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.
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.
Interesting Notification Methods
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.