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Ninja SMS, Brings Chat Head-like Texting Feature to All Android Phones


When I walked away from Facebook’s press event last week, there was one thing I was truly excited for – Chat Heads. They allow for users to chat with friends over any application that is currently in use on your device. It removes the need to choose between a conversation with your friends and a game/movie/app you are using. In short, it’s genius. 

Recently launched for Android is Ninja SMS. What this app does is pretty much like Chat Heads, except it isn’t for instant messages, it’s for text messages. When you get a text and are busy in an app, it pops up a box displaying the sender, the message and a few action buttons. With these buttons, you can select a lighter transparency so you can continue watching your YouTube video while conversing with your friends, minimize the chat into a single block with your friends picture for easy hiding and moving around your display, as well as going into full-screen mode for a full on chat experience.

I have been using it all morning and so far, I think I love it. My only issue is that of course, I use Google Voice, so my contact pictures don’t show up at all since I forward my Voice texts to the stock messaging app to get Ninja SMS to work. Either way, if you text from your direct phone number and have contact pictures set, I think you will enjoy this app quite a bit.

It costs a single dollar on Google Play, but check out the promo video below to get a feel for what the app does.

Play Link ($0.99)

  • Lakerzz

    I still like SMS popup. This is pretty cool though. I just don’t see the point of having your contacts head floating around your screen as you wait for a text reply.

  • fartbubbler

    looks like the handcent popup box.

    what’s the big deal?

    OK I’ll buy it and try it out 🙂

  • James J. Brown II

    Using now. Great app!

  • So the contact pictures are all out of whack. Google and Exchange. Not sure what the deal is there…

  • John Burke

    Interesting but I instead use “Floating SMS” along with “Sliding Messaging”.

    “Floating SMS” along with being a “Multi-window”-type SMS App it also puts a toast message with the SMS content at the bottom of the screen so I can read it. Then I can either expand the Notification & tap “Reply” which “Sliding Messaging” then puts a pop-up so I stay within the App I’m currently in, or I expand it & tap “Read” dismissing the Notification.

    I also use “Glovebox” to house all my “Multi-window”-type Apps so I can send an SMS from any screen using “Floating SMS”.

    I tried “Ninja SMS” & liked it but wish it defaulted to just the Contact’s head instead of the full chat pop-up. If it did I wouldn’t have refunded it…oh well. I’ll keep it in my Wishlist to keep an eye on it hoping for an update supporting that.

    Also not a fan of a Persistent Notification.

  • Ryan Milton

    “My only issue is that of course, I use Google Voice, so my contact pictures don’t show up at all since I forward my Voice texts to the stock messaging app to get Ninja SMS to work.”How do you forward GV texts to use this app, because I use the GVintegration, and it sort of works.

    • I’m still pissed I bought that app only to have him abandon it in a half working mess.

      • Nathaniel_Graham

        I use Messaging+ Google Voice. The dev is great, he even provided me with an inverted version of his app when I asked him.

        • Ryan Milton

          do you know if it works with this?

      • Ryan Milton


  • Stevedub40

    Sweet, it usues telekenisis to type!

  • Definitely Ninja… He’s typing with no keyboard!

  • This will be cool for about a week until Babel comes out and it’s no longer supported. Then my dollar will be sad that it could have been a pack of gum.

    • ruggierohofman

      before I looked at the draft which said $4868, I didn’t believe …that…my mom in-law woz like they say truly bringing in money parttime from their computer.. there friend brother haz done this 4 less than 17 months and at present repayed the loans on their mini mansion and bourt a great Lancia Straton. go to, — Gig60.ℂOM

  • I noticed that in the video, the user it typing without a keyboard. I’m sure they’re using their computer keyboard or something for the demonstration. Now, if a real Android keyboard popped up, wouldn’t it sort of defeat the purpose of the transparency? Also, it seems like it would be a mess in landscape mode, where a pop-up keyboard would cover the entire screen. But these are just my opinions.

    • I was going to post the same thing…. looks great in the vid but in real life this wont be too useful IMO.

  • tharealoc

    Babel integration please?

    • Ummm Babel isn’t even released yet….

      • tharealoc

        What does that matter? Just because it isn’t confirmed doesn’t mean I can’t hope. What I was actually meaning, was that I would like to see google do something like this in their “rumored” revamped messaging app. Should I always go into over the top detail for those who need the help?

  • Droid dna hatka rom v 1.07; doesn’t work for me. Don’t know why.

    • Lakerzz

      Newts m7 sense 5 ROM, and works fine here. That’s weird. (Droid DNA)

      • i dont understand. i want it to work. Whenever i get a text from handcent during a youtube video or playing a game it freezes the app i was in. I want this to work but it isnt. Oh and smspopup wont work either. i dont know.

  • WP7 Notifications does me just fine, thank u very much

  • Michael

    Am I the only person that doesn’t use voice for texting? I seriously don’t understand why it’s used for that. I use it strictly for voicemail.

    • People that have several devices can access and send texts using the same number.

      For someone like kellex who has more android phones than fingernail clippings in my couch would probably make great use of it.

      Being able to text from a tablet is awfully nice.

    • It is a very clean solution to text from devices other than your phone. At work I primarily use the chrome extension. At home I use my tablet. Not to mention it’s really cool to have a record of all your texts from over the years. My wife and I were going through ones we sent to each other when we first met the other day, it was fun.

      That said.. it seems every day it’s few shortcomings make it less and less worth it.

    • droidftw

      I only use Voice for voicemails as well. I can’t be bothered to deal with having two #s.

    • I use my google voice number for work.

    • Channan

      How is it hard to understand how it’s used for texting? It saves me $20/month on Verizon.

    • 2001400ex

      I use it on WiFi while in Canada, in bad service, or on an airplane, pretty handy.

    • I would use voice for sms if it was more like the stock sms app. I guess i haven’t tried it in a while but the last several times i gave it a go, i would end up with multiple conversations from the same person, and in general, a really crappy experience.

    • Jimneezy

      I do, since I use Google Voice paired with my T-Mobile $30 plan

  • Some custom ROM’s already have this built in…an SMS pop up. I know Droid Concepts ROM has it.

    • This ain’t your average pop up box.

    • brad kou

      my only problem with the SMS pop up is you can’t see what was previously said :/ i wish they included that somehow like they have it on bite sms on ios (yes i had an iphone at one point don’t hate i woke up soon enough)

      • Ninja SMS shows the full chat history

      • Lakerzz

        In SMS popup settings, instead of reply, I select “inbox”, write my message, then hit back button, and I’m right back where I was when I received the message.

  • Pop up box?


    Why can’t it just create a notification – and upon clicking of the notification it THEN pops up a box?

    Remember when Android came out with the notification bar we all made fun of pop up notifications like they were the antiques that they are?

    • Brian Inglut

      cyanogenmod has this. you get a notification and it gives you a couple of options in the notification area to act on it.