At first glance, chompSMS doesn't seem to do much but gussy up the stock messaging app of Android and offer an alternative SMS plan. But there is more to it than that, as you'll see below. Chomp bundles are way more expensive than most U.S. carrier plans. Not to mention that G1 owners get plenty of included texts with the cheapest data plan T-Mo offers for the handset. But as the program's Market description points out, chompSMS does provide a good alternative for international messaging.
My wife is back in the States now, and we have unlimited text, so the SMS packages chomp offers are of little interest to me. I downloaded the program only because I saw several other Android apps proclaim their compatibility with chomp. The two cooperative applications that sounded worthwhile to me were SMSpopup, which does what it says, along with a contact photo; and Missed Call, which places an LED-like color-coded information blip in your notification bar. These apps were highly rated, as was chomp. I got all three and went to work.
As well as SMSpopup worked I prefer the default notification bar preview, so that one was dropped. The Missed Call app works as described and has caused me no problems other than a bit of extra weight. Chomp, on the other hand, turned out to be a nice surprise. I experienced some conflict right after install, but only because I had to manually change SMS notification settings in Android so I wouldn't get multiple alerts. The welcome screen tells you to do this, but it would be nice if the program did it on its own or asked the user if it should. After telling chompSMS to take over as default texting app and starting it in portrait mode, things got interesting.
My SMS window now has glossy comic book chat bubbles. And (here's the hidden treasure) I have a QWERTY more than derivative of the iPhone keyboard - same pop-up letters and all. I didn't see this for the first few runs because I'm so used to texting landscape. The algorithm used by chomp to determine what key you're going for isn't as good as iPhone's. But the graphics are excellent, and it's the best soft QWERTY currently available to Android users. Chomp seems to be the Android equivalent of BiteSMS for iPhone; a program that allows you to send your messages via Wi-Fi.
I wish chomp would go landscape when the accelerometer indicates it should, rather than only when the G1's kb is out. As is, there's no need for a landscape soft QWERTY - the one feature that would make this application a must-have. Like its source of inspiration, this lack is frustrating and disappointing, if not crippling. Still, chomp is my default SMS client for the foreseeable future.