Well I installed "Handcent SMS" and after doing so this is what I did ... I went to my contact list and selected a friend and selected to text them. It gave me options as to how I wanted to do that. The options included the standard built-in text msg app, Handcent SMS, Google Voice and Skype. There is an option to make your choice the default. So I clicked that default box and then selected Handcent SMS.
It then took me to Handcent SMS and I sent a short text to my friend.
When he sent a text back the notification bar showed the Handcent SMS icon as well as the standard text msg app icon.
I then went back to my contacts and tried to send another text and again I was presented with the list of apps to use even though I had already picked Handcent SMS as my default. Weird huh?
But then I went to the Handcent website:
Handcent sms HomePage --sms plus software for android
Along the left side are some options. One is FAQ and when you click on that you see a bunch of questions. One of the questions is, "How to make handcent sms to my default sms software?"
Click on that and it gives directions on how to turn off notifications from the standard msg app and then how to turn on notifications for Handcent. The result? The standard msg app will no longer give a taskbar notification when you receive a text.
However I've noticed two issues.
1.) In Handcent you can select an avatar picture but my friend (who I texted) is using an iPhone and the standard text app on it and he didn't see the avatar picture. I'm guessing in order to see it he would also have to be using Handcent?
2.) The "dock" or whatever it is called (at the bottom) that shows:
PHONE - CONTACTS - MESSAGING - APPLICATIONS
Well where it says MESSAGING (with an icon of what looks like an open envelope) it shows a "1" meaning I have 1 unread text msg and this was AFTER reading the text with Handcent. Apparently this icon is a link of sorts to the built-in standard msg text app. Is there way to remove it and replace it with Handcent? In short have no idea how (or if we can) edit that "dock" stuff.