Texting is kinda lame. SMS messages have a character limit, you have to know the person’s phone number and well, its hard to hold a longer SMS conversation. Some phones don’t thread the messages. If you forgot what you started talking about, it is a real pain to go back and re-read.
I am sure many of you have used an instant messenger before. For the uninitiated, it is similar to a text message, but has fewer limitations. You can IM (instant message) from your data enabled phone (Android) or via the web.
The messages are all in one thread so they are easy to re-read if you get confused. You have an IM username if you have a web-based email like Gmail, Yahoo or MSN Live. If you have ended up with a handful of email accounts over the years, you likely will have friends you talk to on each IM service. Here are a bunch of good messaging apps to try. There are a few SMS apps in the list too. They will help improve the look of your SMS experience.
IMO is a pretty cool all in one messenger. We talked about the web-based IM app a while ago here on Make Tech Easier. The Android version is no slouch either. It is an all on one that does not require you to have yet another account to remember the login info for.
IMO offers a Myspace and a Skype option which not many IM services do. You can also store and access your chat history online at IMO.im from your desktop.
I used Palringo on my Blackberry a while back and it was great. It offered Facebook chat, which at that time, no other app had. It is much improved since then.
The unique services you can use are iChat, XMPP and Gadu-Gadu. Palringo is a bit blocky looking compared to the others, but does work well offering features such as Groups (group chats) as a way to meet new and interesting people.
eBuddy is a close second to IMO in my opinion. You get a very easy to use app with lots of popular choices for accounts. You will need to create an account like most of the others. The unique service is Hyves.
Go SMS Pro
Go SMS Pro is a made by the same people as my favorite launcher replacement app Go Launcher EX. The SMS replacement app offers a lot of the same features as the launcher. If you send a lot of text messages, you will like the threaded conversations, personal signature, backing up threads, being able to blacklist a number and a ton of themes to name a few cool features.
Go SMS Pro Facebook Chat Plugin
If you are using Go SMS Pro, you will find this one of the most useful plugins. Once you log in with your user name and password and grant access, you will be able to chat with friends on Facebook chat when they are logged in.
This is another text messaging replacement application. Handcent was the first application I tried when troubleshooting a picture messaging problem I was having. It is a huge upgrade from the preinstalled and usually bland messaging applications on phones.
A feature that is fun to play with is getting Handcent to read your text messages. The default voice and speed can make for some pretty funny interpretations of the message. While Go SMS lets you back up your messages to your SD card, Handcent takes it one step farther and lets you backup and restore your messages in the cloud.
If you want to add some functionality to your preinstalled SMS app, SMS popup will give you a popup window showing the message. You can reply right from the popup window too. If you don’t want to get a notification window for everyone, you can customize the settings to accommodate that.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to spice up your messaging whether it be SMS or instant messengers They all have their benefits depending on how you use them and your preferred services.
What messaging applications do you use on your Android phone?