BiteSMS vs Messages+ for iOS 5: which should you use?

The amazingly functional and customizable BiteSMS takes on the deeply integrated and easy to use Messages+ in a battle of the jailbreak messaging apps

Are you jailbroken on iOS 5 and wondering whether you should purchase BiteSMS or Messages+? Both applications add quick reply functionality and make messaging more functional. But which is a better choice for you?

BiteSMS for iOS 5

BiteSMS has been a long time favorite when it comes to messaging enhancement applications. Many competitors have come and gone while BiteSMS seemingly manages to stay at the top of its game.

One thing that sets BiteSMS apart is its ability to customize almost every aspect of your experience. You can choose what buttons you'd like to show up on your quick reply windows such as send, open, close, mark for later, Skype, FaceTime, templates, and more. The quick compose feature provides the option of auto-populating contacts. You can choose for it to auto show favorites, the last person you messaged, and more.

If you send a lot of international text messages, Bite allows you to buy credits to use on their own network. I don't necessarily recommend it as a way not to have traditional text messaging as the rates aren't cheaper than most carriers domestic rates. They are, however, cheaper than most carrier international texting rates. AT&T, for example, charges $10/month for 100 international messages. After that, it's $0.20 per message. You can set up per contact rules for sending messages as well. So if you have certain contacts in a different country, only then will Bite utilize your credits. Bite's prices are as follows -

  • $6 for 50 SMS credits
  • $12 for 105 SMS credits (includes 5 free credits)
  • $24 for 215 SMS credits (includes 15 free credits)
  • $60 for 550 SMS credits (includes 50 free credits)
  • $120 for 1200 SMS credits (includes 200 free credits)

While BiteSMS has a sleek user interface in its own right, you can definitely tell it isn't something made by Apple. People who choose to theme and don't like the stock look of iOS may actually prefer this. Those of you who like to stick with the stock look may have an issue with it. It's also worth noting that BiteSMS is compatible with both LockInfo and IntelliscreenX.

Messages+ for iOS 5

Messages+ is an update of the messaging enhancement app TLert. The update not only brought a more streamline experience but deep integration into iOS 5. It literally looks like something Apple would release.

While BiteSMS aims to bring you an array of different customizations and user controls, Messages+ aims to be an easy to use add-on that just works. There's next to nothing to configure. You just enable Messages+ and set up a quick compose gesture and you're on your way. Messages+ also comes built-in to IntelliscreenX.

If your main reason for wanting a messaging enhancement app is to not have to stop what you're doing to compose a message, Messages+ will provide this functionality without any added icons. It simply adds a quick reply and quick compose function to the default iOS messaging app.

While Messages+ ties in nicely with IntelliscreenX, it is not currently supported by LockInfo. If you're a LockInfo user, BiteSMS is going to be your best option. We don't know if LockInfo will add support for Messages+ in the future.

BiteSMS vs Messages+ - which is better?

There's no arguing that BiteSMS still has plenty more features and controls than Messages+. It will really come down to what you personally need from a messaging enhancement application.

I personally prefer Messages+ over BiteSMS as I don't send that many international texts and just desire quick reply and quick compose functionality. I also like the stock feel of iOS and Messages+ gives me that. There are no added icons or tons of settings to configure before you start using it. Enable it, set a quick gesture for composing, and you're done.

There are no doubt users out there who care more about control and functionality than interface and ease of use. For those of you that think heavily of these things, BiteSMS is probably going to serve you much better over the long run. Let us know what you decide on and why. Make sure to check out our other resources below for tons of jailbreak apps, themes, tips, and more!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 27 comments. Add yours.

paracha says:

keep the interface aside, rate wise no one beats BulkSMS app on iOS and their rates.

Michael Allen says:

I use BiteSMS exclusively. I purchased it years ago and they still give me free updates. Nothing beats it. In my opinion anyway. ymmv.

Daniel Bellinger says:

BiteSMS hands down. I got Messages+ with IntelliscreenX and still haven't figured out how it saves time (outside of quick reply). Quick compose - you still have to type the person's name in, whereas you could use the stock SMS app and simply reply to a text they sent you.
BiteSMS, however, allows you to automatically open to your favorites (as stored in the Phone app) and start typing from there. If you'd like to call a person in your favorites, just press the volume up button and click the phone icon next to their name. Get a text and would like to FT that person, BiteSMS handles that effortlessly as well.
I'm sure most of this was covered in the video. I didn't watch it as i have used both products for a while and wanted to share my opinion not based on what I saw from the clip (although I'm sure it was excellent :))

PremeOne says:

Thanks for the review and it's good to see more jailbreak articles making the front page. As for BiteSMS vs. Messages+, I LOVE BiteSMS but have found myself coming back to Messages+ after buying IntelliscreenX. Like you, I'm liking the integration with the regular message app and like that it looks like the fact that it looks like it's an Apple product.
Just like all other jailbreak debates, though, I'm glad that we have a variety of tweaks to choose from!

arin.failing says:

Your rock, Ally! THANK YOU!

arin.failing says:

oh... and i've gotta say that i made the switch to Messages+. like ally, the quick reply and quick compose features are what i care about most (and a deep iOS integration). much love for bite, but i'm now lovin messages+ more.

derk says:

Ally, Great video and article!
I actually wish Messages+ kept the "message bubble" that Tlert (former name of Messages+), but I guess the banner accomplishes the similar feature. Also, it's probably more to do with iOS5. I liked using Tlert and moving the message bubble anywhere on the screen.
Currently, I am using BiteSms and Lockinfo and it's a good combo.

mikelite says:

Don't forget about iRealSMS, too.

Kev says:

I agree. iRealSMS wins out for me.

Daytona says:

Call me crazy but I think iRealSMS 3.0 trumps them both. Am I alone in this?

Allyson Kazmucha says:

iReal is a good client too. A few readers wrote in requesting a comparison between these two. While these two are hands 2 of the most popular, that certainly doesn't mean there aren't other good clients out there.

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Richard says:

I'm sorry, but there's something I fail to understand.
Ally and a couple of other people in the comments say that they prefer Messages+ because they just desire quick reply and quick compose functionality.
But, BiteSMS ALSO has quick reply and quick compose functionality !?!!
So I don't understand the basis of their statements. Can someone please explain?

Allyson Kazmucha says:

They both have qr and qc functionality, yes - but the way they integrate into iOS and the experience is different. I just prefer Messages+ because of the integration into iOS and the stock feel. It's simple and does what I need, nothing more.

Richard says:

Thank You, both of you.

Joe McG says:

I like the Messages+ Quick Reply more because it shows the entire message thread, not just the latest message to come through. Many times I am replying to a text message when another one comes through from the same person. With BiteSMS, you don't see the new message until after you finish your current one (or you can use the clunky window shade to see it). With Messages+, it shows it automatically.
Also, Bite only marks the message you are replying to as read, not all messages from that person.

arin.failing says:

^what Ally said. You're right. But after using both (and having used bite for FAR longer), I found that I VERY REARELY used any of the additional functions of biteSMS has over Messages+. In fact, the plethora of options started to irritate me when I was jumping back and forth between the 5.1 beta and the jailbreak. It's too much... for me, at least. Like Ally said, if you want/need all of the extra functionality that bite offers, then by all means get biteSMS. However, I appreciate simplicity (after all, I AM an Apple fanboy), so I have chosen Messages+.

JR says:

BiteSMS all the way

guyute says:

Can you clarify the version of Messages+ that comes with Intelliscreenx? It says in the ISX description that messages+ is the beta. Is this a different version than buying messages+ separately?

EagleyeSmith says:

Seriously, I read that headline and just shook my head. BITESMS FOR LIFE! Please, iMessage, Lame.

rkguy says:

Don't forget. BiteSMS is the only SMS app that I know which sends out SMS for you at a specified date/time.
Does anybody know of an email patch/app that lets you do that (not talking about an alarm that tells you to push the send button but one that does it without your intervention)?

vin the chin says:

bite SMS that's the ish!!!!

Jen says:

guys ?! help please (: when a message comes in i notice some user have the contact picture slightly bigger and cornerd is there a way to set my settings that way ?

Jimmie Ducci says:

Hi Michael, great roundup post, and for the plug! I'll give this one a push where I can.

theme says:

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ubelai says:

Alike many in here, I swayed towards Messages+ over BiteSMS for quite some time, and a large sum of the reason was because of the stock apple feel of the UI.
Although, time came by, and I just couldn't bear the lack of features it ha compared to BiteSMS.
These include:
•Reading the conversation while composing a large message (if you're a heavy SMSer you'll know what I mean), you cannot read over the conversation and the swipe to hide keyboard feature is rendered useless. A native problem is the stock iOS5 messages app.
•Retrying on a failed send message attempt, very handy, I've copped numerous rants in a conversation for 'not replying' simply because the message failed.
I could go on but I don't see really any point, it'd just look like I'm propagating BiteSMS over the latter.
I do hope that sometime soon or in the near future that fan-created UI's hit Cydia, I would see it becoming the #1 app with no competition hands down.