Handcent has 4.5 stars out of 5 and over a million downloads. It is also one of the most robust in terms of features. There is plenty of room to customize your inbox’s look and feel through a variety of background, font, ringtone, and notification options, to name a few. You can also take advantage of scheduled texts and turn on driving mode, on top of other basic functions you’d need for an SMS app.
However, for the most part, users are encouraged to create a free Handcent account in order to unlock more capabilities within the app. For instance, once you register and log into the app, you get access to Handcent Anywhere, which provides cross-platform support that lets you access your messages on your computer or other mobile devices where the app is also installed. You can also take advantage of Private Box, which is a virtual space that can hold text conversations you’d like to shield from prying eyes. What is perhaps the most intriguing update to this text messaging app is its integration of AI bots like ChatGPT and Google Bard. You will need to provide an API key to these services (linked to your personal ChatGPT and Google Bard accounts) and manually plug them into the app to be able to talk to the AIs in a text thread.
Handcent offers a premium subscription for a minimum of $5.99/year if you want the ability to remove ads and back up messages, among other things.