Go SMS Pro: A Feature-Packed SMS Replacement

The default SMS applications on most Android phones are dry and lack features. They do what you need them to do and that is about it. GoSMS Pro is a feature-rich messenger replacement which aims to bring some extravagant touches to your texts.

The amount of features in GoSMS is more than what most people will need, and trying to identify and explain each one individually would be absurd. If I had to convey GoSMS to someone quickly, I would say it has depth that other applications (messengers especially) don’t quite reach. There is a level of customization offered that I have not seen replicated in any other application.

Don’t Forget

You must remember that GoSMS acts as a replacement for your default messages application, but doesn’t disable it. That is down to you and, though GoSMS does give you a little reminder, it doesn’t clearly explain how to do it. HTC users should go into the Messages application, then press Menu > Settings, and flick through to Notifications. Unticking the ‘Recieved notification’ box will disable all forms of alert in one fell swoop. If you fail to do this, alerts from both GoSMS and your default messaging application will appear when you get a message, which would drive you mad. I expect other manufacturer’s applications are easy to disable too.

HTC users should uncheck 'Received notification'.

Interesting Notification Methods

Pop Ups!

Some Android phones do have this form of extension built in while others don’t. Having messages pop up can be very convinient, especially if you don’t want to stop what you are doing to have to view or respond to them (like when watching a YouTube video). These Pop Up notifications can display a whole SMS message and allow you to type a reply and send it. Further impressive abilities are that you can ‘To-do’ the message, or delete it there and then if you don’t want it. If you close the Pop-Up (under default settings) by using the X in the corner, then you lose the reminder on the notification bar at the top of the screen.

A Pop-Up alert with a message from Peter Sawyer (PhotoTuts Author)

Customize the Vibration Alert

This is an interesting touch. If you know a short pattern or pulse sequence, you can make it your vibration alert. You have to work out the millisecond delays yourself though. I just about managed to make my phone do the very first part of the Star Wars theme. The default alert is just a 1200 millisecond burst, as you can see below.

Work out the millisecond spacing in a tune, and you can make it into a vibrate pattern.

Message Reminders

Another feature that is missing in a lot of other default SMS applications is a reminder that you have a message. I don’t mean a persistant on-screen notification, but a repeating vibration or tone you will notice in your pocket. GoSMS offers this to you so that you can’t forget about that text you received whilst driving to work, since every ten minutes you get a reminder. Useful!

Appearance Customization

Group by Contacts, or be Retro

Remember how old phones didn’t group texts by contact and just flowed as a massive list instead?. Well if you miss that, you can bring it back. At the bottom of the screen there are three tabs, select the one on the left, and you have a classic SMS inbox! There is a dedicated Inbox and Sent box, as well as the ability to make your own folders. This curiously also makes GoSMS perform slightly better than when viewing messages in an divided contact layout.

The 'All in One' Inbox

Should you seek further customization still, GoSMS allows you to alter the appearance of each contact’s user interface individually. So you can have your girlfriend in a window with a picture of you both in the background, and your best friend can have a picture of you both out and about together. It’s these little tweaks that make a big difference.

If you don’t want to customize specific details manually, you could just select a default or downloadable theme instead. This alters the whole colour scheme GoSMS uses; for example the screenshot below is of the ‘Dark Theme’, which I personally prefer compared to the default blue and yellow theme.

The beggining of a conversation using the included 'Dark Theme'

The Widget

Like most other messaging applications, GoSMS provides a widget which will display your recent messages and allow you to cycle through them. It is a surprisingly lean widget, with a pretty low performance drain. Very handy if you don’t want to use Pop Ups but do want a quick way to read and reply to messages.

The GoSMS widget on my homescreen. Tidy and quick to respond.

Downloadable Plugins

Facebook Chat

Yes, you can do Facebook chat through this application! Open GoSMS, scroll right to bring up the plugins screen, and tap Facebook Chat to download and install said plugin. Thereby giving you a great little Facebook Chat application for free!

Custom Wallpapers

In the same plugins pane, you can download an extension which will let you develop your own custom wallpapers to be used in GoSMS. This is the sort of thing you need if you fancy a big customization session as forementioned!

Emoji Plugin

Should you want additional emoticons in your messaging, there is a plugin for GoSMS available for download on the Android Market. Searching for ‘Go Emoji’ should do the trick! Colourful and opinionated faces can be a great way to get a viewpoint across to somebody.

Enabling Persistance

To boost apparent performance in GO SMS you can choose to keep it constantly running in the background. It will automatically restart if shut down by another process or requested to be terminated by Android’s multitask handler. By doing this, small background processes that have to be started when you use GoSMS are already sat waiting to be called upon. Thereby dramatically decreasing loading times. This toggle is hidden under ‘Important Tips’ in the Settings list.

Price

GO SMS Pro used to be a paid application with a free baby brother, ‘Go SMS’. However the GO team decided to remove GO SMS and make GO SMS Pro the standard version for free — so this application doesn’t cost anything!

Conclusion

GoSMS is an SMS replacement offering a diverse range of features and customization. You can use it as an attractive replacement to your default SMS application, or you can employ a specific function that you may have been lacking before.

I rate this application 10/10. I have only found good points to share with you, and no problems to report. I have used several messaging applications whilst owning Android phones, and this is most definitely one of the better, if not the best.

I recommend you try it out if you want a far more enjoyable messaging experience. The Market page cites GoSMS as supporting Android 1.6 and up, so it is available to pretty much everyone.


Summary

An SMS manager replacement offering a diverse range of features and customization!

10
  • http://www.badashahfx.weebly.com saad

    been using it since knew about it..and i am lovin it.

  • Lanre

    ….but the question is – is it better than handcent?

    really good review by the way – really like the way this site writes them!

    • http://alexpascal.com Alex Pascal

      It’s much better. Handcent is outdated and ugly while the team behind GO SMS is active and constantly releases updates. In fact, they have implemented ideas that I have personally suggested when the app was just released on XDA-Developers (I’ve been using it since then).

  • Kash

    Been using it recently, sometimes i get an ‘unknown’ message popup but in fact its an MMS.
    Doesnt seem to like MMS me thinks when using the pop-up feature.
    Widget is good but using Metro UI home screen i have no use for it.
    Very customizable, which is what Android is all about, and the facebook chat is a new feature and regularly improving. That bit is still buggy and slow but improving quickly.
    I’d give it 8/10, loses marks for MMS bug and Facebook Chat bug, but thats a minor thing to worry about.

  • m

    i use and love smsdroid http://www.appbrain.com/app/smsdroid/de.ub0r.android.smsdroid
    gosms and handcent didn’t convince me.

    • http://samcater.com Sam Cater

      This is a speedy little messenger and I love it. Thanks for the recommendation. I will try and review it at some point!

  • Joxmar

    looks very interesting and was about to use this one instead of handcent, but the only thing that held me from doing it was the widget I love the handcent widget design better than any other sms app. What should I do?

    • http://samcater.com Sam Cater

      I would personally say GoSMS. That is only because I had a bad experience with Handcent to be honest. Try both, no amount of recommendation I give can ever match the experience of trying them yourself.

  • http://www.torchingigloos.com sneakily1

    I grabbed this (and made some friends snag it too) on your recommendation and it’s Awesome! Thanks for doing such an in-depth review.

    • http://samcater.com Sam Cater

      Nice one and thanks :)

  • dorsey

    I got this after reading your review and really liked it…the only problem was my incoming texts had a time-stamp delay of about 4 hours. So when it listed the messages in a conversation they we’re not in the proper order.

    • http://samcater.com Sam Cater

      I think there is a tool in GoSMS that lets you add or remove timestamp delays.

  • Kyle

    I personally use Handcent for it’s looks and the pop-up. I might have to try this one out…

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  • Prairie

    i haven’t tried this one yet. i use handcent right now, but ive been having a problem receiving pic messages… i get the notification with the download button but when i push it to download the pic, it NEVER goes thru… i NEVER get the actual picture (or attachment). has anyone else had this problem? i even took my phone into the store i bought it from & they couldn’t figure it out either…. i’m thinking maybe it’s handcent screwing up…? help!!!

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  • Joe

    This app is awesome. I am still trying to figure out to to respond to just the sender of a group mms and how to send a text to a contacts email address which can both be done by the stock messenger on my Razar Maxx.

  • Alvi

    I have downloaded it on my Samsung Galaxy Anycall S but the problem is that I am unable to send messages. I am however able to receive them. I have the Korean version. Can someone please help? I love the interface of Gosms pro so want to make it my default message app.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ihy4real jon

    I use handcent instead of go sms pro. does go sms pro have the option to delay sending the message (3-5 seconds delay like in handcent) once you press “send” in case you suddenly see an error, or you change your mind?

  • https://www.facebook.com/animenatic29 Lailanie

    i had a problem with go sms pro. in my messages , there’s a thread contains 1,000+ messages. and i don’t know why some of those messages are suddenly deleted. only 200 messages are left. how to back those sudden deleted messages ? please response

  • Brenda

    How do I keep group text messages together in 1 thread of conversation? I can send to a group but they all reply in individual messages. Very confusing!! When a group text message is sent to me, the replies from that group is in individual messages. Help..,

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