Marcin Świerczyński's blog

How to add a text message to messages conversation in Android SDK

posted 12 Mar 2016 in Android SDKJavaProgramming

Today I’ve published new version of my Andriod application - AutoRespnder. The main feature in this release was quite simple: show auto-sent messages within standard messages conversation, just as if was send by hand. How to do this in Android SDK?

Because it is a background operation not visible to user, I’ve decided to build a Service to accomplish this task.


    public class SentSmsLogger extends Service {

    	private static final String TELEPHON_NUMBER_FIELD_NAME = "address";
    	private static final String MESSAGE_BODY_FIELD_NAME = "body";
    	private static final Uri SENT_MSGS_CONTET_PROVIDER = Uri.parse("content://sms/sent");

    	public void onStart(Intent intent, int startId) {

    	private void addMessageToSentIfPossible(Intent intent) {
    		if (intent != null) {
    			String telNumber = intent.getStringExtra("telNumber");
    			String messageBody = intent.getStringExtra("messageBody");
    			if (telNumber != null && messageBody != null) {
    				addMessageToSent(telNumber, messageBody);

    	private void addMessageToSent(String telNumber, String messageBody) {
    		ContentValues sentSms = new ContentValues();
    		sentSms.put(TELEPHON_NUMBER_FIELD_NAME, telNumber);
    		sentSms.put(MESSAGE_BODY_FIELD_NAME, messageBody);

    		ContentResolver contentResolver = getContentResolver();
    		contentResolver.insert(SENT_MSGS_CONTET_PROVIDER, sentSms);

    	public IBinder onBind(Intent intent) {
    		return null;


SentSmsLogger expects Intent with receiver number and message body. Then it passes that information to proper ContetProvider.

And this is the clue - it isn’t well documented how to manage ContentProvider associated with messaging module. Google to the rescue ;) I’ve found an information that relevant ContentProvider has URI content://sms/sent. Next step was to find out what are the names of fields that contains data about message body and its receiver. With the help of debugger, I’ve found them - it’s body and address. I’ve put all of this in private constants in the top of class.

That’s all! Now we’ve to use this data in a standard manner. Useful information about that can be found in official documentation.

Important note: due to compatibility issues, I’ve used Android SDK v. 1.5 here.

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