SMS apps on Android are a dime a dozen. Hop into the Google Play Store and you’re sure to find them as prevalent as launcher/clock/or other replacement apps. Currently, the way Android handles them is a bit… wonky. Developers have to use unofficial work arounds and hidden APIs to keep their apps running. More than often, this is why many SMS apps don’t always behave as desired (random error messages, SMS messages not being delivered, etc).
Google knows this and it’s why the Android development team is alerting all Android developers of incoming changes to be introduced in Android 4.4 KitKat. Detailed on the official Android Developers blog, Google will now provide developers with official APIs for their SMS apps, giving their apps more stability, and better reviews on the Play Store.
Like when choosing the default browser app, users will now be able to choose the default SMS app. That means Sliding Messaging, Now SMS, and GO SMS Pro should provide you with the stable 3rd party messaging you expect. What’s also neat is that when/if Google finally integrates SMS into Hangouts, users will still be able to use their favorite SMS apps, should they prefer to keep their instant messages separate from text messages. Options are nice.