The problem with Text Messaging on the Hero pt.2

Ok I’ll admit I’ve slacked off a bit… Well ok ALOT, but I’m still living with my HTC Hero, and I’m still bugged with the complete lack of foresight by HTC to time stamp text messages, there are fortunately alternatives to HTC’s SMS solution.

There are solutions such as that offered by FlyScreen, for those who don’t know Flyscreen replaces the android handsets  lockscreen and through what I can only believe to be voodoo adds live feeds such as twitter or your text messages on it, you can interact with those feeds by ‘smiling.

Let me explain, when you touch the screen to use a feature it gains a ‘smile’ which acts as a lock, dragging you finger from the left to the right of the smile unlocks  the feeds to interact with, this app as already mentioned has a sms solution  (widget) built in, so you can see a message from your lockscreen and respond, you are able to scroll through all your received texts and they are all date and time stamped, but it’s here that the widget falls over in my opinion, longer texts get cut off on the screen and there is no way to interact with them to read the whole message, also not being able to see what a message was in response to can be a problem if like myself you never bother to delete a message ever. The app is a simple solution to my original gripe with the Hero, and for the things that it is capable of doing as well I’d still recommend downloading the app and giving it a try.

There are a lot of  more involved solutions but I’ll suggest two free options… ChompSMS and Handcent, both of which you can use as a complete replacement to the SMS frontend provided by HTC.

ChompSMS (Review here) and Handcent (Review here) both offer a level of control over your messages that HTC took from you with their SMS implementation, both allow you to theme your sms inbox to look like the Iphones (but why anyone would want to have those stupid plastic childish looking bubbles is beyond me) and control text size and colour, Handcent has a few more themes and allowed for a more business styled look but with the transparency options for background colours allowed for a backdrop image which was a nice idea. But overall they are both pretty even for features and they both TIMESTAMP messages.

To use them install as you normally would an app and then replace your message shortcut on your scene with a shortcut to the app, if you normally reply from the HTC SMS widget don’t fear, if you’ve started the app you installed clicking on the HTC SMS widget to reply toa  message will bring a pop up asking which app to launch just click always use this selection and choose the one you’ve installed (if you uninstall the app it’ll default back to HTC message app), voila time stamped SMS you’ll probably want to spend some time setting the themes of either app as they both default to Iphone bubbles pfft.

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One response to “The problem with Text Messaging on the Hero pt.2

  1. Very fair comments- we’re definitely working on upgrading the functionality of the SMS widget. Stay tuned!

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