Fire Phone Text Messaging App: Tips How To Customize It & Alternative Messaging App
With Fire phone, text messaging is extremely simple and intuitive. Yes, I must tell you that the Fire phone default text messaging app is one of the simplest and best looking messaging apps I’ve ever seen.
Minimalists will surely fall in love with it in no time. But… how about more demanding users who like all sorts of customizations and settings? I’ve created this tutorial especially for them.
In Part I I will talk about the default Fire phone text messaging app and how you can customize it.
In Part II you will learn about an alternative text messaging app which offers far more customizations and settings than the default one. Ready to start? 🙂
Part One: The Default Fire Phone Text Messaging App Is (Too) Simple
As you probably saw, the default text messaging app in Fire phone is extremely simple. It has practically no settings and customizations whatsoever. Whether it’s a good or a bad thing is for you to decide.
If you like simplicity and ease of use, you are certainly going to love the Fire phone text messaging app. Below you can see how the app looks (these screenshots come from my own Fire phone).
Once you open Messaging, you will see the threads, the search option (to look for keywords in messages) and the compose new message option.
That is the simplest text messaging interface I’ve ever seen.
Once you are in the chosen thread, you can see the bubbles (white for your recipient’s messages and blue for your own messages), the Contact icon (to see the details of the contact) and the new message field where you type your own message and send it.
Composing the new message is also extremely simple. You have to click on Compose + icon. You can send either a text message or add a picture or video (by clicking on the camera icon on the left).
The default keyboard on Fire phone is rather O.K. so there is no need to replace it.
However, the bad news is that you cannot install alternative keyboard apps to Fire (like SwiftKey keyboard popular among Android users) without rooting your Fire (and thus voiding warranty).
Fortunately, the keyboard offers quite a few settings and customizations. To customize it, go to Settings > Keyboard and you will see the screen like the one below.
That’s pretty much everything you can see and customize in the default text messaging app in Fire phone from the level of the app. However, if you dig deeper, you can find a few extra customizations!
The Hidden (Hard-To-Find) Settings Of The Default Fire Phone Text Messaging App
The Default Fire Phone Messaging App does offer some settings and customizations, but it took me some time to find them (you won’t access them from the messaging app).
To access notifications settings of the default messaging app, go to Settings > Sounds & Notifications > App Notifications and choose Messaging.
Hurrrah! You will see 4 different types of settings now (take a look at the picture below).
That’s not all! Go to Settings once again and choose Applications > Manage the settings for individual Amazon applications on your phone and choose Messaging.
Two new settings will appear: Character count and MMS Messages.
Unfortunately, these are all the settings of the default Fire phone messaging app. Now, let’s go to the next issue, i.e. emoticons.
Can You Have Emoticons On Amazon Fire Phone?
UPDATE: After the lastest Fire OS update (3.6.5) emoticons appeared on my Fire phone. I’ve created a separate article about Emoticons On Fire Phone. The screenshots below come from the previous version of Fire OS (3.6). To check which version you have and how to update your Fire, read Fire Phone Update.
That is probably the most often asked question about Fire phone. I guess the answer will not satisfy you. Yes, you can insert emojis like “:-)” but they won’t change into graphical smileys (at least not in the default text messaging app).
You can see the list of Fire phone emoticons by pressing and holding ?123 button (when the keyboard is active) for a few seconds and when a small menu appears choosing a smiley. Here’s what you will see.
Unfortunately even if you choose and insert some of these smileys, they still will not turn into graphical smileys. Don’t worry, though! That’s not the end of the world.
If you want to see graphical smileys and further customize messaging, you can use an alternative text messaging app I discuss below.
Part Two: Alternative Text Messaging App For Fire Phone
Even though the number of text messaging apps available for Fire phone is rather limited (the most popular GO SMS Pro isn’t available), there is at least one great and free replacement.
I am talking about Textra SMS (click here to download the app). I have tried many different text messaging apps on my other Android phones.
I was a great fan of GO SMS Pro until I discovered Textra SMS. For me Textra SMS is the best as it lets you customize all the important settings (without exaggeration) and is still simple and nice-looking.
How To Install Textra SMS on Fire phone.
To install Textra SMS on your fire phone, go to Apps (open the left panel) and type “Textra SMS” and download & install it. When you open the app for the first time, it will quickly set up for you.
You will see these two screens. Once the app is set up, you will be able to use it.
App installed and opened? This is how the thread list and the chosen conversation window look like. The app will convert emoticons like “:-)” into graphical smileys but you have to use the ones with a hyphen inside (e.g. “:-)” instead of “:)”)
Customize Your New Text Messaging App
Now comes the nicest part: Textra SMS offers far more settings and customizations than the default Fire phone text messaging app.
Click on the customization icon in the right top corner, and you will be able to customize a lot of things like:
- Notifications (popups, notification icon, notification sound, vibrate pattern, repeat notifications and so on)
- Bubble colors
- Dark mode (to save battery)
- Text Size
- MMS Settings (including delivery reports missing in the default Fire phone text messaging app)
- SMS Settings (including delivery reports missing in the default Fire phone text messaging app)
It seems that Textra SMS offers you everything that’s missing in the default messaging app of your Fire phone. If you aren’t a minimalist and want to have at least some settings and customizations available, try Textra SMS. The app is really worth a try!
What Are Your Thoughts
Do you like the stock Fire phone messaging app or you use some alternative? Do you have any problems with text messaging on Fire phone? Do you know any other good text messaging app?
Feel free to share your opinions and post your comments in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you.