While I am a satisfied user of the stock Messaging app (mixed with SMS Popup) that comes with the Galaxy S II on Android 2.3/4.0, there are plenty of people out there who prefer a messaging app that does more than just send/receive text messages. They want abilities like being able to schedule texts, receive pop-up notifications, voice input/output, a nice home-screen widget, blacklisting, favorite contacts etc. etc.

Apps like GO SMS and Powow do offer most of these features and now, popular texting app Handcent SMS has received a major version bump which includes a handful of new features and improvements. Check it out after the jump!

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Developed by handcent_market, Handcent SMS is a powerful free texting app that will introduce you to text messaging experiences you haven’t witnessed before! Alright, that was a bit of a hyperbole, but it’s no doubt that the number of features that Handcent SMS comes with is rather overwhelming at first.

Let’s discuss first the new features included in Handcent SMS 4.0 [Google Play]: full support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (including bug fixes for ICS on Galaxy S II), updated user-interface, free texts to other Handcent users and support for an upcoming cross-platform (Android/iOS) chat service a la ChatON. We’ve tested the app on a Samsung Galaxy S II (Android 4.0.3 ICS) and can confirm that the new features work really well.

Other than that, you still get crazy-powerful features like scheduled texts, batch texts, quick replies, backup/restore, advanced theming, up to 250MB large MMSes and whole lot more.

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If you’re in the market for an alternative messaging app, you can’t go wrong with Handcent SMS and its mind-boggling number of features. Sure, the default theme is pretty tacky, but with a little customization you can give it a unique look.

Don’t forget to let us know what you think of Handcent SMS by leaving a comment over on our Facebook and Google+ page!

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