Enable SMS In Google Nexus 9 LTE

This guide is for those who wish to enable sms in their tablet devices if LTE, 3G or 4G IMEI is not working.

If you are one of those who own the Google Nexus 7 3G LTE or the Google Nexus 9 LTE then you will have noticed that either your 3G capability is not working properly OR that you can no longer send SMS via your tablet device. Find out how to enable SMS in Nexus devices.

[Update: SMS feature has returned to Google Hangouts, so If your tablet device has started to update itself to accommodate Android Marshmallow, then your Hangouts should show SMS feature]

Please proceed to the next line for a solution…

Now SMS is the only answer to the ‘sending SMS’ problem… well in a manner of speaking anyway. This is by far the only app in the Google Play store that manages to send text messages via these two Nexus devices without rooting them.

Don’t bother looking for updates for the Google Hangouts because that app doesn’t have the SMS facility anymore for tablets. In fact to be specific, the ASUS Google Nexus 7 3G device along with Nexus 9 have now been barred to send SMS or if you want to blame Google then blame Kit Kat 4.4.2 because it doesn’t support sending text messages.

With the release of Android Lollipop aka 5.1.1, this issue was not resolved and henceforth all the tablet devices running Kit Kat or Lollipop cannot send text messages.

Google forum is full of complains from around the globe regarding this matter ever since the Nexus 7 3G/LTE devices received Kit Kat update. The solution that Google has so far successfully provided is “a full refund”… some have even taken it others simply cannot for Google doesn’t cater to their respective country.

Anyhow, back to the app that solves this problem; users who do opt to download Now SMS app should know this fact beforehand that the app under discussion doesn’t receive the SMS… I know that’s odd, but just hear me out. The notification panel will show that the app has received it but you wont be able to “see” the messages. Now let me start over, you can send text messages with the app to everyone including to your service provider for activating prepaid services or promotions but you CANNOT receive it through the app. You will however continue to receive messages by the built-in SMS receiver that doesn’t store messages and just briefly shows them on the screen preventing you from reviewing it ever again.

This is, again, not the full solution but it’s still something.

If Google ever returns this functionality back to Nexus 7 or Nexus 9 devices, I’ll report it ASAP. Meanwhile if you know any other app that can give Kit Kat 4.4.2. a kick in the shin by enabling Nexus 7 3G users to once again send and receive text messages WITHOUT rooting the device comment below, it will no doubt be greatly appreciated.

[Update: If you enable the Now SMS app to be the default app for SMS after upgrading to Android Lollipop then Nexus 7 3G LTE device can receive and store SMS via Now SMS app]

[Update: SMS feature has returned to Google Hangouts, so If your tablet device has started to update itself to accommodate Android Marshmallow, then your Hangouts should show SMS feature]

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Co Founder of QZ Global & Editor at TechVise, Zahra has over 18 years of content development & editorial experience. She is a novelist & writes for businesses & digital platforms.

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  1. When I installed WhatsApp on my LG tablet, which has a SIM card, it asked for the phone verification so I first typed in the phone number of the tablet but then I can’t receive a text for it so then I went back and entered the phone number for my smartphone which then disabled my WhatsApp on the phone! What phone number am I supposed to be getting verified on the tablet to be able to use it on both devices?

  2. Hi zahra
    Thanks. But my nexus was upgraded to marshmallow (argh!!!) and l can’t find anything about allowing SMS in hangouts. I don’t rant to use that app, but I can’t contact anyone now through WhatsApp without enabling SMS in hangouts, which I can’t do. I don’t want to give my phone number in that app. I have enough of Skype, Messenger and WhatsApp – how can I work around this?
    Or how can I send a feedback to Google? I’m personally fed up by Google/Apple completing with each other to constantly being more before and whistles to their systems, as if their only clientele were teenagers who had all the time in the world to figure them out. Those of us who must use them as work tool don’t appreciate this content change amusing…

    • Hi Sonia,

      In Hangouts, go into setting > SMS > SMS Enable

      Thats where it shows that SMS is enabled. If you wish to switch from SMS to Gmail, simply select the lower option under SMS Enabled which is labelled as “Default SMS Messaging Account” – pick whichever you want.

      Hope this helps.
      p.s. You will have to give your number…

  3. I found a easy way to keep a log with all sms received in a Nexus 7 3G, I create a recipe using OnX of Microsoft, when you receive a sms, the recipe will save the message in his log, so you can see it anytime even when you click on the notification message. The code is:

    var messageText = "";
    var SentBy="";
    var notification = device.notifications.createNotification('Nexus7SMS');
    var aux="";

    // End of variables initializing

    // Register callback on sms received event
    device.messaging.on('smsReceived', function (sms) {
    SentBy='SMS from: '+ sms.from+' ';
    console.log(SentBy+" :: "+messageText);

    notification.content = messageText+' '+SentBy;


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