Messaging apps

You can use any one of many messaging apps on an Android phone. Sometimes these alternative apps store messages in a way that is not compatible with the ordinary messaging app, so Text Collector is unable to retrieve messages for printing.

If you’re using WhatsApp, you probably know you’re using it, as opposed to ordinary text messages. WhatsApp messages and the like will not appear in Text Collector collections.

Unfortunately, the reasons aren’t always quite so obvious: cell carriers like to provide their own messaging applications with different features. These are usually branded “Advanced,” “Chat,” “Messages+,” or “RCS.”

Summary of known problems

If you notice that messages appear to be missing, or any other problem with your collection, please write to

AT&T Messages Backup & Sync

AT&T Messages is AT&T’s message synchronization service, as well as an AT&T-specific app. On a phone, the app has a bluish cloudy background by default:

AT&T Messages app screenshot

Messages sent to and from the phone appear in Text Collector collections. Messages sent by the webapp or tablet appear in the app, but not in Text Collector.

Since messages are synchronized with its Web interface, you may be able to print them from an ordinary browser, but AT&T Backup & Sync is limited to storing 90 days or 1000 messages, whichever comes first.

On newer Samsung and LG phones, AT&T Backup & Sync is integrated into the stock Android messaging app and may be turned on from the app settings.

AT&T Advanced Messaging

AT&T Advanced Messaging is, in some ways, the successor to AT&T Messages (Backup & Sync). It comes as a default feature on newer Samsung and LG phones. Unlike its predecessor, Advanced Messaging is not a separate app; it is a feature built into a customized version of the stock Android Messaging application. Advanced Messaging may be turned off or on in the messaging app settings.

The LG and Samsung implementations can also synchronize with messages stored by AT&T Backup & Sync.

On recent Samsung phones, Text Collector includes most AT&T Advanced Messaging successfully, but there are known problems:

  • Some messages that appear once in the messaging app may appear twice in the collection
  • Some messages you received can appear to be sent by you

If your incoming messages appear to be outgoing, please write, you may be able to help solve the problem.

Starting with Text Collector version 1.2, Text Collector can collect AT&T Advanced Messaging on LG phones. This is currently experimental, please report any problems to

Metro PCS & T-Mobile Advanced Messaging

Metro PCS and T-Mobile use the same network and the same Advanced Messaging system.

On Samsung phones, T-Mobile and Metro PCS Advanced Messaging should appear in Text Collector collections.

It is possible, but not confirmed, that some problems affecting the AT&T-Samsung implementation may also affect T-Mobile. It has also been reported that some picture messages may be missing.

Starting with Text Collector version 1.2, Text Collector can collect Metro PCS and T-Mobile Advanced Messaging on LG phones. This is currently experimental, please report any problems to

LG phones can share location via that appears as a map in the messaging app. Text Collector currently does not render the map of these location messages, but the underlying location data will be saved as an attachment.

On other brands of phones, messages may be missing if they are sent and received from customers also using T-Mobile/Metro PCS Advanced Messaging. This is known to happen on Alcatel phones.

If the other person on the conversation uses a Samsung or LG phone, it should be possible to collect messages by installing Text Collector on the other person’s phone. Otherwise, it may be necessary to take screenshots.

Samsung (all carriers)

Some Samsung customizations are not specific to any particular carrier’s “Advanced” messaging and affect all types of messages on all carriers, when using Samsung phones:

  • On recent Samsung phones, draft messages do not appear in the collection
  • Spam messages do not appear

Verizon Messages+

Verizon sets up its phones with its own Messages+ app as the default app for texting. Messages+ looks a bit more red than the stock messaging app:

Verizon Messages+ app screenshot

Text Collector can print most messages that appear in the Verizon Messages app, but sometimes messages can be omitted. The reasons for this are a matter of continuing investigation.

If you find messages are missing, some workarounds have been successful in some cases:

  • Print messages from the Verizon Web interface. When viewing a thread, the “print” button can be found in the toolbar.
  • Use the built-in backup option. This may be found by long-pressing a conversation when in the messaging app. It includes all messages, but the output format is not user-friendly.
  • Reset the Messages+ app customizations. This option is available in the top-right (three-dot) menu from the Messages+ app, under “customize.” Then make a new collection with Text Collector.

If you have information on this problem, please contact

Xiaomi (all carriers)

On Xiaomi phones, selected contacts may be “blocked.” Messages from blocked contacts generally don’t appear in Text Collector collections. To ensure that all messages appear, unblock numbers from the Contacts app.