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I assume i can install an older apk before the sms integration timer was added, freeze updates and use hangouts for SMS forever.

I have two questions

1) how can i find the most recent version that won't have the warning message 2) where are my SMS stored, will i lose the history?

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You can check previous versions at this link. You SMS are stored on your device locally. You can always change to another SMS application like Textra or Default Android Messages

  • Yeah I'm aware of apkmirror, I should've mentioned that in the question. I was more accurately asking if anyone knew which version, or a way of me finding out which version, I could install that wouldn't keep telling me that SMS will stop working soon. I'm currently working my way up through versions until I get that error message! – Russ Wheeler Jun 8 '17 at 16:04
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    Yeah got it. But if they have any server side lock then it will not possible I think. Your messages are stored locally. You can switch over another messaging application if you wish. :) – Ashwin Mothilal Jun 9 '17 at 10:49
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I've managed to get this all good. I went through apkmirror and kept updating versions of hangouts until I found one that didn't throw the "SMS will not work in hangouts soon".

I stopped on version 16, but could possibly have gone one higher I think. I'm not too bothered about having the latest features for hangouts, it's just a text messenger.

I then disabled updates in play store and I'm good to go.

Thanks for the answers everyone

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