Android SMS BUG Sending Your Texts to Unintended Contacts?

January 4, 2011 - Written By Chris Yackulic

First it was the iPhone 4’s antenna problem, now it appears Google’s Android OS has a bug that sends some text messages to the wrong contact. If you send an SMS to one contact, it appears this bug will send it to a completely different contact. Hmm…this sounds like it could get some people in a heap of trouble!

Apparently this bug was brought to light six months ago, and Google marked the SMS problem as ‘medium’. Dozens of articles on this issue finally prompted Google to take it more seriously, and escalate it to ‘critical’. Google, this is a serious bug, sending a SMS to the wrong person without realizing it. This issue really started to sizzle once the bug was Slashdotted. Comments swelled over this concern even from folks not affected, because of how widely publicized it has become. Just taking a peek at all the comments on the Google Code Page clearly shows how worrisome this is.

Here’s a text image when the bug was marked ‘medium’ instead of ‘critical’:

    Dec 26, 2009
    Issue 5669: Droid deleting all Messaging/SMS conversation threads at random or triple sending ‹ Prev 26 of 9049 Next ›
    690 people starred this issue.
    Comments: 716

Handcent, or other third-party application

There have been several rumors containing very inconsistent information. One group says that switching to Handcent or Chomp SMS solves the problem, while another group said it fixed their problem at first, but it sooner or later started once again. The rest simply say using third party apps make no difference at all.

Discouraged? I’m sure you are! It has been very difficult to reproduce this SMS problem, could it simply be user error? If using third party apps solved your issue…fantastic, but don’t get too upset when it reappears.

Bug reports

If you have been successful in making this bug arise, then please help by reporting it to the Google Code Page.

Due to the expanse of time this bug has persisted, I can only assume that Google at first thought it was user error, but now has realized it must be a real issue. As Google has to read all posts, please leave constructive information, and not just random chatter.

Google is aware of this issue and has been trying hard to solve it.

In the meantime, be selective with your texts, and a simple apology will have to do should your SMS go to an unintended recipient.

Update: Android Community now asks if this bug is related to a much older MMS bug, where SMSs from Bank of America, LinkedIn or T-Mobile corrupt Android’s SQLite database.  Using a third-party SMS application did not make the bug go away, either.

Via: androidcentral, VDNet