Google app bug shows your SMS history, Internet goes crazy


Developers, especially game developers, are known for hiding unrelated, surprising, and often useless features or pieces of code known as “Easter Eggs”. This recently discovered behavior on the Google search app almost looks like one except for one critical difference: it actually gives anyone who has physical access to your unlocked Android phone read your text messages. It is more likely to be a bug and it’s sending Android users into a frenzy. That said, “fixing” it is easy but does come with a drawback.

Redditor Krizastro reported an odd glitch that he encountered by complete accident on the Google mobile app on Android. He intended to type “the1975.com” but erroneously typed in an extra “.”, resulting in “the1975..com”. But instead of seeing the usual attempt at correcting a link or search results, he was, instead, presented with his recent SMS history.

This sent other Redditors searching for search terms that would produce the same behavior. So far, that list has included:

– Vizela viagens
– Vizel viagens
– Izela viagens
– Zela viagens

Google has yet to issue a statement, much less a fix, for this rather odd behavior but some already have theories. It mostly revolves around how the app tries to sanitize search terms (to ensure they’re safe) but, ironically, ends up triggering a “show my messages” query instead.

That last bit is important because the Google app is simply accessing something it might already have permission to do so: reading your messages. If you find this capability disturbing, you can simply revoke the Google app’s SMS permission. Do note, though, that it also means Google Assistant won’t be able to read your messages when you ask it to.

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