Your phone probably comes with two options for SMS—Hangouts and whatever app the OEM designed. Neither of these are necessarily great options, but there are alternatives. And there's one more alternative today with AwSMS reaching the public beta phase.
Money has exchanged hands, and now Jibe Mobile is becoming a part of Google. You've probably never heard of Jibe Mobile. That's okay. Here's what matters. Read More
The relationship between Hangouts and SMS/MMS messaging has been a long, gut-wrenching story full of danger at every turn. Although Hangouts 4.0 was a massive improvement over every previous version, it would appear that all is still not well on the MMS side of things. Read More
QKSMS, an SMS replacement app that boasts material design, customizable colors, and Android Wear support, has made all its paid features free. And no, that doesn't mean that the developer has just added some new features and made them pay-only instead. The app is simply 100% free from now on, according to its creator. Among the features that once required an in-app purchase of QKSMS+ are:
- Respond from Android Wear
- 150+ additional color combinations
- Automatic night mode
- Per-contact notification settings
The app's developer, Moez Bhatti, said in a Google+ post that he didn't make the app with the intent to earn money and felt that there wasn't any way to commercialize an SMS app without making for poor user experience. Read More
VoLTE is finally starting to roll out on devices, but who uses their phone as a phone anymore? Luckily, there's a next-gen standard for text messages too, and T-Mobile is the first carrier to support it. T-Mobile's CTO just announced support for "Advanced Messaging" on the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard on T-Mobile, and it's starting its rollout now. Read More
It's been scarcely two weeks since Pushbullet had its last big update, and here we are again. A new version is rolling out in the Play Store that fully integrates SMS into the website, browser extension, and desktop apps. You could reply to SMS before, but this update syncs all your conversations to the computer.
Not many Android apps can say they've been installed a billion times. In fact, before today there were only ten - and out of those ten, only three of them were non-Google apps (and all owned by Facebook). Today Google's first party messaging client, Hangouts, joins this elite group of billion-device apps... notably behind its competitors, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
A billion installations doesn't mean a billion users, it means one billion different Android devices have downloaded the app once. (Phones and tablets now out of service count, multiple downloads and updates don't.) That said, Hangouts' daily users probably number in the hundreds of millions at this point, if only by virtue of its inclusion as the default SMS app on many Android phones. Read More
Messenger is Google's basic alternative to Hangouts for sending SMS messages, and today it has received an update bringing along a widely-requested feature. No reason to tease you about it. Let's jump in.
Quick Reply is the ability to respond to a message without having to switch to the full app. Now when the notification comes in and you hit the reply button, you can tap out a response and go about your day.
However, the feature isn't without its drawbacks. The Quick Reply interface takes up the full screen, but it doesn't show you any of the message you just received. Read More
Google is rolling out a new version of Messenger with a few features you might care about. It's a big jump to v1.2 from 1.0, which was the previous Play Store version. There was a v1.1 build floating around, but that was only released on Android One handsets. This one's available to everyone—eventually, or right now if you get the APK below. Read More