is stopping me from making the jump from Android to Windows Phone. I would really like to write an application to backup/archive my text messages.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You can at least open access to Windows Phone backups on OneDrive! Why don't you do that?! Unless that you are not sure about security of your OneDrive!!!

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