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Address Book SMS Plugin

In the distant past, the Address Book app in Mac OS X Tiger could send mobile SMS messages directly from within the app, if you paired your mobile phone with your Mac via Bluetooth. Along came Leopard, and the feature mysteriously vanished without trace or explanation, and hasn’t reappeared since. Missing the feature, I found a roundabout replacement in the emitSMS dashboard widget. It offers SMS sending via Bluetooth and can also search the Address Book for phone numbers. Having seen that the source code for emitSMS was released, I adapted the backend into a plugin for Address to provide the missing former functionality.

The latest version is v3, which has a few bugs fixed, in particular the one which caused it to hang after sending an SMS on some phones. It also now uses native Mac OS X methods to communicate with the phone, rather than an emulated serial port.

Download, unzip and place the plugin in /Library/Address Book Plug-Ins/ and restart Address Book. You should then be able to click on a phone number on a person’s card and select “Send SMS via Bluetooth” to send them a SMS.

Screen shot of emitSMS Address Book pluginThe source code is also available, under the same MIT license as the original emitSMS source code.


The plugin should be compatible with Address Book in Leopard and Snow Leopard.

To use the plugin, you must first pair your phone with your Mac, by using the Bluetooth Setup Assistant. This assistant can be accessed by clicking the ‘plus’ button in the Bluetooth System Preferences panel.

After you select a port to use in the pop-up menu, it will test the port for SMS sending capabilities. The port will only be usable if the test succeeds. Some phones seem to be a little flaky when communicating via Bluetooth and require the test to be run a few times before it can establish a connection successfully. If it fails initially, try clicking on the port again.

If ‘Long Messages’ is not enabled your messages will be limited to 160 characters (or 70 characters if you use symbols outside the standard GSM set, e.g. ^ ). Not all phones support the sending of long messages (actually splitting the message into several SMSs). Additionally, not all phones support requesting delivery receipts.

In general, if your phone works with the emitSMS dashboard widget, it should work with this plugin as the same underlying method is used to send the SMSs.

Debug Version

If the plugin doesn’t work with your phone, replace the installed version with the debug version from here. Then try to send SMSes using the plugin. A log file, ABSMSPlugin.log, should be created in your home directory; send me the log file and I’ll try to add support or figure out the problem.

  1. Julius permalink

    This is the contents of the log file.
    > ATE0
    +CMGS: (?),(?),(?)


    My phone model is samsung 3310.

    • sigmaris permalink

      Can you download the latest version (2.2) and try it out? I’ve included a small fix that should get around this problem on your phone.

  2. Thom permalink

    This is great! One question. The “Send using:” pop-up menu offers me 2 options. They are “LG-GR500: Dial-up Networking” and “LG-GR500: Serial Port 1”. Is one method preferred over the other? (LG-GR500 is my phone model)

    • sigmaris permalink

      It varies between different phones, often both will work but occasionally only one of the options will work. Try out both options, if they both work then there is no preference for one over the other.

  3. Pino permalink

    Great tool 🙂
    I didn’t succeed to get the message to be saved in phone sent tray of mine E55.
    Is it possible to get this functionality in some way?
    Thank you

  4. jbj permalink


    I would love to use this. Here’s my log file, with errors for Motorola PEBL U6 (which worked with emitSMS under OS 10.5 but not 10.6):

    > ATE0



  5. Augusto permalink


    first i installed this Program

    Got an Error Message: Failed: got reply “>” to send command

    Then I Installed

    & got the same Error Message

    Failed: got reply “>” to send command

    This is my Log File:

    > ATE0

    > 0021000E9194615215171452000005CCF7F81D02

    What can I do? Thank you for answering

    • sigmaris permalink

      The phone doesn’t seem to be replying to the instructions to send an SMS. What model of phone is it? Does it support sending SMS from any other app?

  6. Danoji permalink

    Debug message:
    > ATE0

    Phone: Motorola RAZR v3 (From '06 for Verizon)
    Bluetooth setup says this is the model but I don't know if that's correct:
    GPRS (GSM/3G)

    Message that appears on Address book when the phone's port is selected: "got reply 'error to AT+CMGS"

    Running Snow Leopard 10.6.8

    Any help is appreciated.

  7. Theo permalink

    Was using emit before downloading yr address book version. Works like a dream with my Macbook & Nokia X3-02. Can I ask does it keep a log in TXT file similar to Emit? as I couldn’t find anything in searching files. thanks for your work.

    • sigmaris permalink

      It doesn’t support keeping a log of the messages, unfortunately. I might get some time to work on it, and a new phone to test it with, in a couple of months, and I’ll put that feature on the to-do list.

  8. Martin permalink

    the plugin connects with my iPhone 4 (5.0.1) but stays all the time in “testing wireless iAP…”
    How to fix this?

    • sigmaris permalink

      The iPhone doesn’t support the Bluetooth profile required to send SMS messages, unfortunately.

  9. Nico permalink

    I liked emitSMS widget a lot, but love the AddressBook SMS plugin. Before upgrading from 10.6.8, I would like to know if the plugin works with (Mountain) Lion. Thanks!

  10. anonymous permalink


    this is great news. Please keep up the good work.

    I tested the AddressBook plugin in on OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 by sending a SMS over a Nokia 6300 and it is working!

    I was waiting for a plugin like that, easy and simple, thanks for filling this gap.

    Once OS X had built in that feature, then suddenly Apple removed it and everyone asked why. Today, we know it was the price for the iPhone and iMessages.

  11. Georg permalink

    at first: great job!!!

    I’m working with a MacBook 5.1 with Mac OS X 10.6.8 (yes the old one)…
    But: My Nokia 6555 doesn’t send SMS’s. The error message says:

    «got reply “+CMS ERROR: 500” to send command»

    I’d be sooo happy if it’d work with my phone…
    Please help.

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