Android 4.4 KitKat to allow third party SMS apps

Android 4.4 KitKat is around the corner ““ rumoured to be released before month-end ““ and we are all excited to see what comes out of the brain trust over at Google. One feature that they have confirmed is the ability for users to choose a third party app as their default SMS or MMS app. This has of course never been available before.  Google notes that many third-party SMS and MMS apps have already been made using workarounds to gain access to users’ text messages ““ a method that it doesn’t quite condone.
The details come amid rumours that Google will also begin bundling SMS and MMS messaging right into its Hangouts app, creating a competitor to Apple’s iMessage. Android Police first reported the rumour and also has several screenshots of what it says is the combined app in action. It also reports that Google will do away with Android’s traditional Messaging app, leaving Hangouts as the only built-in text messaging option for Nexus devices. This is something we have wanted for some time, as Google have struggled somewhat to encompass all their messaging platforms into a single solution.
Source: Android Developers