Messaging has only diversified in an age of Whatsapp and Viber, but the lowly text message is still highly popular and still highly used by millions.
Texting on your smartphone isn't limited to just the app that comes on your phone anymore, and even then, most phones sold in the United States are shipping with at least two messaging apps, sometimes three if the carrier includes one. With all of these choices, it begs the question of what our readers choose to use for their messages, and so we asked in this week's poll.
And we get your message, though it may not quite be as clear as it seems.
Not so surprisingly, Google Messenger took top billing in this week's results with 27 percent out of over nine thousand votes cast. There are a fair number of Nexus users, for whom Messenger is now the standard text messaging app, and the app's design — and features like Quick Reply from the notification shade — have earned it a fair few fans. Combined with the votes from Hangouts, Google apps hold the text messages of almost half the poll's respondents.
Hangouts is the older of the two Google text messaging apps, and while it hasn't been seeing updates quite as frequently as its younger brother, Hangouts has managed to keep its own following of users. Many, myself included, keep using Hangouts for SMS simply because we don't want to go back to using two different apps for Hangouts and texts. Hangouts isn't a slouch, but there's room for improvement, to be sure.
After spending most of the week in a bitter battle for second, the winner is not one app, but rather an entire category of them: the app that came pre-loaded on their Android phone. Be it the AOSP Messaging app or a carrier app like Verizon Messages — which was mentioned a dozen times in the comments — the app that came with your phone was the choice of just under a quarter of the polled users. Many didn't see the need to waste space on another app when the included app got them by, others liked the features provided by those apps.
Among third party users, Textra was the noticeable winner there, taking more votes that the rest of the third-party apps combined. However Textra was only at 15 percent, nowhere near the Google and pre-loaded apps. Textra users were faithful and for the most part quite willing to part with a dollar here and there in order to support the app and get an ad-free experience, and other SMS apps like chomp, Handcent, Hello, and mySMS got plenty of shout-outs in the comments.
So, were you surprised to see Google's share of the text message market among our readers? Which features from the various text messengers would you steal for the ultimate SMS client? Comment below, and as always, speak up about any poll ideas. You may just see them here on Tuesday!