By default, iOS does not allow a lot of customization, and that’s why jailbreak and the Cydia store are so popular among a wide array of users. The stock Messages app in iPhone is pretty simple. Admittedly, it serves the purpose it has been designed for, and that, too, really efficiently, but if you have a jailbroken iDevice, then you surely like customization and the availability of options for all aspects of iOS. There are a few replacement apps available for Messages, but all of them have their shortcomings. That is what makes HandcentSMS such a welcome addition to the Cydia store. The rather-famous Android app brings a lot of cool features to SMS and MMS in iPhone, and once you start using this Cydia app, you are not likely to miss the stock alternative to it.
HandcentSMS is good because of its features, and also owing to the interface and level of cosmetic customization it offers. After you have installed it from the BigBoss repo in the Cydia store, the app’s blue icon will appear on the Springboard of your iPhone. Launch the app, and all your text threads will automatically be copied to HandcentSMS from the stock Messages app. The app can also access all your contacts, so that you can use it independent of any other app. There is a search bar at the top of the main page in HandcentSMS, and it can be used to look for any thread or content within threads. If you tap and hold any of the threads, it opens up an action menu, from where it is possible to delete it or view the information associated with the person to whom the thread is addressed.
If you tap the icon in the top right corner of the app, it brings up the main options associated with HandcentSMS. From the bottom menu in threads, you can initiate FaceTime, call the person or assign a subject to the conversation. The app supports popup notifications and has cross-platform Emoji compatibility (a feature missing in the stock app). There are a few improvements in MMS sending and receiving as well. All these features make HandcentSMS a worthy competitor of Messages, but the killer touch comes from the interface customization options offered by this Cydia app. You can personalize just about every aspect of messaging threads with complete ease. The app has options to let you change background and font colors, and you can even choose images from the camera roll to be used as the app or thread backgrounds.
HandcentSMS is a free app, and according to the developer, future updates will make it even more awesome. So, if you have a jailbroken iPhone, do give it a try.