Text Messaging (or SMS for short), is a pretty much available on any level of mobile phone you buy these days whether it is a go phone or a smartphone (even some cordless landline phones can txt!). On Android, thanks to the market, there are a couple different applications that can manage your sms/mms messages and present them in a visually appealing way.
We tried to find as many as we could, but settled on the 4 different apps below. While there are some other options out there (advance sms manager, sms popup, here I am 2) they are more layers over the apps found below rather than replacements. So we have screenshots of each apps main screen and individual message screens below and at the very end of this post you can find a feature comparison chart. As always let us know if we missed an app that would go well with this review or we made a mistake, thanks!
Handcent is my daily go-to sms app and it has any feature you could literally want (see the chart below). The only argument any other app can make against this is Google Voice’s free text messages, but since everyone will soon be able to import their main number to Google Voice soon, this difference won’t last long. You can customize every last detail of each message thread and with a hand dandy gps extension, send your coordinates to a contact. That last feature comes in handy if you don’t know where you are, are texting someone now familiar with the area, or like me are just lazy to type it out.
ChompSMS is very similar to the other featured applications, but features ads along the bottom of the screen. Also if you’re currently using ChompSMS and are wondering how to enable the quick call and contact picture features, just go into settings, then customize look, then scroll to the bottom and check the last two features. ChompSMS also features a free text messaging service called TextFreek, but is limited to only sending free messages to other TextFreek users.
Go SMS is the only one in this list to offer Security settings and backup/recovery settings. The security settings are very similar to Android’s lockscreen settings offering a pattern or pin based unlocking methods. Again these settings just apply to the app so you can have a lock within a lock should someone prove to be nosey/sneaky.
The backup/restore settings is handy in case you’re thinking of doing a hard/factory reset or changing phones. We personally recommend SMS Backup +, but this could be a good all-in-one substitute.
Finally we come to the last contender, Google Voice. While it lacks on customization options or most of the features the other apps have, it makes up in the ability to send free text messages and sync with your Google account. We always have Google Voice on our devices in case we run into WiFi hotspots or want to make some international calls.
Let us know if you have another favorite SMS replacement app in the comments below so we can add it to our review and make sure to check out our comparison chart located below.