Android has always lacked a sophisticated SMS application. The default one offered by Google isn’t as feature-rich as one would desire and the options available in the Play store can be a little over too much fabricating an intimidating interface for the user. Even if you get comfortable with any of these, chances are you’ll have to use another app just to view the conversations on your computer. Hence, we present you “Messenger” by Luke Klinker, the developer behind the infamous Talon Twitter client.
The most peculiar thing about Messenger is that if you want, it will work as a barebones SMS client but there are a ton of assisting features spread all across the application. To start off, Messenger comes coated with Material Design with a primary green accent. After logging in using your email address, you’ll be directed to the homepage which is quite straightforward – a list of conversions categorized based on time frames and a floating button on the bottom right for starting a new one. You get your usual array of swipe actions for archiving and deleting too. There’s also a double tick icon through which you can mark as read all the chats for that particular time frame.
Once you open a conversation, you can pull from the bottom to go back to the home page or perform various functions on that particular chat such as delete, archive, blacklist, view contact, schedule, make it private so that the message contents aren’t visible in notifications, and much more. Speaking of scheduling, Messenger also has native support if you want to plan an SMS based on time and date.
However, Messenger’s primary attraction is its cross-platform compatibility – there’s a web application, tablet support, Firefox as well as Chrome extension and app. Each one of them follows the same design guidelines and are always in sync with your smartphone. You can send messages via these desktop counterparts too.
One other annoying aspect of using Android’s default SMS app is that the notifications are really dull and inefficient. I remember my editor tweeting out the problem. Thankfully, you can change the default SMS app on Android. Messenger’s incoming alert notifications are as rich as they can get, you get three options – reply, read, and call, actions for which are quite obvious. If you click the “reply” button, you can a tiny floating window displaying previous interactions and a field for typing your reply without ever opening the complete application. The thing I really like about Messenger is that everything feels absolutely coherent especially in terms of design.
Messenger also has an ample amount of themes available including light, dark, black and you can specifically pick out the accent colors, all of which is accessible in the global or contact settings. There are still a couple of bugs here and there such as the name doesn’t show up sometimes, messages appear separately but it’s definitely worth giving a shot.
Messenger is currently in beta and if you want to try it, the process is extremely simple. Head over to this link for opting in the program and then, download the app from the given link. I had a chance to talk with the developer recently and he stated that the release date hasn’t been decided yet. He is still adding the more features and fixing the bugs which are being discussed in the Google Plus community.