Co-written by Kara Monroe
Handcent SMS is a free sms application available on the Android market. It’s ad supported and offers support for both SMS & MMS. Handcent doesn’t apply any extra charges for using it, but your normal SMS and MMS charges will apply.
After successful install on a Droid and Nexus One, we were able to exchange messages with only a few problems to cell phone numbers. The first attempt to send a message on the Nexus One resulted in a Force Close. After more extensive testing, there were a few other random ForceClose messages occurred on both Nexus One and Droid.
A few attempts to send messages, both SMS and MMS, to a Google Voice number failed. These messages were never received either in the Handcent interface or the Google Voice interface even though Handcent offered reports for messages delivered successfully.
Handcent outshines the device-based text messaging in customization options. The application looks polished. There are different styles (iphone, handcent, and android) for viewing the messages. In addition, the customization of notifications is much more detailed with Handcent over the notifications available on the device itself. You can customize different LED colors and different sounds/vibrate patters based on sender.
We liked the option to search content by keyword and a notification that a new SMS arrived.