October 25, 2014

App Review: SMS Popup

Title: SMS Popup
Developer: Adam K
Available: Now, Android Market
Cost: FREE

Lasting Impression: Subtle enhancements to messaging for the G1 make this a must have.  Adds features that should have come with Android.

Nitty Gritty: SMS Popup is one of those quiet, under-rated apps that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. We’ve yet to see it show up on those “must have” lists that other sites and magazines put together and we can’t figure out why. It’s loaded with features that enhance your messaging options and looks every bit as good as the Google stuff that comes loaded with Android.

It can be frustrating to have to keep checking your handset for a tiny flashing green light so you know whether or not you have a new message. Further, it’s even more irritating to have to wake your phone up to see whether or not that message is a text, email, or MMS. Although neither of those options are deal breakers, slight changes could make messaging a better experience. Enter SMS Popup

Easily the best feature to SMS Popup is the notification window that pops up (naturally) on top of your screen when a message arrives. It comes up and sits right in the middle of your screen with the option to close or reply directly listed below. Previous versions of this app would simply hide the window once you hit “close”, leaving the notification icon at the top of your phone. The latest version we tried (v0.9.5) alleviated this by allowing you to remove the notification altogether, marking the messages read. There’s also an option to have the messages wake your phone up for a determined length of time so you can see them should they arrive while your screen is off.

Other options we liked were the ability to pick the color of the light that blinks as well as choosing the type of vibration alert you want. It’s much more convenient to glance over at the phone and see a blinking magenta light and know it’s a text and not unread emails.

For those who like their privacy, you’ll like the Privacy Mode which only shows the messages after the phone is unlocked. And for the forgetful type, there are reminders you can set. Choose whatever interval you need as well as the number of reminders to give you.

With the inability to store and run apps off of the expansion card, we’re very picky when it comes to the limited storage space on our G1. Every so often we go through apps and uninstall them just to keep room for other programs. SMS Popup is one app we can’t picture ever removing. It has always worked well; never giving us the Force Close message that plagues a lot of apps and it doesn’t require much of your phone’s precious storage capacity.

One thing we’d like to add is that it seems to play very well with ChompSMS too. It’s very handy to have a message wake the phone with the ability to reply directly with one handed typing. If you’re looking for something to enhance your messaging capabilities, this is the first app we recommend.

We spoke with the developer, Adam, who mentioned that he is currently looking for help in translating the app into German, Czech, Dutch, and Polish in the short term, with more to come. Anyone out there who can help?  If so, reach him at adam AT everythingandroid.net.  Tell him AndroidGuys sent ya.