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 systems with different features. These are usually branded “Advanced,” “Chat,” “Messages+,” or “RCS.” Typically, the phone manufacturers build the support for carrier-specific messaging into the stock messaging app. Usually, you can tell that your phone and carrier has one of these when you see indicators like “so-and-so is typing” while somebody on the other end writes a message.

Summary of known problems

If you notice messages missing, or any other problem with your collection, please write to help@legaltextcollector.com.

On some phones, spam messages will not be collected.

Samsung

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

On AT&T and T-Mobile (including Metro PCS), Samsung phones use the carrier’s “Advanced” messaging. Text Collector can usually collect these messages, but there are occasional problems that can affect messages with other customers on the same carrier:

  • Some messages that appear once in the messaging app may appear twice in the collection
  • Some pictures might not appear

Also, Text Collector might encounter some messages with status codes it doesn’t recognize: it will label them [Unknown message status]. If you see this, please write to help@legaltextcollector.com.

LG

On AT&T and T-Mobile (including Metro PCS), LG phones use the carrier’s “Advanced” messaging. Starting with version 1.2, Text Collector can usually collect these messages, but there are occasional problems that can affect messages with other customers on the same carrier:

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

If Text Collector finds messages with status codes it doesn’t recognize, it will abort the collection. If your collection fails, please write to help@legaltextcollector.com.

Motorola

On T-Mobile (including Metro PCS), Motorola phones use the carrier’s “Advanced” messaging. Motorola phones store these messages in the same way as ordinary text messages, so they cause no known problems.

Alcatel and other TCL brands

On T-Mobile (including Metro PCS), Alcatel phones use the carrier’s “Advanced” messaging. Starting with version 1.4, Text Collector can collect these messages. This might be the same on other carriers, but has not been tested.

Alcatel phones are made by the TCL Corporation, which also owns BlackBerry and makes the T-Mobile branded Revvl. The Revvl uses the same Advanced Messaging system as Alcatel phones, so it is supported by Text Collector. Advanced Messaging support on Blackbery has not been tested.

HTC

On T-Mobile (including Metro PCS), HTC phones use the carrier’s “Advanced” messaging. Text Collector currently cannot collect these messages, so messages with other T-Mobile customers can be missing from the collection. This might also affect other carriers.

Huawei

On AT&T, when using Huawei phones, Text Collector cannot collected “Advanced” messages. This might affect other carriers as well.

Verizon Messages+

Verizon sets up its phones with its own Messages+ app as the default app for texting and Text Collector shows a warning when it detects that Verizon Messages+ was in use.

Verizon Messages+ Warning from Text Collector
Verizon Messages+ app screenshot Verizone Messages+ detected! warning

Using Text Collector with Verizon Messages+ is not recommended: even though Text Collector can access most messages, there are some it cannot. Plus, Text Collector sometimes will find the wrong recipients for messages it can access.

Collections might still be fine, but should be carefully compared to the originals in the messaging app for accuracy. A better option is to use one of these alternatives instead:

Finally, screenshots are always an option.