The Messenger app on the BlackBerry Priv is one method with which you can send and receive SMS and MMS messages on Android. While it is a decent communications app, it lacks advanced features such as being able to switch easily between conversations and the ability to customize the appearance. The gestured based messaging app EvolveSMS balances form and function for your Priv. It offers an array of customizable options, as well as, features not found in a basic text messaging app.

What you first discover upon using EvolveSMS, is how it employs gestures, more specifically swipe-based gestures. These can be used to open the conversation list (swipe from the left edge of the screen), delete a particular thread, and effortlessly switch between messages to view or reply to contacts. This feature alone certainly makes navigating and using the app smoother to the stock app.

Now that we've seen how easy it is to use let's discuss what sets EvolveSMS apart from Messenger. The two most important aspects I will focus on is Visual Settings and Notification Settings as they are limited or non-existent in Messenger. With Visual Settings, you can change the look and style of the app, including text size for improved readability, modify the backgrounds and/or theme, and select a custom picture for each of your contacts. There are several built-in theme and color choices at your fingertips, or you can download hundreds of others in Google Play. You may also purchase the customization pack for $1.49 to unlock additional layouts and themes.

BlackBerry users looking to set individual LED and notifications for their contacts can find all this and more under the Notification Settings. EvolveSMS lets you customize the popup reply dialog box, enable quick text notifications, set the notification, LED, and vibration options, or set individual notifications for specific contacts. To set an individual notification for a particular contact, all you have to do is choose a contact, select an LED color and pattern, and pick a notification icon.

There are a plethora of other options available in EvolveSMS, including Pushbullet and Pebble support, delay sending, and the option to split SMS messages into compatible lengths. In addition to the customization pack, there is also an add-on feature pack for $1.49 which offers expanded MMS functionality, Dropbox/Google Drive backup syncing, Private inbox for certain messages, scheduled SMS messages, and Personalized Mass messages.

EvolveSMS is a feature-rich messaging app and a decent alternative to Messenger. If you want to exercise more control over the appearance and notifications of your texts, be sure to download it for free in Google Play.

Learn more / Download EvolveSMS from Google Play