Today I've been tinkering around with POWOW Messenger for Android, a text-messaging app that adds a few extra features from Android's default text-messaging service. I'm still trying to figure out the nuts and bolts, but here are some things I've noticed:
1) It allows you to divvy up your contacts into different groups – so you can have family, besties, work contacts, bills and utilities – whatever you want to group them as!
2) You can "mute" certain people who text you. You still get the messages, you just aren't bothered with a buzz or noise in the middle of the night when the phone company decides it's time to let you know your statement is available, or someone on Twitter has been hacked and tells you someone is saying "really bad stuff about you online" (don't ever click that link, by the way!)
I had my trusty friend and fellow Android user Jim try it out on his Samsung Galaxy II with me (same as mine), and here's one of our exchanges.
So there's one problem. Your already-existing synced contacts may not show up. I don't really see that as much of a problem because I already have WAY too many synced contacts on my android. There has been more than one occasion when I have accidentally hip-texted some college friend I haven't talked to on the phone in 15 years. It gets awkward!
Which brings me to another great feature: Zipit!!! Have you ever been accidentally texted by someone who then keeps texting you? Do you have a friend who sends you chain texts, or worse yet – (and this really happened to me) – glittery greeting cards that automatically play a MIDI version of Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting," embarrassing you in front of everybody in the checkout line?
Zipit allows you to STOP RECEIVING TEXTS from those people. Of course, you can change it back any time you want, but isn't that freedom nice? You can still call them, they just won't be able to Rich-Roll you anymore.
A couple of negatives: Jim complained to me that he can't change the font size of the text, which makes it really hard to read on the app. It's kind of an ongoing issue with Android, since being able to adjust your fonts in messaging is a pretty standard feature for *cough* other smartphones.
Also: the ads. I mean, everybody who downloads free apps has to deal with them. There is a "pro" version that allows you to use all the features without ads. Depending on your needs and uses for texting, this could be a great app.
I say, download it, give it a try, see if it's a perfect fit for you! I'm going to play around with this for a few more days to see if it's a better alternative. So far it's offering a lot more than the default app does, and more options are always good in my book!