Google admits Android is misdirecting texts
Google admitted this week that an issue with how the Android OS handles contacts and text messaging is causing phones to sometimes randomly send or misdirect SMS messages to the wrong users. The issue was first reported in late June of last year, but was not confirmed as a legitimate bug until now.
Engineers have been able to recreate the issue, and now say that they believe the problems stem from two different issues with the Android OS. That said, the company stressed occurrences of the bug are rare, and a fix for the problem has been developed and would be released soon.
According to bug reports in a thread on the Google Code website, in one case an SMS message appears as sent to the correct user. Instead, the OS sends it to another user in the phone user’s contact list. Viewing the message details will then show the phone number of the incorrect recipient in the “To:” field.
Yet another problem appears to be one where the phone itself sends texts stored in memory randomly, sometimes months after the original message had been sent. That bug, however, seems to be quite rare.
Despite a good deal of arguing between participants of the Google Code thread, the company now itself has confirmed the issue. The first issue seems to deal with how the user interface loads: this is causing the wrong message thread to load in some cases.
“We’ve found in testing this issue, it is more likely to occur if you tap on a message before the Messaging app is fully loaded, so we recommend waiting for all the elements to load before clicking on the message you want to display,” a Google representative wrote.
Google was very vague on the issue of misdirected texts, only offering that it had a fix on the way for the issue in a future update. As to its cause outside of the previous UI loading problems, that is unknown.
“While we don’t anticipate any persistent problems, we’ll continue to investigate in case we come up with additional ways to trigger these bugs,” the company said.