Eric Stewart: Running Off At The Mouth

Some Android SMS Questions Answered

by Eric Stewart on Sep.17, 2010, under Cell Phones & Providers, Technology

I answer these questions on the various forums I’m participating in for the Samsung Epic 4G a lot.  Many of these answers should work to some extent with most Android phones using 2.1 or greater, but as all I have is an Epic, they should definitely work for that.  So, without any further ado:

How do I change the default SMS tone?

  1. Open the “Messaging” app.
  2. Hit your “Menu” button and choose “Settings”.
  3. Scroll down to “Notification Settings” and choose “Select ringtone”.

How do I do per contact SMS tones?

You can’t – not with the default Messaging app (on the Epic, anyway).  There are a variety of apps you can download from the Market that can do this for you.  One of those is Handcent SMS.  So far the only way I’ve found to change the tone for a particular contact is to wait until they send you an SMS.  Then you can choose the “Settings” icon in the upper right corner and change the “Notification Settings” for that user.

Handcent SMS also has some nice theming options to change the look of your SMS threads.

So I Have A Downloaded SMS App – How Do I Make It My Default?

It’s been my experience so far that when you download one of these apps and run it the first time, it clears the default settings off of the system Messaging application.  Due to the way defaults work, it’s probably best if you do not install many apps that do the same thing (in other words, while you can’t get rid of the default “Messaging” app totally, you should avoid installing more than one other SMS application).  But just in case your downloaded app hasn’t cleared the defaults for you:

  1. Go to your “Home” screen, and select “Menu”, “Settings”, “Applications”, and “Manage Applications”.
  2. Select “Menu”, “Filter”, and “All”.
  3. Find “Messaging” (or whatever other SMS program you may have set your default to) and click on it.
  4. Under “Launch by default”, click on “Clear defaults”.
  5. Hit the “Home” button.
  6. Providing you have an existing SMS thread, click on the “Messaging” icon, and then click on (one of) the thread(s).  You should get prompted with a window that says “Complete Action Using” and offering you the list of apps capable of performing the action requested.
  7. Make sure “Use by default for this action” is properly checked, and select the application you want to use.

In Handcent SMS’ operation, the only times I end up using the default app, click by click, are:

  1. When I click on the “Messaging” icon and look at my existing (if any) messaging threads.  If I click on a thread, it launches that thread in Handcent SMS instead.
  2. If, on the “Messaging” thread screen, I click on “New Message”, I’m using the Android “Messaging” app to perform that action.

I’ve Downloaded Another SMS Application But I’m Getting Double The Notifications!

Easy!  Just turn off the notifications from the app that is not your default (IE, if you’ve selected Handcent SMS as your default messaging app, you’ll want to turn off the system Messaging app’s notifications).  Assuming the system “Messaging” app is not your default:

  1. From the “Home” screen, click on your “Messaging” icon.
  2. Click on your “Menu” button and choose “Settings”.
  3. Under “Notification settings”, uncheck “Notifications”.

That’s it!  Now just make sure your chosen apps notification settings are set as desired and you’re good to go.

I Guess That’s It For Now

Should I see more SMS questions I can provide answers to, I’ll add them to this post.  If you have one I haven’t answered, hit me up on Twitter or create an account here and post a comment.

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