Mobile users are usually not that happy with the default SMS app of their phones, probably because the OEMs themselves don’t really pay that much attention to that most basic of functions. So if you want to have a better looking and more functional one, you have to rely on special, independent apps. One of those that give you this service is called AwSMS and is now out of alpha mode and into the beta testing mode.

This app was developed by a 22-year-old computer science student (what were you doing at 22 eh?) and is in fact the first Android app that he has developed. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles here, but it is still probably better than your default SMS app. It has Material Design and MMS support, including group messaging. And like your favorite mobile email apps where swiping is a way of life, you can swipe to delete and soon, you will also be able to swipe to archive.

Another great feature of the app is you can read and reply through pop up message exchanges which can be used over any app. There are a lot of customizable options as well, including various themes, color identification and initials that you can set for every contact, etc. You can also turn off notifications for certain conversations that may be bugging you.

To be able to download the beta app, you have to join first their Google+ community and click on the link “Become a Tester”. It will then lead you to a link on the Google Play Store where you can download and install the AwSMS app.