Every Android device has a default messaging app. It’s just that it’s not as good as you thought it would be. This is the very reason why apps like Now SMS exist. So instead of trying to figure out a way to revamp your default messaging app, you can just settle for an alternative SMS app with better features and functionality.
What Is It and What Does It Do
Now SMS is a free messaging app for Android. You can use this app to send and receive SMS and MMS. What makes this app different from your default messaging app is that its default theme looks a lot like those Google Now hover cards. This app also supports threaded messaging and status bar notifications. So whenever you get to receive a new text message, you’ll be notified that you have an unread message from one of your contacts.
- Nice user interface, very responsive, easy to use
- Features a Google Now-inspired theme (black font, grey background, white message balloons with profile photos)
- Supports emoticons – has a full list of cool, non-animated emoticons (these emoticons are very similar to the ones that you can find on Google Hangouts)
- You can send file attachments of all sorts such as photos, documents, short audio clips, etc.
- Any unread messages will be presented in bold text
- Simple touch-based commands – To delete a thread, just swipe it out of your screen; long-press the thread to access the rest of its available options (ex. reply, call, view contact, mark as spam, etc.)
- You can forward or copy your text messages
- You can set your own notification ringtone, vibrate pattern, Blink LED rate and color
- Has a 1×1 widget that pretty much works like a shortcut icon
- Some of the app’s features aren’t available for free users. So if you want to avail these features, you need to purchase the paid version of the app for $1.74. The features that you can avail are as follows:
- Popup alerts – Your new messages will show up on your homescreen. You can also reply to your new messages without leaving your homescreen
- Reminders – After a certain time period, the app will remind you that you still have some unread messages on your inbox
- Themes – By default, free users will only get the Google Now-inspired theme but if you upgrade, you’ll get to choose from the app’s wide collection of colorful and trendy themes
- The app’s MMS configuration requires a valid APN so it’s basically dependent on your phone’s network
- If not configured correctly, the notification for new and unread messages will overlap with your default messaging app
With Now SMS, you’ll basically get an app that looks different from your default messaging application but the rest of its features are very similar to your phone’s default SMS app. This is actually a good thing since you no longer need to re-learn everything. You can just send and receive SMS like the way you used to. The only difference is that you are no longer stuck with the same old themes and layout.
Furthermore, Now SMS has a different way of deleting a thread. Since it features simple touch-based commands, you can simply delete a thread by swiping it out of your screen. It doesn’t matter if you swipe it to left or right. Now, if you want to view your messages, just tap the thread that you want to view and then type your reply on the text message editor. You can also make use of the app’s built-in emoticons to further express your thoughts and emotions. Once you’re done, simply tap the “Send” button. The app will then notify you that your text message has been successfully sent to your contact/s.
On the other hand, you can easily distinguish the new and unread messages from your read messages. This is because the new and unread messages will be presented in bold text rather than the normal font. You will also get notified every time you get a new text message and the notification will appear on the status bar.
As I’ve said before, Now SMS looks different than your default SMS app. It looks different in a way that it has a different theme but it still supports threaded messaging. As for its default theme, you can basically compare it to the hover cards of Google Now. Each thread looks like a slim business card that shows a snippet of the newest text message that you’ve received. It’s just that this is the only theme that is available for free users. So if you don’t feel like having a Google Now-inspired theme for your inbox, you’d be prompted to purchase the app’s paid version just so you could enable the rest of its colorful and trendy themes. While I don’t have any problems with the app’s default theme, I just feel that it could have been better if there are more themes for free users. After all, this is what makes Now SMS different from other apps.
It is also important to note that if not configured correctly, the notifications that you’ll get from this app will apparently overlap with the notifications that you’re usually getting from your default messaging app. If you do not want this happen, I suggest that you completely turn off the notifications from your default SMS app.
Conclusion and Download Link
Now SMS app is very good alternative for your default messaging app. It is very stable and responsive plus it looks more appealing than your old inbox. If you don’t mind the limitations in its features, then you can definitely rely on this app especially if you prefer SMS/MMS over VoIP calls and chats.
Version reviewed: 2.0.2
Requires: Android 2.3 and up
Download size: 3.2MB