If you have suddenly started receiving odd, unexplained text messages that start with the term “BREW” in them, it’s not an advertisement for beer gone awry. They may come from 47205, from 9114, or from some other number you don’t recognize, but believe it for not, they aren’t spam. They usually start with strings of characters such as //BREW:01095caa or similar. BREW stands for “Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless”, and is a 3rd-party application development system for mobile phones that is used by some apps and other programs.
You are most likely to get these strange SMS messages if you have recently switched phones. Here’s why, and what to do about it.
Most often, the messages are alerting you to the fact that some remote system that services an application that you have been running, or have run in the past, is not able to complete a connection with your phone. So it’s like an error message.
This usually happens because you have either not installed the same app on your new phone, so the app that you were using on your old phone, and that was developed with BREW, is unable to do what it’s supposed to do, or because the app was not properly closed out on the old phone before you shut it down. Sometimes you will get the error because your new phone simply isn’t BREW-compatible.
Sometimes the text message will contain a clue as to what program is causing the problem. For example, in this message:
//BREW:0104F4BC:OZMAILCI=4D3DDD7EG5E5C991A4C18B3F176 AC093 MC=1
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…you can see the “OZMAILCI” which points to one of Verizon’s mobile email applications.
If you have a clue as to what program is generating the BREW messages, it’s fairly easy to deal with – one of the easiest ways is to set the program up on your new phone, so that the remote system finds what it is supposed to on your phone, and all will be well.
But sometimes you will get a message with no pointers like that at all, such as these real examples:
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These were generated as a result of the remote system associated with an application failing to be able to update, but giving no clue as to what application that was.
So what should you do to stop these very annoying messages, if they provide no hint as to which program or app is triggering them?
First, try to figure out, by process of elimination, what program it could be that is causing the errors, and (re)install it on your new phone. Likely candidates include any program that interacts with a remote server, such as weather programs, email programs, 3rd-party instant messaging programs, and the like.
It may take as much as a couple of hours for the BREW text messages to stop once you have re-installed the offending app, although they can stop much sooner than that.
And, fortunately, even if you can’t figure out what app is causing it, the messages should stop on their own within a day or so.
No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free? Thank you!
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