The standard Android based SMS program is rather rudimentary and doesn't offer much in the way of international SMS abilities. For a more advanced solution I suggest Chomp SMS a threaded text message application that allows users to send SMS messages on the cheap around the globe. Read on for more.
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If you've seen the iPhone's iChat SMS layout you'll have a 100% perfect view of the SMS Layout on ChompSMS, that's because the application mimics iChat right down to the threaded messaging with a web 2.0 "bubble" layout and the use of a rather large and well spaced out qwerty keyboard below your messages. The layout is my personal favorite part of the application, its easy to navigate, easy to leave messages and overall its very intuitive. In fact I liked the application so much that I dropped the original SMS program from my device all together which was easy to do because ChompSMS utilizes the Android's system-wide notification services.
Overall the SMS Layout on ChompSMS is simple to use and well organized.
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While I personally wouldn't use the ChompSMS pay per message option because of unlimited messaging, I would highly recommend the international SMS option, with this feature users buy credits that can then be used to send messages to several supported countries (The list is growing).
Here's a list of Internationally supported ChompSMS countries and their SMS Costs:
AUD - 10 Cents
CAD - 10 Cents
CHF - 12 Centimes
EUR - 8 Cents
GBP - 6 Pence
HKD - 70 Cents
JPY - 10 Yen
SGD - 12 Cents
USD - 10 Cents
As I mentioned before the U.S. rates for U.S. Customers may not be all that great considering many users have text messaging and even unlimited text message plans. However the ability to send worldwide adds a new element to SMS'ing. I personally like that I could buy a certain amount of credits and after each SMS know how many credits I have left, its a great way to make sure you don't over budget the number of Internation messages you send.
There is one additional cost that could possibly be incurred by users and ChompSMS makes sure their users know about it. Here's the special note they put below their messaging plans:
"Please note: When you choose to send an SMS message via chompSMS, it uses your Internet data connection (WiFi/3G) to transmit the message. Usually, using this Internet data connection doesn't incur additional charges. However, some providers do charge you for data usage (depending upon your plan, limits, etc). As an indication, one MB is enough to send around 1,000 chompSMS messages (depending on the text size)."
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Overall ChompSMS is an excellent SMS application for use with Google Android devices, it gives the same iPhone web 2.0 feel found on iChat, it offers great rates on International SMS and its easy to use even if you want to just use the messaging interface for free via your own countries SMS rates. I highly recommend downloading ChompSMS and replacing the standard Google Android SMS application.