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Handcent SMS: Leaps and bounds over the stock app


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  1. cromag_rickmanus

    cromag_rickmanus Member This Topic's Starter

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    I've had the Motorola Droid since Launch day last November. I've had the Handcent Messaging app for one month less. Since the very bright beginning of my Android fantasy I've seen many apps that attempt to replace and restore stock applications that don't have the attention of Big Brother Google. Handcent is by far the best replacement SMS/MMS app for power-texters, and is one of the most full featured, regularly updated, Powerful keyboard-pounding-packages on Android. And guess what? It's free.

    The UI: the first thing you see when you open the app, the last when you close it. There are so many developers that don't understand the importance of how something looks as well as how it functions. Handcent nails both form and function with its clean bright UI, high resolution icons, and plentiful options. Want black text on white background? Easy. Reverse? Also easy. Want it to look like the iPhone (ahem) chat app? I guess... Font size, type, color, placement, background, the list goes on.

    There are TONS of UI customization options available, so you can make how you want it. It doesn't stop at looks though, Handcent is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. There are options for sending and receiving procedures, delivery reports, pop-up settings (whoohoo pop-up!) and much more. You would truly have to download the app and poke around to get a real feel for all you can do.

    Pop-up messages work like a charm. Of course there are tons of customization settings for them as well, but the main view you get is a nicely designed window that shows you the sender, message, and options to reply (all customizable). You can type right in the pop-up to do a quick manual reply, you can speak your reply, or you can choose from a preset list of "canned" responses. It can even speak the message to you if you prefer it. (I don't, creeps me out).

    One of the useful features of Handcent is the ability to attach more than just pictures to your MMS. Things like .mp3 files (a must for sharing ringtones) can easily be sent. Photos work like you'd expect. Receiving works just as well, although receiving photo mms messages is a bit of an extra step because you have to hit "view MMS", then "download" to get the picture. There may be a setting in the sea of customization to bypass that, but I haven't found it yet.

    There are many more features to check out, but I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise. You can go to news.handcent.com to check out the release notes but honestly, just download the app. You won't regret it, and you won't look back.

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