SMS Popup Review
We take a look at SMS Popup, an app which makes texting that little bit easier on Android
Verdict: SMS Popup adds in additional functions which help make text messaging a lot more enjoyable on Android.
Pros: Makes texting a lot more straightfoward and comes with some excellent features and options
Cons: Some slight niggles, including messages not being flagged as read when you open them using SMS Popup
Publisher: Adam K
More Info: Official site
There are a lot of things that Google’s Android platform does very well but text messaging is arguably not one of them. While the operating system’s default SMS service is easy to use and offers handy “threaded” text conversations, the fact that it doesn’t instantly pop-up received messages – as is the case with Apple’s iPhone – is disappointing.
Granted, having to manually open up your inbox isn’t the worst task in the world but even the most dedicated Android apologist will admit that it could be improved.
But then Google’s mantra has always been that if they don’t supply a feature, the fans will, and that is certainly true with SMS Popup. This cunning little app causes a dialogue box to appear whenever you get sent a text message, but that’s not the limit of its usefulness or functionality.
In its most basic form SMS Popup allows you to see instantly any text messages that are sent to your phone; if you handset’s screen is off it will automatically cause it to turn on. Once you’ve scooped up your phone you can use one of the available quick-access buttons to either reply to the message or simply close the dialogue box.
Despite the simplicity of the system there are plenty of different options available to ensure that the app functions in exactly the way you desire.
For example, you may not want SMS Popup to instantly switch on your screen for privacy reasons, so you can instead only have it display the contents of the message when you actually unlock the screen.
Likewise, when you’re actually using the phone having dialogue boxes appear can sometimes be a distraction or even cause other applications to stop running, so you can choose to disable SMS Popup when your phone is in use.
Elsewhere there are options to decide which quick-access buttons appear in the pop-up. You can have three present at any one time and these can take you to your inbox, reply to the message or send a pre-formatted text along the lines of “I’ll be right there” or “Thanks”.
It’s also possible to configure the app to give you special notifications for messages from certain contacts, although this does require a bit of tinkering to ensure it doesn’t clash with your phone’s default messaging client.
There are still a few rough areas which require attention from the developer – for example, on the Nexus One when you reply to a message using the dialogue box it remains as an unread message icon on your notification bar until you actually enter your inbox and read it.
However, this is a relatively minor issue which could be confined to the handset we’re using and it doesn’t impinge on the overall brilliance of SMS Popup. Some may argue that Android phones such come with such capabilities built-in, but there’s no denying that this neat little program grants you a comprehensive degree of control over your mobile messaging.