rolandh

Alternate Text Messaging Apps for Samsung Galaxy S7s

Blog Post created by rolandh on Apr 20, 2017

Shortly after publishing this blog, Republic published its' workaround here: Issue with MMS (Picture and Group) Messages on Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. I'm leaving this effort in the event additional options beyond that suggested by Republic are of interest.

 

This blog post has a narrow focus and is inspired by a recent update to Google's Android Messages app. Unfortunately that update broke MMS (picture and group messaging) when using a Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge attached to a WiFi network. Both picture and group messaging will work using Android Messages when away from WiFi and using a cell network. Consequently, temporarily using cell rather WiFi when needing to send or receive picture and group messages is one workaround.

 

Another workaround is use of a third party messaging app other than Android Messages. I'll highlight three options here.

 

 

Textra

 

Textra is arguably the most well known third party messaging app after Android Messages. To use it rather than Android Messages as your messaging app:

 

  1. Download Textra from Google's Play Store here: Textra SMS - Android Apps on Google Play.
  2. Once installed to your phone, open Textra, then tap "Make Default App".
  3. Tap 3 dots upper right.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Scroll to, then tap MMS.
  6. Tap MMS Behavior.
  7. Select System.

 

chomp SMS

 

From the same publisher as Textra, there is chomp SMS. To use it rather than Android Messages as your messaging app:

 

  1. Download chomp SMS from Google's Play Store here: chomp SMS - Android Apps on Google Play.
  2. Once installed to your phone, open chompSMS, then tap "Make Default App".
  3. Tap 3 dots upper right.
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Scroll to, then tap MMS.
  6. Tap MMS Behavior.
  7. Select System.

 

Signal

 

Signal is a popular messaging app among those who wish an added measure of privacy afforded by encrypting communication. For end to end encryption to work both ends of the conversation need to be using Signal. When used this way, Signal bypasses standard SMS/MMS communications channels much as Apple's iMessage does. Like iMessage, Signal also has the ability to fall back to standard SMS/MMS channels when communicating with someone using a messaging app other than Signal. These communications are not encrypted. To use Signal in place of Android Messages.

 

  1. Download Signal from Google's Play Store here: Signal Private Messenger - Android Apps on Google Play.
  2. Once installed to your phone, open Signal.
  3. You'll be asked to register your phone number. Nothing nefarious, this is how Signal enables encrypted communication with other Signal users and may be undone as described here.
  4. When verification completes, tap "Use as default SMS app".

 

Please know Republic is working with Google to resolve the issue using Android Messages when using an S7 or S7 edge attached to WiFi. That said, I'm not aware of a definitive timetable as to when that issue might be resolved. Meanwhile, hopefully, one of the alternatives highlighted here is helpful.

 

It's entirely possible other third party apps will work as well. I've seen reference to Handcent and Messages + SMS as doing so.

 

Finally, though the intended audience for this post is Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge users, these third party apps should work with any Republic 3.0 phone. To the best of my knowledge, Android Messages is working fine when attached to WiFi on other Republic 3.0 phones, however, choice is never a bad thing. I should add, Android Messages remains Republic's supported messaging app for its' 3.0 phones. Should you run into difficulties using a third party app other than Android Messages with your 3.0 phone; it would be best to ask for help here in the Community rather than by raising a help ticket.

Outcomes