Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Verizon Messages (app)

jvfXwvB7uwJRKHrq3mipLLS2WcEy2L5Zvw1usz2w126C_iRGOB2q9_DgDKC2JDhKKw=w300I will be the first to say that I HATE bloatware and carrier/manufacturer specific apps.  I rejoiced to the heavens when Android implemented the ability to disable ANY app (even if you can’t actually remove it from your device).

That said, I am thoroughly impressed with Verizon’s Messenger app (bear in mind, my very least favorite piece of bloatware is Verizon Navigator, so I definitely have no special love for Verizon apps).

When searching for a texting app for my tablet, I wanted something that would do a good job of syncing my communication on all my devices.  From my research, nothing even comes close to Verizon Messages.  Unfortunately, if Verizon is not your carrier, you can disregard the rest of this post, because the app is only for Verizon customers.

With all the other messaging apps you have to create an account and enter your phone numbers for all your devices.  Since Verizon already has all of this information, you aren’t sharing anything with yet another party.

Some apps (quite a few actually) merely link your tablet and phone via Bluetooth and/or wifi.  What good is this?  Unless your phone and tablet are ALWAYS in the same vicinity, your messages won’t be synced!

Verizon is already in charge of storing/organizing/disseminating your texts, so it should (should) stand to reason that they have the power to best sync all this information between your devices (which they are also in charge of).

Sure enough… they do!

Once you have installed Verizon Messenger on all your devices, your messages (ingoing, outgoing, SMS, and MMS) are all immediately synced.  The speed at which it happens is great (immediate).  I’m even happy with the way the interface functions/looks.  To a limited degree, you can customize the look (background color, text bubble colors, etc.).  The program also does a great job of organizing media.  For instance, I can open a text thread from any user, and if I want, Verizon Messenger will show me all the pictures sent from that person in a gallery at the bottom of the thread.  Pretty cool.

So, while I normally hate any proprietary apps (almost always bloatware), I would highly recommend Verizon Messenger to anyone on the Verizon network who needs to sync their SMS/MMS between multiple devices.

[UPDATE: 10-28-14] It’s more than a little annoying that even when you have “display message notifications in status bar” ticked in the settings, there is no notification displayed in the status bar when you have messages.  In other words, you get a text, your phone makes a sound, but there is no notification (no LED light, no icon in the header, just a number on the apps icon –so unless you’re looking at the actual app shortcut, you don’t know you’ve got a message).  So far, this is the only real gripe I have with the app.

[UPDATE: 11-04-14] Oddly enough, it seems that the problem with notification listed above happens only on my Samsung S5.  My LG Gpad 8.3 shows notifications from Verizon Messages in the notification bar at the top of the screen just like it’s supposed to, so evidently the problem is specific to my S5 (which also has major problems downloading all my e-mail from Gmail –it only downloads some of the e-mail –post on this issue coming soon).

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