Android SMS Alert - this app will be impacted by a policy change

I use import { SMS } from ‘expo’; to offer my app user the ability to send an SMS. I do not access or read existing SMSs.

In Google Play console I see this warning:

## Alert - this app will be impacted by a policy change

This app will be impacted by a change in the Google Play policy governing the use of SMS and CALL_LOG permissions. Apps that are not compliant may be removed from Google Play on Jan 9th, 2019.

And the link leads here:

Is it possible that Expo needs to update a part of its SDK so that Google Play doesn’t see using SMS as a tool that reads existing SMSs?

Thanks very much.

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FWIW, I received this reply from Google:

We reviewed your request and found that your app does not qualify for use of the requested permissions for the following reasons:

  • The declared feature {Default SMS is allowed; however we determined it to be unnecessary for the core functionality of your app.
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To my knowledge (which really was just scanning Google’s own policy change document the other day), Google’s new policy is that if all you do is want to allow the user to send an SMS then you shouldn’t request SMS permissions but instead use an intent to allow the users to send an SMS the way they normally would on their phone.

The SMS management permissions are now reserved for apps whose primary functionality revolves around SMS (e.g. a new messaging app, or a backup app that needs to read SMSes, etc.) and shouldn’t just be used by any old app just because you want to send an SMS (or silently receive one in the case of a 2FA style dealio).

Exactly. Well explained, thanks. This philosophy is now implemented in the recently released Expo 32.

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