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API for Android RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    I'm looking for an assembly that will let me communicate with an Android phone to be able to send and receive texts. I work for a hospital and we want to send reminders to patients and allow them to cancel appointments in response. I'm aware that there are 3rd party websites that will facilitate this (e.g. twilio, esendex), but I've been asked to look at doing it directly with a phone rather than via a 3rd party, I think to reduce costs long term. I'm working in VB.Net although that shouldn't make a difference.

    Basically, I just want to plug a phone into the USB port and be able to send texts and process received texts.

    Is there such a thing? All my googling seems to come up with Mono and how to write an Android app.

    Any advice gratefully received.

    Mark


    Mark Roworth

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:36 AM

All replies

  • Your requirement is not really clear to me, however based on your last few lines i can see that you are trying to develop an application using .Net that can run on Android.

    You could use Xamarin for this. There is also support in Visual Studio for developing Xamarin application, that can run on Windows, Android as well as iOS. The following are some of the links that can guide you

    https://www.xamarin.com/visual-studio 

    https://www.xamarin.com/getting-started/android 

    Hope if helped.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:31 AM
  • Mark,

    I think you want to be able to send texts from a PC, via an attached Android phone, rather than via a 3<sup>rd</sup> party service, such as Twillio?

    Like everything in this world, you get what you pay for. Depending on your use case, you may be able to find an existing solution that provides the functionality that you require, using your desired method (i.e. via an attached phone), and within your budget.

    From a technical perspective, what to want to do is possible. In fact there are a number of Android apps with PC clients available that will do just what you are asking.  However, if you want to develop your own, I am not aware of an API framework that will, out of the box, allow you to write a .Net and Android app that will communicate with each other and trigger SMS messaging. You would have to do more development and use the various SMS, USB, Bluetooth and/or wifi API’s at a lower level than I think you want to get involved at.

    For existing apps I suggest you do a search on “send text from computer via phone”, it will yield pages which list some free and paid options.

    If you want to develop a custom windows client, that can integrate with other services (such as appointment scheduling systems), and you don’t want the expense of several months of development, I think your best bet will be to go with a paid 3<sup>rd</sup> party service such as Twillio, where that provide the RESTful API’s that will allow you to use the service in any way you want. If you don’t mind a manual process, or one with more data preparation, then apps like MightyText, MySMS, PushBullet, or AirDroid  may do what you want, but beware, pay close attention to their T&C’s and privacy policies as you don’t want them collecting and selling lists of the numbers you are texting.
    • Proposed as answer by Kristin Xie Wednesday, February 22, 2017 2:56 AM
    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 9:54 PM
  • Hi Mark,

    Any updates?

    Has your case been solved? If it has, please help to mark answer. If not,just feel free to contact us. We will be glad to provide a further solution for you.

    Your understanding and cooperation will be grateful.


    Best regards,

    Kristin


    MSDN Community Support
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    • Edited by Kristin Xie Friday, February 24, 2017 2:20 AM
    Friday, February 24, 2017 2:20 AM
  • Actually if you can "root" the Android phone and install ssh/telnet server there, you can use NetworkStream/SSLStream to connect to your phone with root account, then send command like the following directly.

    am start -a android.intent.action.VIEW "sms:numberhere" -e "sms_body" "hello"
    EDIT: Seems use Process.Start() with "adb shell <command>" can do too if you don't want to root it. Make sure you Thread.Sleep() a bit between commands so it won't send command too fast, or adb can choke.

    P.S.: Either way, make sure you properly escaped special characters if you cannot directly control the message content to send, or malicious users may do harm to your phone (say, faking messages, install a logger to steal your patient's phone number, etc.).

    Friday, February 24, 2017 7:18 AM
    Answerer