As you may have heard, Google+ Hangouts will be the default SMS messaging app on Android 4.4, but it doesn’t have to be that way if Hangouts isn’t your cuppa’ tea. As has always been the case with Android, you can set another app as your default messaging app, and that’s where 8sms — amongst other SMS clients — comes to the rescue.

8sms started off as the messaging client for CyanogenMod — it’s the stock Android client we’re all used to but with a few tweaks and added options. It supports emoji, MMS, screen-wake notifications, pop-up notifications, SMS templates, as well as light and dark themes to keep everyone happy.

How to set 8sms as the default SMS app on Android 4.4

  • Go to settings in the Hangouts app and uncheck ‘Turn on SMS’
  • Install 8sms
  • Go to settings in 8sms and check ‘Stand-alone mode’

8sms will now act as the default messaging app and you’ll have forgotten that Hangouts ever supported SMS. To go back to Hangouts as the default, just reverse and do the opposite of the steps above. Enjoy!


  1. can you select section of text to copy with this app and can you send a recieve contact cards? Two things that really annoy me about the standard android app.

  2. Hi, Thank you for mentioning 8sms. Unfortunately, as of writing, 8sms doesn’t quite work fully with Android 4.4 yet. Amongst other things, it can’t be set as the default sms app. A new release of 8sms will be coming in the next few days which does work fully, and which can be set as the default sms app.

    – Beng Tan, 8sms developer