The JBnator Diaries – QuickSMS in Review – The way Apple should’ve done the stock SMS app

Hey there, jailbreak fans! I’m baaaaack. Sorry for missing the last couple of weeks, but I was on New Year’s vacation. I don’t know how you managed without me, but don’t fret, I’m here now! And without further ado, back to the column.

One of the most notable oversights of Apple, at least in my mind, is the lack of features of some stock apps, most notably – the SMS/MMS one. Sure, the iPhone is hailed as the next-gen device with e-mail, IM, etc. support, so who would really want to use the old SMS, right? Well, that may be the case to some extent, but in many parts of the world not everyone has the latest and greatest gadgets and devices. As such, we can always resort to the good ol’ tried and tested SMS. And speaking of the iPhone’s stock app, we’re immediately amazed by the lack of even such basic features as Delivery Reports. Well, no more! For all members of the Jailbreaking community there is a way out – QuickSMS.

QuickSMS was developed by iSoftTeam – the “Small, but very crazy team” and is based on their QuickBoard product, which additionally offers QuickCalendar and QuickBirthday (sold separately) as well as the free QuickWidgets (in beta now). One of the most notable features of the QuickBoard platform is its complete integration with the iPhone’s SpringBoard. This means that all of the QuickBoard apps open almost instantly and are available from within ANY application without the necessity of closing it beforehand. In addition, a number of nifty features are also available to the apps, based on the platform.

First, let’s cover the basics – QuickSMS supports both SMS and MMS communication and has all of the basic features of the stock app. It displays the threads, sends and receives text and picture messages, etc. It even adds such basic features as message forwarding and quoting, saving them to notes/calendar and deleting individual messages. You can also delay the message to be sent at a specific time and it will do it automatically in the background. And if for some reason the message sending fails (i.e. you don’t have any carrier service) it will be automatically resent in 5 minutes.

One of my favourite features in QuickSMS is, of course, Delivery Reports. Yes, it handles them with no issues and places a small icon on the top left of the message bubble to identify the current status (delivered, failed or waiting). You can also toggle the visual and audio alert for the reports to suit your liking.

Another feature I absolutely adore is the ability to assign personal SMS tones to your contacts. You don’t even have to stick with the defaults – you can put any number of custom tones in the friendly WAV format to the QuickSMS ringtone folder and enjoy using them for the ultimate personalization of your iDevice.

The interface of QuickSMS is very easy to use and is almost a complete copy of the stock app; but with some changes. For one thing – it is lightning fast. And I’m not kidding about the word “lightning”! All of the transitions are instantaneous even on my 3G. For the other – the devs added a lot of useful features grouped in a quick-access bar above the keyboard. It includes a wide selection of smilies (automatically converting the commonly known combinations like :-) into pictures J) , support for an extended set, rich text formatting (requires QuickSMS on both sides to work), inserting contacts, notes or templates and several useful symbols that don’t fit on the standard keyboard (  “(”, “)”, “.”, “!” ). They even hacked the keyboard to add “?” and “,” buttons to the left of the space bar.

For the paranoid, there is a secure version (QuickSMS Secure) that can password protect the app. It can also encrypt the messages themselves using an AES-256 encryption mechanism and requiring the recipient to use a code to decrypt it (obviously he’ll also need a copy of QuickSMS Secure).

In short – QuickSMS is the way Apple should’ve made the stock application. It covers all of the functionality we commonly expect from a modern phone SMS-wise plus much much more. There are only 2 downsides – the fact it requires jailbreaking your iPhone and the price – which is a bit overwhelming at $13.95 or even $69.99 for the Secure version. But I have made my choice a long time ago and have no regrets at having spent the money. The good news is that there is a free 14-day trial period. So what are you waiting for? Go to Cydia, open search and type QuickBoard – you’ll not regret it.

With this I declare QuickSMS officially touched!

App Summary
Title:QuickSMSDeveloper:iSoftTeam
Reviewed Ver:1.7.9.1-1Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$13.95App Size:0.9 MB
  • Lightning fast
  • Delivery reports
  • Delayed sending in the background with automatic resending
  • Personalized sms ringtones
  • Opens above any app
  • Loads and loads of other features
  • Quite expensive
  • No group sms ringtones

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